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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all,

I'm looking for recommendations for the best non-toxic way to seal gaps between boards for a bee hive. I'm building extra deep hive bodies using cedar boards. Duck tape seems the most obvious, but I'm not sure if that is considered the best, and definitely that wuold look gnarly.

REgards,
Thomas
 

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The bees will do a great job. The Big stuff i use aluminum tape for heat ducts. Duck tape doesn’t hold up for me.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I use the DAP Plastic Wood which is also water based to repair my feeders. I can see where aluminum tape would be good for winter sealing of large gaps between boxes or joints in a top bar hive. But like others pointed out the bees should propolize any gaps and they do a real good job of it. Why do you have gaps in the first place?
 

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I commonly use blue or green colored "painter's masking tape" for that job. It can be removed during a quick inspection and will re-stick when re-assembling the hive parts. I also use that kind if tape to "adjust" upper entry accesses such as a "notch" for ventilation or a 3/4" drilled hole in a honey super during a major nectar flow. It works well because it is easy for an attentive beekeeper to regulate the traffic flow and/or eliminate a potential robbing point.

Steve
 

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Why do you have gaps in the first place?
Yep - I was wondering that ...

When I make boxes I run the boards across a table router to ensure that the edges are true and cleaned-up ready for gluing. I don't bother with biscuits, but simply butt 'em together with 100% waterproof glue. I then fill any nail holes or other imperfections with automotive body filler ... then paint the boxes, both inside and out. No gaps. Never any gaps.

If there were any - I'd leave 'em for the bees to fix.
LJ
 

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Here are couple of photographic examples of reducing entrances with tape as discussed above in post #8. The size of the entry can easily be adjusted to suit summer or winter, robbing conditions, etc. The tape can also be used to close long cracks between supers, but as LJ points out above, the bees will most likely take care of that in the fall and fill with propolis.
,  Bees, Winter Entry, B.jpg
Bees,  Winter Entrance, A.jpg
,  Bees,  Entrance Limitation, B.jpg

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It would seem to the naked eye that this is no gap between the boards, but with a thermal camera I can see heat leaking where the boards meet.

I use the DAP Plastic Wood which is also water based to repair my feeders. I can see where aluminum tape would be good for winter sealing of large gaps between boxes or joints in a top bar hive. But like others pointed out the bees should propolize any gaps and they do a real good job of it. Why do you have gaps in the first place?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have never used it, but I wonder if foam insulation tape applied to the edges of the hive might serve to reduce the heat loss at those points. It compresses to practically nothing but would serve to fill any iregularities in the mating surfaces. Gaps or seams in the body of your TBH are probably best filled with latex caulk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
HI, what are biscuits?

Yep - I was wondering that ...

When I make boxes I run the boards across a table router to ensure that the edges are true and cleaned-up ready for gluing. I don't bother with biscuits, but simply butt 'em together with 100% waterproof glue. I then fill any nail holes or other imperfections with automotive body filler ... then paint the boxes, both inside and out. No gaps. Never any gaps.

If there were any - I'd leave 'em for the bees to fix.
LJ
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Steve, I've actually used that same method with entrances!
Here are couple of photographic examples of reducing entrances with tape as discussed above in post #8. The size of the entry can easily be adjusted to suit summer or winter, robbing conditions, etc. The tape can also be used to close long cracks between supers, but as LJ points out above, the bees will most likely take care of that in the fall and fill with propolis.
View attachment 45243
View attachment 45245
View attachment 45247

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for the tip JW!
I have never used it, but I wonder if foam insulation tape applied to the edges of the hive might serve to reduce the heat loss at those points. It compresses to practically nothing but would serve to fill any iregularities in the mating surfaces. Gaps or seams in the body of your TBH are probably best filled with latex caulk.
 

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HI, what are biscuits?
There are several ways of joining planks together edge-to-edge. Perhaps the most common is 'tongue and groove' - which is a fine method, but one which requires accurate woodworking.

With 'biscuit joining' a groove is cut into the face of one plank edge, with a similar groove cut into the edge of the opposing plank. A thin oval-shaped piece of wood called a 'biscuit' is then inserted into one groove, and the planks brought together so that the biscuit is then pressed into both grooves, ensuring that the planks are butted-up together accurately at that position. Long planks require multiple biscuits, obviously. Again, it's a method which requires accurate woodworking.

If using modern glues however, such methods are no longer absolutely necessary. You can see the results of simple glued-butt-joints in the bottom two pictures at: http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/firewood01.htm
In the top picture of: http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/beek12.htm you can see how a KTBH was made using this type of wide plank. To ensure warping didn't occur at a later date, a second skin of pallet-wood planks was attached at right angles to the first.

That particular KTBH was trialled for a year and then sat in a shed for several years before being converted into a Deep Long Hive. A couple of years later that hive has finally been sliced in half, and has now become two separate 16-frame Dadant-sized hives - but still using those original planks from the KTBH, in which gaps have never subsequently formed. But only thanks to the modern glue which I now use.
'best
 
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