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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When moving newly established colonies like Palmer double nucs, mating nucs, or even full double deep colonies what are you guys using for strapping? I have been using ratchet straps but they are pricy, bulky, and like to jam up. I have been looking into the cheaper cam lock type straps but am hearing they dont last more then a few seasons.
 

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I can't pull a cam lock strap tight enough that I would want to trust the security of a stack so secured. I know they are pricy but I have a bucket full of the self storing ratchet straps that I use to move the few colonies I need to transport. If I needed to move more, I would put hooks on my trailer and tie truckers knots to transport loads. I know one I can double haul and cut a box in two if I wanted to. Knot is the wrong word. I couldn't explain how to tie it if I had to, just give a truck driver or and elderly beek a rope and he will show you.
 

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Ratchet straps at Harbor Freight are darn reasonable. I use them.
Me too. I honestly can't tell them apart from my expensive hd ones. two per hive. i screw the bottom box to the bottom board with some 1x scraps then use a dolly to move them.
 

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I prefer an ALL Metal strap. I know it's a buck more than the multi-pack listed above, but the Hyper Tough strap ( https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hyper-Tough-1INCH-x-12FT-Ratchet-Tie-Down/293948764 ) in the nut/bolt section of Walmart is my preferred.

$3.50 a hive is good insurance against bears and I believe it saved quite a few hives this year. Bear ended up in a hive I hadn't put a strap on (ran out) and was only able to push the others forward an inch or two. Have to ensure the fence chargers are not dead too.
Being all Metal, I can bang it to get the ice to break free in the Winter as I was just out putting sugar on hives today. Plastic handled ones tend to break when you do that.
12' long and cheaper than most of the 10' ones.
Harbor freight straps tend to be thinner metal and bend easier. If you can bend it when you step on it, look for something a bit thicker. Yes, I know, look before you step or put it away when you take it off, but when you are trying to manipulate a frame, I could care less that it ended up on the ground.
I have a few 'experiments' and for some reason the blue straps tend to get brittle over time, the Harbor freight ones the button keeps popping out and don't even think of the ones that you pull the strap through to tighten as you can't get em snug (such as https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hyper-Tough-Lashing-Strap-13-Cam-600-Lbs-2-Pack/998999626 ). In a pinch I might buy some of the others, but literally I walk directly to this section of Walmart every time I go there. So much so that the employees have begun telling me as I walk in 'Sorry we haven't gotten any in this time..'

Drawback, Walmart doesn't let you order them and have to wait till they stock them in 4 or 8 at a time. So, I spent all summer trying to get enough. Even talked to an employee about trying to get 100 of em at a time, they said sure... wait.. sorry I can't. Most items they can order you exactly what you want, for some reason they can't on this one. Maybe because it's cheap??? Don't know. So I ended up buying 8 each week all summer.
 

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I use the ratchet straps from the big box stores. Prices vary considerably depending on which ones you get. I like to get the four pack for I think it was $18. When we had our last hurricane, I bought the last four 4-packs they had at Home Depot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-1-1-4-in-x-16-ft-Ratchet-Tie-Down-4-Pack-FH0836/206802384

These are the same as Sour Kraut uses.

For my nucs, I screw the bottom board directly to the hive body from the bottom. Then, all I need is a bungie to keep the top on. Works well for moving nucs to the out yard in my SUV.
 

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i screw the bottom box to the bottom board with some 1x scraps then use a dolly to move them.
In the old days when I used to move my big hives, I nailed my bottom boards on to the bottom brood box. Pick them up, throw them on the flatbed, and tie down over the top. There's really no need to strap together if the bottom is attached. You guys would be shocked to see some of the steep bumpy roads I would transport the bees over this way. They often arrived shook up, but the boxes were held together by propolis.

If the hives are not too big you can do this with bottom boards unattached as long as you pick up the hive from the bottom. It's always a good idea to tie them down, but one box high or even 2 in a pickup is not a problem. These days, due to mites and what all, my bottom boards are not attached, fwiw. If your bees don't glue things up, IMO you have the wrong bees.

