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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone marks their beehives in some way or stencils there name/address on their hives as a deterant to theft. I would like to hear about anything you might be doing to deter thiefs from taking your hives. Thanks
Barry
Indianapolis
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The traditional method is to brand them. I think it would make sense (if you don't want to buy a branding iron etc.) to paint your name on it before and after painting so the name soaks into the wood and can't be removed as easily.

My first hives I branded every box and every frame with my initials by hand with a very hot soldering iron. I've never done it since, but I do think it would be a good idea. So would painting them, but I gave up on that too.


A name and phone number would be awsome. You might even find people calling you for honey.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use very unique screws (square drive,
made by a local company) rather than
nails, so I can tell which boxes are
mine at a glance.

The wood-burned stencil is the defacto
standard, but be creative, and use it
on both the outside and INSIDE of each
box. I guess you could burn something
into each top bar too, but that would be
going a bit too far, wouldn't it?

I've never had a hive stolen. Vandalism
I've had, but never theft.
 

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If your going to take the time to burn the outside and/or inside of the box, then do each frame also. You would not be the first one to go into your apiary, and see the boxes, and then be surprised to find the frames and bees are gone.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I called a printing company today that makes stencils...thought I might stencil my name and city on my hives. They said the stencil with 1" letters would be over 30 dollars and would only hold up to 10-15 uses. Too expensive for my taste. Anyone know how costly a branding iron is?
 

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Hi yall I bought the cardboard stencil and taped the letter together spelling my name. I did as MB said on some I painted using spray paint across the front in 2 inch letters my last name and then painted the boxes and did it again. I have done over 100 boxes that way and still is on them and looks ok. Also my stencil is ok except it does build a a little bit of paint up on them. But they dont cost much. Also after you spray your box and the paint dries on the stencil lay something on top of it to keep it good and flat. Take care JJ
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Perhaps I'll try the cardboard stencils. I'm just a litle nervous since the property owner where I had several hives walked out and found someone loading up my hives into a truck...claiming to have bought them.(he had "not"!) The property owner made the guy put the hives back...thank goodness. Since then I've been wondering what I can do to best avoid such things. The nerve of some people!
 

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I've been marking my hives and frames using a good old fashion black Magic Marker! When I make up a frame I put the year the foundation was installed right on the top bar. I make one end bar with my name.
I mark the inside of the boxes and on the inner/top cover too. It's held up great for many years!
Some frames have been recycled so I just put an X over the old year and add the new year to the side. I suppose some one could sand off the marker on the boxes but I doubt they'd try a frame, especially if it had bees!
 

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Beeing the CHEAP guy that I am I made my own branding iorn that fits on a propane tourch is has initals on it but when I welded the letters on the plate I did it mirror image it is hard to read but no one else has one like it.
With that said even if you have every box and frame marked and they are stolen you still have to find them for it to do any good
 

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Branding irons are fine but expensive to buy and to keep hot.

Paint marks can always be disguised with anothjer coat brushed on.

I would go for something simpler and more permanent, provided you have the tool:

run a shallow saw kerk across all 4 sides of the boxes and across top bars. Paint will never cover it up, and the kerved hive bodies and supers can easily be spotted from a distance.

Any marking that really stands out will deter theft more effectively than concealed markings.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Permanant magic-marker makes financial sense...and would be quick and easy. Also the idea of a simple unique marking(such as the saw-kerf)seems worth-while. A friend color codes his hives and has different colored bands painted on each. I never thought about it, but I guess such unique markings might actually deter a would-be thief. I'm fairly new at beekeeping, but my first honey harvest has put a few beans n' biscuits on my table. There was a time in this country when horse thieves were hung. Stealing a man's horse was considered the same as stealing his livlihood and was quickly punished by hanging. Seems that people don't fear any consequences when stealing another man's livlihood these days...or even a part of it.
 

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Link for branding iron: www.brandnew.net
Looks like more than $100 for an okay setup. I have gotten the info from them.

Looks like branding had been more popular in the past. A beekeeper I have worked with has all kinds of brands on boxes he bought from others. Not many branded with his name.

I like the idea of ID my boxes and frames but not the cost or time. Not many around here know enough to even think about theft. Maybe a better idea would be simple longlasting signs with your contact info on them. Post each of your yards.

"Permanent Ink" is not. Write something on your hive and it will be gone within a few years if not sooner. THe same holds true for the ink that used to be on my new car (complements of a vandal).
 

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>Link for branding iron: www.brandnew.net
Looks like more than $100 for an okay setup. I have gotten the info from them.

This is exactly what you should do if you want to be ripped off. I bought the PORTO-PRO over a year ago only to find out that it is'nt as good as a magic marker. It won't burn through painted surfaces. It won't burn into bare wood. It will leave a light stain, but that's it. Easily sanded off.

I sent it back to the company and they won't return my money, now they have both the iron and my money. When I ordered it the lady (April) who took my order reassured me that it would do all those things that I wanted it to do, just as mentioned above. Now they say too bad, we'll send you back a portion of your investment, but not all of it. So buyer beware. Brand New is a company with a product that will not live up to it's marketing, and when you find out it won't do what you want, you will not have any recourse but to loose your money.

Brand New is a rip-off company.

I would try a Zip-it, one of those hand held rotary files to carve your info into the wood. And forget about Brand New.
 

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I bought two branding irons from www.sloanbrands.com ($20 each). They specialize in minature branding irons... but they're just right for beehives. They can make any logo you want, but I just had them make CURRY, and they work great (I wouldn't go more than 5 letters however). I leave one in the fire (my BBQ), while working with the other til it cools (after about 3 brands). I've used them on hundreds of boxes, and they're still good. He does a great job on the letters. The brand, believe it or not, is mostly bought to be used on hamburgers. I brand my burgers when company comes over
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I also brand my plastic frames (they brand REAL fast... about a second each). I just feel a lot better about my name on everything... I never worry about something being stolen.
 

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twind59, I am a signmaker by trade, we make custom stencils all the time. The price you were quoted, for a custom logo stencil, is a good deal. The film the stencil is made of will last quite a bit longer than quoted, if properly cared for. The adhesive on the back of the stencil will not continue to stick over and over, but it will still hold it's purpose. You can even spray contact cement on the backside to renew it's adhesive properties, and naturally the paint will continue to build up on the front side, but other than that it will last a life time.

The price they quoted you is probably for a 7.5 mil film. I would recommend either the 22.5 or 32.5 mil films as they will be more durable and give you more for your money.

I personally sandblast my logo into my hive bodies.
 

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I brand all of my boxes with a logo of the business registered when I incorporated as a small business.
Last year I had a client try to claim the hives were his. The only thing that saved me the hives were that they were branded this way and could not be changed easily.
This got me back the hives and saved me the court costs and made him pay my legal fees because he lied to the court.
Clint

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Clinton Bemrose
just South of Lansing Michigan
Beekeeping sence 1964
 

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Bills right.I bought the portapro with interchangeable letters from Brand New.It doesnt get hot enough to burn a deep clean brand.This company apparently doesnt know what a good brand should look like!
 

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HEY... The BEST thing to do is paint them "camoflage" color.... then they will blend in with nature and noone can find them!! And just so the owner can find them he can attach a homing beacon and track them with a receiver.... or store GPS locations in a receiver so you can backtrack back to your hives..... Wait,.. what about invisible paint??
Ehhh.... I guess it's just an idea anyway..
: ))
SippyBee
 

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If you have a router, you can make a template out of mdf and just route you name or initials into the side of the hive. Not as quick as branding but cheap if you already own a router
 
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