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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been tossing the idea around for a Bee Wall Hive set up.

Some what like this smaller one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj98FbpRiKk
Not sure I want to go the AZ hive route. I do have an investment in the Lag frames, so to start with something Lang transferable.

built into a wall more like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVLGecRxf6Q

or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSL9Ao_KwI0 or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psksHayzQvc

more like
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7FyIgvt1BQ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntsLmbLhJZk

Not knowing what they will do I am thinking of 4 or 6 to start with .
Cool way entrance out the wall, and place the frames in from the inside

For those of you wanting fast action and a quick story , I am sorry , I somewhat wanted to build if from My own Lumber.

So Here we go.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok Then it is december 2019

I went out and marked several pines, I am planning to use White pine for the wood the bees will be in contact with.

pine1.jpg

I have 7 trees marked, some are 24 inch + at the base and will have 4 or 5 logs.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok Then it is march 2020

We managed to get the logs out onto a skid way, before the frost was out of the ground. I did end up with a few more than planned.

logs right.jpg


Next locate a sawyer

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Ok then July 2020

Finally got the sawyer scheduled. Later than I wished for but , sometime we cannot control the schedule.


Dad next to log.jpg

My Dad at 83 yrs of age was able to assist with the sawing and this will unfortunately be the last major project He and I undertake.



Shed full.jpg

The lumber holding area was fairly packed, and I have a few piles outside. these did go to the ceiling. 8 foot ladder in Pic.

the target of 3500 board feet was somewhat off as the sawer stated we sawed 10,067 board feet.
So it would seem I have sufficient quantities to proceed to the next phase.

if any of you like to see drawings and such , Unfortunately I am a fly by the seat of the pants designer.
This coming winter I can do some drawings, But they all be in the head at this point.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok Then August 1 2020

Was up to visit the bees and decided to bring home some wood and start to prototype.

I have a heated shop, was thinking of cutting the "parts" out in my shop then heading up to put them together in the "field"

10s7soutput.jpg

More or less cut 18 9 foot boards in 1/2 to get into the car.

the "wall" I plan to use is a 2x4 open stud wall today.
IMO I need to make the entrances first as they would be easier, then insulate and sheet the wall.

I am planning to use screws to hold it all together, as if it does not work I want to be able to simply take it down and , either pitch, or redesign and re install.

So now the work starts, not sure I get bees into it this fall yet. So for those who are following...

get the thing done by may, make up NUCs and once mated and laying put NUCs in, first winter is this next coming one 2021-2022

I do have a family and a full time job and a farm, so my time is stretched some what thin.

stay tuned.

I am taking volunteer help for the construction day if any one wants to take a trip to the lovely NE lower Michigan area. there is a nice camp ground 15 min away BTW.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok I am pondering the first of perhaps many decisions.

the dividing wall between hives.
single layer of wood, or double.

single layer would be less materials, and maybe warmer if the hive next door is alive, but with a dead out it could be the cold wall.

double layer would be 2X the wood, likely would faston a 2x2 type cleat to the outside wall then material (1x pine) to both sides and even insulate. in the 2 inch gap in between. perhaps more meat to attach the doors (4 inch vrs 1)

would in your Opinion IYO the double wall or the single wall be the better choice?

I was thinking of running the frames parallel to the outside wall, entrance to be "warm way"

as well, the number of frames,, i have 10 frame and i have 8 frame so I was thinking of a 9 frame for the first go.
I see merits for each of the 8 and 10 that if possible could be both seen in the 9 frame.

Also tossing the idea around in my mind of doors, my thought were some what like a cupboard door, maybe 2 layers of frames at a time 3 doors high, then you could work a task and not need the whole side opened at one time. the "door" would need a similar insulative value as the in between walls or it would be the "coldest" wall and sweat to most. conceptually the door would be like a divider in a long hive, take it out and work from the edge.


First shot would be to do the end of my bee shed and it is not heated..



20170801_183612.jpg
14 x 24 raised roofed platform basically


20171224_103138.jpg
we do get winter there


20170910_130909.jpg


I can comfortably place 12- 8 frame hives or 8- 10 frame, the windows are 4 foot by 4 foot.

the end seen in the first 2 pics would be the wall to do first. As I do not have power there, ideally I build something like a cupboard and just drag it up and fasten it to the wall. May not work if the thing gets too heavy.