I also like a net over the top.
 

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I hate ratchet straps so am also interested in alternatives. My hands are bad and always have a hard time with them. J
 

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I hate ratchet straps so am also interested in alternatives. My hands are bad and always have a hard time with them. J
Most commercial beekeepers in the UK use spanset straps, easy to use, no moving parts to jam up or rust if left on hives, incredible tension...enough to crack hives if overdone, nice and flat when stacking hives on a truck or putting roofs back on over travel screens, been using these for over 30 years now and still have a few of the first ones I bought, cheap, strong, and will work well even with double broods and a couple of shallows on.

https://www.thorne.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1743
 

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Same idea from Russia - made from a suitably bent length of rebar:



I've sourced numerous 1" rachet straps from boot (bring 'n' buy) sales for less than 50p (60 cents?) each, where cheap webbing has rotted-out from UV. I just replace the strap (no hooks) with quality webbing, secured with epoxy glue to save the hassle of stitching.
LJ
 

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I use the ratchet straps from the big box stores. Prices vary considerably depending on which ones you get. I like to get the four pack for I think it was $18. When we had our last hurricane, I bought the last four 4-packs they had at Home Depot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-1-1-4-in-x-16-ft-Ratchet-Tie-Down-4-Pack-FH0836/206802384

These are the same as Sour Kraut uses.

For my nucs, I screw the bottom board directly to the hive body from the bottom. Then, all I need is a bungie to keep the top on. Works well for moving nucs to the out yard in my SUV.
same here...I use 2-1/2" screws diagonally from the corners into the bottom-board rim even for full size hives

Also, those 4-pack straps come in very handy when you have a stack of 6 deeps or 8 mediums piled on a pallet (I make 20 x 18 pallets out of 1/2" plywood scraps, with a couple pieces of "2x2" under the ends to store and move stacks of boxes), slide the strap end under, around over the top and cinch it tight so they don't slide around on the hand-truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the input team. The rachet strap has its place, but the smaller ones are on the chopping block. My management strategy is to get rid of or improve anything that gets under my skin more then a few times. The small ratchets have long been a sore spot. I really like the British leverlock strap system. Reliable, versatile, durable and almost fool proof. The Russian rebar method is also good by using the same theory. Only issue I see is the rebar could get in the way when stacking hives. I also like all my options open in the future so am not a big fan on adding clips or screwing bottom boards to brood chambers ect. All you guys who use rachet straps to move hives must admit the simple British leverlock hive strap is slick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Using pieces of rope and some knot skills would be the slickest, but rope just doesn't fit the bill.

Sourkraut I agree there are a number of maybes and it's hard to beat a rachet strap. But I have used all different types and they all are a bit finicky. The 3-4" rachet straps are less annoying to me and they are large and pricy. But will always use them for transporting large loads of supers ect. The leverlock strap thing looks like it solves alot of my annoyance with rachets. Rachets are easy to get so no harm in searching and trying something "slicker" not neccesarily better.

Little_john I will try the rebar leverlock on sides or back as that will cost next to nothing to try out. The British version harder and pricier to acquire then rebar.
 

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Gino45, I am still building those sixties or older style bottom boards you nail on the bottom of the stack. In warm weather the propolis is sticky and elastic enough that doubles and covers stay intact. Move those colonies in temps you are not used to like below fifties, and the stack comes apart like a cheap suit. My bottom boards are nailed on and the ratcheting straps are so much easier and efficient than watching bees spill all over when a stack comes apart.
 

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TNA have you considered overcenter buckles?

This off boxertiedown.com/wholesale/-c-3_19: "...The difference between a cam buckle and an overcenter buckles is that the latch system found on overcenter buckles allow for extra tension. The tightness a cam buckles can perform relies on the user to be able to pull as much webbing as possible through the cam buckle itself. With an overcenter buckle, once the user has pulled as much webbing through the latch as they can, the latch is toggled shut. This adds several inches more worth of tension depending on the size of the latch."
 
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