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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have decided to use foundationless frames with popsicle stick guides in instead of plastic frames and I am leveling my hive. The ground is quite rough and it was a bit more difficult than had I anticipated. I used a level and the best I have gotten so far is the bubble in the level is not exactly between the 2 lines but it is 3/4 of the way in. Is this level enough? How particular do I need to be for foundationless frames? Thanks for your help.
 

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3/4" in is a 1/4" per foot grade. That's the slope a plumbing line requires to drain properly.
Front to back isn't as important as side to side. Try to get it between the lines side to side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its not 3/4 inch in, the bubble is 3/4 of the way in the line so 1/4 of the way past the line. Does that make sense? The bubble is mostly inside the line by 3/4 of the way.
 

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As was already stated, front to back is important, but not as important as left to right. The bees will find whats true level is, and the comb they build will be wherever that ends up. I know this from experience. A box full of foundation less comb that starts at the top of the frame in the middle, and touches the bottom or doesn't touch the bottom towards the side of the frame. When you go to pull the frames in a few months,just to see how beautiful they are....... you will crush bees, possibly the queen, kill brood, release honey all over the hive and kill more bees and rip comb off the frame before you get it out of the hive. Take the time and effort now to make sure its level and save yourself and the bees huge amount of wasted time and frustration. Again, I only know this from my own experiences. Good luck !
 

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The more level it is, the better, but it sounds like you probably have it level enough to not have big problems. Give it a try and see how it turns out? Would you be able to shim the stand at later date if it gives too many problems?
 

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>Try to get it between the lines side to side.

You can get by with a lot of things, but you may regret it. I try to get it between the lines also. It will settle anyway, and the closer you start out the better. As mentioned, front to back doesn't matter much, but side to side does. If it's too far off the combs will start on the top bar of one frame and end on the bottom boar of the next frame over. The combs will be plumb. It is helpful if the frames the combs are in are also plumb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, Exactly between the lines it is. Hubby will have to give me a hand, what a job I had trying to get it accurate so I got fed up and thought/hoped I could get away with it as it was. Thanks for the advice. It is important to get it right I can see that now.
 

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Put your level back on the hive. Now left one end till it shows exactly level. Measure the gap this creates at one end.

For rough figuring, if your comb starts dead center on the frame at the top, it'll be off center by rough 2/3 of that measurement for deep frames, and half that for medium frames.
 

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Ray had a great suggestion on shims. You could fine tune the leveling with shims under the bottom boards to get it just right side to side. Once all the frames are drawn out it's not so critical to have it perfectly level.
 

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I don't know if this helps or not but I have found a pan of water placed on top & eyeballed is the easiest way for me to level a hive.
I came across this ideal after a frustrating back & forth with a level.
 

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You can also help to guide the frames by adding the foundationless frames between frames that are already drawn out also. I started using all 'new foundation' and then quickly switched to using popsicle sticks and have also started by cutting the foundation to an inch or so and using that as a 'starter' line for the bees. just a thought for using foundationless framing..
 

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Ray had a great suggestion on shims. You could fine tune the leveling with shims under the bottom boards to get it just right side to side. Once all the frames are drawn out it's not so critical to have it perfectly level.
I use shims--they are great. I make sure I always have extra packages of shims. And I focus on side to side level, inside the lines.
 

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Anything used to make space is a "shim" but what you buy at the lumber yard is 1 1/2" wide strips of wood shingles. They are tapered and are about 12" or so long and 3/8" at one end and nothing at the other end.
 

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If it's too far off the combs will start on the top bar of one frame and end on the bottom boar of the next frame over.
This is exactly what happened to my Top Bar Hives. I moved one end of the hive about 3 inches and it cleared up all the cross combing. I couldn't believe my eyes. I struggled with that silly hive an entire season, then voila!
 

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I was a carpenter in a former life, and I have always though that it isn't "level" until it's level....meaning the bubble centered between the lines. Some days the bubble will be shorter than other days....so inside the line will actually vary according to weather conditions.

I think if you level them the very best you can from side to side, then you give them the best chance to get it right.
 

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Plumb enough so it won't fall over is good enough. Some people like to tilt hives a scoch so rain doesn't collect on the top of the hive. It doesn't take much.
 

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Plumb enough so it won't fall over is good enough. Some people like to tilt hives a scoch so rain doesn't collect on the top of the hive. It doesn't take much.
yes I do raise the back of all mine 3/4 of an inch. But side to side they need to be level.
 
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