Did also have thought on making a "top" that I could super, so 3 or 4 boxes worth then a top, supported enough to add 2-4 supers. The wall would need to winter the bees , not necessarily do the whole season.
Not apposed to doing it either way, if there is a good reason for it.

have a nice day

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello folks,
offering a small update.
so while sitting in the deer blind, not seeing much on the deer side of things I have somewhat made some decisions, on my winter project.

-Hives will be attached to the inside on an insulated 2x4 wall, somewhat like a cupboard, can then be moved If I move, etc.
-I'll build the hive in 2 sections, bottom (brood area),, top (honey area) ease of carry and some may be only overwintering small new NUC ish colonies, so the whole shebang may not be needed.
-Going to try to make a "double" 3 up-down walls for 2 hives to help on wood use efficiency. IE each unit is 2 hives side by side.
-first pass will be a warm way with frames parallel to the wall
-will first make a entrance in the wall, with 1/2 x 1/2 mesh for bird and mouse stoppage, thinking between the studs so 14 is inches by 1.5 inch.
-considering a "drawer" for the bottom, can be slatted rack drawer, mite count drop drawer or other yet to be determined drawers. mostly as the drawer is removed i can clean out the winter drop of bees, often an inch or 2.
-thinking of 2 deep 1 medium for the base, and 4 medium, for the top add on. 8 or 9 frame,, Lang as that is what I have. could make a 2 or 3 or 4 frame "dummie" frame to allow NUCs or smaller hive as a starting point.
-thinking of screw and maybe glue the frame rests as I would get bogged down routering, and the center router both ways at the same point can make a weak spot. And I could add more later. or move them if i need to go a different route.
- thinking the top of the bottom section would have 4 inches left over for a drawer type insulated top, then the top section can have the first rail at 2 5/8 from the bottom, to get the first super at 6 5/8 in leu of the slide in top. top then "can" slide in at any super location as expansion occurs. may need to consider the Excluder space if needed.
-ends and door would need 2 inches of foam, or be a double wall with insulation for winter. the double end would be helpful for the hinge of the door to have some ability to mount easily.

so I did bring some wood home the last few trip back from hunting.
The blades for the planner are in, I am planning to size at 15/16 for better fit, if I ever jig it up. (supposed to be 1 inch material)

So if any one has ideas to offer, we are at pre prototype, so most things can be added.

some other things I have considered but am not yet convinced I need.
-watering ability,,, hole and a built in sponge
-air flow tube running thru the whole hive for cooling, moisture removal.
  • heating drawer.
  • double excluder strip in the center wall to run as a 2 queen hive.
  • weight support as a hive full of honey could be 3-400 pounds.

more to come, perhaps post Xmas the cutting and building will start.

GG
 

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GG:

I am not sure how I have completely missed this whole thread, but I have to my chagrin. I have seen pictures of your shed before but had no idea of the actual plan an mechanics of it all- this is brilliant and I can already foresee many late summer night BS sessions out at the bee shed.

Also really neat that you were able to work on this project with your dad- if I understand correctly your family has been into beekeeping for several generations?

You mentioned running two-queen units- I also wonder if the same set-up slightly adapted would allow colonies to share warmth should you have a struggling colony beside a thriving colony?

I am really looking forward to your continued updates- now that the project is in the home stretch I expect that the real fun will begin.

One final question- will all entrances face the same orientation?

Take care- I'll look forward to your updates.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
GG:

I am not sure how I have completely missed this whole thread, but I have to my chagrin. I have seen pictures of your shed before but had no idea of the actual plan an mechanics of it all- this is brilliant and I can already foresee many late summer night BS sessions out at the bee shed.

Also really neat that you were able to work on this project with your dad- if I understand correctly your family has been into beekeeping for several generations?

You mentioned running two-queen units- I also wonder if the same set-up slightly adapted would allow colonies to share warmth should you have a struggling colony beside a thriving colony?

I am really looking forward to your continued updates- now that the project is in the home stretch I expect that the real fun will begin.

One final question- will all entrances face the same orientation?

Take care- I'll look forward to your updates.

Russ
Hi Russ
Also really neat that you were able to work on this project with your dad- if I understand correctly your family has been into beekeeping for several generations? Dad and Grand Dad, and I think some of the great Uncles, not sure of pre grand dad as he came he at the age of 6.

