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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I looked around for awhile and I couldn't find many pictures of beekeeping trailers. I had an idea in mind and I went ahead and built it. I thought I might share some pictures and hopefully provide some inspiration for anyone else that is thinking of doing this. I'm also open to suggestions/ideas for this trailer or for the next one I build. It's a 16ft trailer. pressure treated bottom boards from Mannlake. I went with a 16ft because it was the most economical. I could fit 24 beehives on it and an 18ft would have only let me add 2 more boxes. I used a 7d nail as a spacer between the bottom boards to allow room for expansion and contraction of the bottom board during different times of the year. My hope is that it will allow me to easily move boxes around without them being too tight against each other. instead of pallet clips, I used stainless steel L-brackets from amazon. They hold the bottom box ALOT more snug than the pallet clips do. I welded 4 5000lb trailer jacks on each corner to level out the trailer and to take the weight off the suspension. Ideally, I wouldn't have to move it when there is honey on the hives, but in the event that I do I think the dual 3500lb axles would be able to handle it. currently the idea is to run 12 ratchet straps from side to side so I can hold down 2 hives with each strap during the move. I overhung the bottom boards 2 inches over the rail to give myself 41 inches in the middle to work the hives. It also should be enough room to easily move a dolly down the trailer when pulling honey. I used some self tapping countersink screws to hold the wood to any metal. I used 2 1/2" wood screws to attach everything else. The bottom boards have about a 1 degree slope to keep any rainwater from getting in. The back side of the bottom boards is 1/2" higher in the back. I'm probably going to use the space under the hives to store things like feeder pails or entrance reducers.

16ft trailer - $2100
wood and screws - $150
bottom boards - $530
trailer jacks - $160

total $2940, lets just say $3000 for what you see in the pictures and about 12 hours of elbow grease. All in all I'm pretty satisfied and I can't wait to put bees on it in spring
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry I can't seem to figure out how to rotate the images. It'll be a good neck exercise for anyone reading this though.
 

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Nice work on your trailer. You might regret those taller benches though, when you start stacking up supers.

Here's mine.
Had a neighbor fabricate the cage to keep out bears & critters.
it's 14' deck.
I attached a roof pannel on top, then 2 livestock panels. It's worked well.
I actually use it to hold/grow my nucs in my rainy spring climate.

PA230029.jpg

PA240038.jpg
That's a 6' ladder on the deck, plenty of head space

P1310145.jpg

P4210001.jpg

10240021.jpg
 

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Here are a few images of other bee trailers I got off the internet:

2014-10-16155829_zps2d60ed46.jpg

20110410_Keith_moving_Hives-764x1024.jpg

969642_103785306497522_28263007_n.jpg

954769_582882501752523_1577211551_n.jpg

If I remember right, the last photo is from a Canadian beekeeper

14615667_1478042368878512_7843127111981551708_o.jpg

Look to images overseas, they use bee trailers a lot more than folks in the USA do.
 

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Impressive. Only needs a ramp (portable), and an ice cream freezer (or beer cooler) to make it perfect.

As I typed, more examples were added- all proof that beekeepers are imaginative, and innovative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The last picture with the deck over trailer is what I really wanted, but it was a bit more costly. They were also like 20ft long. I was afraid of the weight applied to the trailer during the peak of the season incase I had to move them. I might take some scales next spring to weight the trailer while its got honey on top to get a better idea of the weight. Mainly so I can see if its viable for me to use a 20ft or longer deck over.
 

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Mine is a 16' car hauler with plywood stake sides and hives facing inward spaced with pallet clips. I made mine so that i do not have to climb up into it, almost ever. I can work the bees standing on the ground and the honey supers never have to be lugged up onto or down off of the trailer. I feel the congestion of 20 hives all on a trailer leads to more mite and disease transference.
Laurie's first picture is a gardening trailer I found for a friend. Not sure he ever got it into service for hives.

This is mine brand new years ago as it went into service. I have since made the entrances half wide to separate them more. In mid summer sometimes strange wars between the hives would break out.


 

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Nice job. You have an aisle to work hives from behind, able to move hives to as bloom changes and you could add on some small pollination jobs easily. The 24 number is good, at least in our area, as we have found our outyards do best with that number. Are you planning to close entrances for moving bees or just plan to do it at night? Like Lauri we have to have bear fences on al, our yards, you soul do easily add some fiberglass fence posts with a yellow jacket charger that would extend out when parked and with a little bacon on the fence have bear protection.
 

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I made one out of an old boat trailer. Trailer was free with a title. I bolted down some 4x4s with 2x4s screwed on top and bottom boards screwed to that. It holds 16 colonies. I put the honey supers in my truck during travel to keep trailer weight down. I plan on making several and then only licensing one and moving the plate from trailer to trailer. There is room to walk down the middle for oav treatment.
 

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kramerbryan,
I too, like you, am thinking smaller. I am turning a small 9 foot long Harbor Freight kit type trailer into a 10 to 12 colony easy to move bee trailer. Its not finished yet, but it will be very similar to your version. I have to design mine to be bear proof so that I can use it anywhere around here.

Cheers
Steve
 

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Steve
I already have 3 4x8 trailers that I will be converting over this winter. I am thinking about mounting an extension ladder with a leg and wheel to one sinde of the trailer. I would then mount the hives to the ladder. This way I could slide it out and the hives wouldn't be in front of one another. On my boat trailer it's no big deal, but the small trailers are too narrow. I've been using portable bear fencing with a solar charger. I haven't had a bear issue since I started using, but that doesn't mean it works great. Where I live there is not alot of bear pressure, but I lost 10 nucs last November in my back yard without a fence.
 

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kramerbryan,

Sounds exciting to have so many hive trailers. Your slide-out ladder with a leg sounds like an interesting concept but I would think that you are over doing it. I believe that all the bees will find their "home hive" even if the entrance is directed in a different orientation (opposite direction). I use mini nautical signal flags to help (in my mind anyway) the bees recognize their "home hive". Conclusion: I may be over doing it too!
Capture,  Flags on NUCs, B.jpg
Cheers,
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Joel, I plan to move them at night. shouldn't take 5 minutes to back up to it and take all the jacks off and hook it up. I don't have an issue with bears where i'm at (not yet atleast), but there is the meth monster problem. Electric fence might be a good idea now that you mention it lol. My goal now is to find a decent fall yard so I can plan for next year. The goldenrod just got started when it decided to never rain again so nothing is producing any nectar and plants just stopped blooming. I'll never find a decent yard at this rate.
 

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Neat pics. Can Anyone comment on the Suspension for the trailer. I am considering using an old camper trailer, but was concerned about the bouncing while on the road. Anyone know how many G force warm loaded comb can take, (pot hole style)
 

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I would think a dual axle trailer makes for a less bumpy ride than a single axle trailer.
 

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Steve
I am thinking about mounting an extension ladder with a leg and wheel to one sinde of the trailer. I would then mount the hives to the ladder.
I am not sure I would trust something like this with more than 1-2 hives. Ladders are designed to take most of the load down axis not perpendicular to the axis. With a lot of weight the 2 sections of ladder may pop apart and make a mess/drop the hives as you are moving the ladder in/out.
 
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