You mentioned running two-queen units- I also wonder if the same set-up slightly adapted would allow colonies to share warmth should you have a struggling colony beside a thriving colony? Unfortunately this will not work, the struggling colony bees will just join the thriving colony, been there,, very frustrating. Ideally sister queens with as close to the same laying rate as possible. last I did 2 queen I would take a 6 queen batch, as 2 best, 2 worst, 2 middle in the 3-- 2 queen hives. Will have 15/16 board between them, that is less than the side by side NUC , 2 x 3/4 so should behave the same , however the frames are 90 Degrees so the bees with IMO occupy 1 end and the stores the other. I could consider a Cedar in between board for better heat transfer, or thinning it more. As well the outer wall is 2x4 insulated and I will likely double wall the res of it as well. "buckeye hive ish" next door heat was not really a consideration in the design, I would like 24 or 27 frames to over winter on, "3 frames tall"

yes holes on the same wall, will try to make them unique in some fashion. paint, shapes, modify orientation a bit.

Home stretch Ha you are funny, hopefully have ready to install in the spring, place bees in it in early June, see how next winter goes, Adapt, revise, retry for the following winter. May of 23 will be end of the project either it works or is scrapped. about ready to put the saw blade into the boards, is all the farther I am at.

GG
 

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Unfortunately this will not work, the struggling colony bees will just join the thriving colony, been there,, very frustrating. Ideally sister queens with as close to the same laying rate as possible.
Thanks for the update, GG. Going back and reading my comment I realize how it came across as a two-queen unit sharing warmth. I was simply wondering whether the divider between two colonies could be modified to suit running a two queen operation or making the divider bee-proof but more conducive to active heat transfer between two single-queen colonies. Based on your follow-up comments, it sounds like you've already got that covered.

What's the significance of May of 2023? Is that retirement day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the update, GG. Going back and reading my comment I realize how it came across as a two-queen unit sharing warmth. I was simply wondering whether the divider between two colonies could be modified to suit running a two queen operation or making the divider bee-proof but more conducive to active heat transfer between two single-queen colonies. Based on your follow-up comments, it sounds like you've already got that covered.

What's the significance of May of 2023? Is that retirement day?
I "think" the center board will allow some warm side/heat transfer, however not sure the cluster should be centered on the center wall as that would be frame ends rather than comb center. Yes there would be an option to place a double excluder in the center wall, I have a few of the 1.25 inch metal excluder pieces from a couple of the old style excluders I kept when the wood rotted away.

first winter eval is next may of 22, with some "improvements" we could test a second edition design for the following winter.
If I get a fail on both winters, then I would not invest any more time into this idea.
As this "Was" the norm in Germany and parts of the Ukraine, and I have several times seem bees in a wall of a home or garage, and a hollow tree, IMO the cavity really does not matter. So long as it is warm and dry. So the goal is space savings and utility, with Survival as a close second.

thanks for the input.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Russ,
Been thinking of the heat sharing comment you offered.
There is a way to make a change, And do more of a side by side cool way setup.

So instead of the cupboard set up , where the frames go cool way to the wall, door is opposite the mounting wall,,,
I could build the box cool way with the 2 hives side by side and the doors would swing off each side, adjacent/hinged to the mounting wall.

So I will do a poll here and ask for the group, opinion.

option 1 frames run parallel to the wall, entrance warm way,, access is opposite to the mounting/outside wall. Some what like a cupboard.

Option 2 frames run perpendicular to the entrance cool way, access doors are on each end.

positive with 1 is units can be stacked in groups of any size due to Access. like an AZ hive.
positive on 2 is warmth shared like a side by side NUC negative is cannot be stacked, less units per wall. access space required between units.

Kindly offer an opinion and the why, I can go either at this point. It would be a bit of a PITA,, but both is an option as well.

My own opinion "the hives will be big enough, 8 or 9 or 10 by 3 high to not "need" mutual warmth." but please weight in.

GG
 

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My own opinion "the hives will be big enough, 8 or 9 or 10 by 3 high to not "need" mutual warmth." but please weight in.
GG:

Since I sowed the seeds of doubt, I'll be the first to tell you to go with your instincts. Here in Western Kentucky, I haven't found many beekeepers who take advantage of shared warmth, but I read about it working to good effect from more Northerly beekeepers. Will the fact that the hives themselves will be largely protected from wind and the elements on three sides and the top immediately confer a great advantage in this department relative to being exposed to the elements on all profiles?

My idea might have been a solution looking for a problem...
 

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GG:

Since I sowed the seeds of doubt, I'll be the first to tell you to go with your instincts. Here in Western Kentucky, I haven't found many beekeepers who take advantage of shared warmth, but I read about it working to good effect from more Northerly beekeepers. Will the fact that the hives themselves will be largely protected from wind and the elements on three sides and the top immediately confer a great advantage in this department relative to being exposed to the elements on all profiles?

My idea might have been a solution looking for a problem...
One of my son's fellow beekeepers in eastern ontario has experimented quite a bit with gang wrapping. It is mixed blessings. The shared heat or eliminating exposed cold surfaces does reduce the amount of energy the bees have to produce but not below the net heat loss if they were single wrapped. If their summer configuratiion was four or six on a pallet it would be teriffic. Also It had better not interfere with easy access for inspections or they may be neglected late in the season and makes early spring emergency or pollen sub feeding too much trouble. Mite levels going into winter is still the greater villain as that increases feed consumption too.:(
;)
That is something I have found a curse with my fairly elaborate shavings boxes and shared insulation between, and common rear sides of rows of hives. Accommodating different heights of different hive body combinations is complicated. One standard format of hive configuration makes that method easier. Higgledy piggledy would be a better description of my colonies than would be the term uniform:)

I have been meditating deeply on Robert Holcombes 2" thick foam insulation sleeves that can be on or off a hive in a flash but which he has found a benefit to be left on year around. I spent 2 days wrapping up 8 colonies this fall. They better show their appreciation!
 

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option 1 frames run parallel to the wall, entrance warm way,, access is opposite to the mounting/outside wall. Some what like a cupboard.

Option 2 frames run perpendicular to the entrance cool way, access doors are on each end.
I would do #1.

Think of your own ergonomics when working the bees.

Here - Option #2 (start at 6:40)
And here - Option #1 (start at 2:00)
Also Option #1:

High tech #2 (an over-kill IMO)

High tech #2:

High tech #2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE886ljh4Q8

I did not look too hard to find #1 multi-tier setups; surely #2 are more popular.
But for myself I'd go #1 multi-tier setup with fewest moving parts possible.

Observe and think how you are going to do basic operations (pull frames out, etc).
If the very basic operations become PITA, you'd hate it.

If you already have a massive "bee wall", that conglomerate as-is already does the major thing - mutual insulation.
The next thing to think about - how are you going to work the wall.

Also, with the #1 you can always insert a dummy board next to the external wall - the additional insulation if needed.

Also, I'd dump the swinging service doors.
You are going to regret it the very moment you'll need to simultaneously work the adjacent units separated by a swinging doors (which will be on your way).
I'd do service panels (take off/put back on).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I would do #1.

Think of your own ergonomics when working the bees.

Here - Option #2 (start at 6:40)
And here - Option #1 (start at 2:00)
Also Option #1:

High tech #2 (an over-kill IMO)

High tech #2:

High tech #2:
Отбор мёда в кассетных павильонах 2018 г.

I did not look too hard to find #1 multi-tier setups; surely #2 are more popular.
But for myself I'd go #1 multi-tier setup with fewest moving parts possible.

Observe and think how you are going to do basic operations (pull frames out, etc).
If the very basic operations become PITA, you'd hate it.

If you already have a massive "bee wall", that conglomerate as-is already does the major thing - mutual insulation.
The next thing to think about - how are you going to work the wall.

Also, with the #1 you can always insert a dummy board next to the external wall - the additional insulation if needed.

Also, I'd dump the swinging service doors.
You are going to regret it the very moment you'll need to simultaneously work the adjacent units separated by a swinging doors (which will be on your way).
I'd do service panels (take off/put back on).
Greg,
Thanks for taking the time to offer the Utube options.
First I am glad to see others have done this, and second there is a myriad of options out there.
I am somewhat intrigued as to why there are so few here in the US.

I see some of them are top service, not sure I want that but it would be an option for the bottom unit.
I do not want to have 2 hives in the same stack, my hives now have 3 brood boxes and up to 5 supers, a double would insure I need to do a mid season honey collect.
Initially the "drawer" one looked neat but,, moving drawers I now have get propolyzed and not working in a year or 2.
some looked like a short deep hive 18-20 frames, that would resolve the height issue and/or allow 2 hive stacks, my gut feel after doing 10 frame and 8 frame in the north here in Mi. is the smaller diameter , taller config winters better.
One could easily make a 12 frame unit, and make 2 frame and 4 frame dummys to allow changes for a season, or for more industrious queens.

thanks for your vote.

GG
 
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