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Discussion Starter #1
I realize this problem will take care of itself in time. The bees will spit prophylis over every interior surface and the sliding would stop. Soon enough it will take a hive tool to get the supers apart. If I had a stash of prophylis or beeswax I'm sure I could use it to solve the problem.

I've got a couple of new hives and two nucs arriving any day now. My spanking clean new 8-frame boxes want to slide off each other. I've got my first 8-frame deep set up with a 2-gallon feeder on top, and even with a rubber strap holding them together, the feeder wants to slide off. With cold nights like we've had the last couple of nights, or rain, that could turn out badly.

Any thought on using a couple of strips of double-stick tape until the bees fix the problem?
 

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Are the hives level?

What causes them to slide around? Maybe one of Ace's patented bucket o'water on top of the cover will help!:D Or just a rock ....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are the hives level?

What causes them to slide around? Maybe one of Ace's patented bucket o'water on top of the cover will help!:D Or just a rock ....
The hives are deliberately set up sloped just slightly to the front, for drainage. This is the Fort Bee, modified Charlie B pipe stand and one of the legs is a little loose on account of getting too enthusiastic with the 8" auger, and my wife not packing it hard enough, so I expect a bit of tapping in before we proceed so it doesn't look like that way out of kilter pic in the other thread.

The edges of the lumber used are just really smooth is all I can guess. I'm using a couple of all-rubber bungies and some rope with loops in the end to make tie-downs so far, but you turn your back and the feeder has slid an inch. Wind? Unintentional bumps?

I started to put a rock on the telescoping cover ... wife suggested it would scratch the nice new cover and prohibited it. Hence the straps.
 

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Well, 1/8" slope per linear foot is good enough to meet plumbing code for drainage, maybe your hives could get by with a little less tilt.

If you can't use a rock for a weight, how about setting down 2 scraps of wood (shims) and then a flat concrete block on top of that?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was going to use a wood block with a rock on it, but I'd been wanting to try the rubber straps. Once I have the hive scale system up and running the tie-down situation gets pretty bizarre. I'll document that in a later post. But straps avoid sudden weight changes due to mixing up rocks.

Unless anyone cautions me against it, I'll try a couple of strips of double-stick Scotch tape on the mating surfaces and see if it stops the sliding. I don't think that stuff is sticky enough to trap bees while the hives are open. Hopefully it is not toxic.
 

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Just wait. The top will get beat up after a few inspections and you will be using rocks just like everyone else.

I use 13' ratcheting cargo straps to hold my boxes together - mostly because of the incessant New Mexico wind.
 

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I put a line of that stick-on foam weatherstripping between a really beat-up old shallow I was using for a quilt box and my used-one-season-only hive boxes last fall. I wanted to close up the large gaps between the two meeting surfaces since I was applying the QB so late in the season that I thought they might not propolize the cracks. It did a fine job of that, but, on one of my hasty provisioning runs I saw what looked like some (by then, dead) bees sort of caught up with their feet/legs stuck into the foam part where it intruded a bit into the hive-space. I haven't had a chance to get fully in the hives to check this out (too cold still) but it's on my list to verify/disprove this when I can. It's possible that squishable foam has small porosities that can entangle hairy little bee paws. I used 1/2" stuff; in the future I would try to find 1/4" or 3/8ths" to make sure it was covered by the boxes. It not only closed the gaps but it made pushing the boxes around to square them up very difficult, so I think it would do the trick for what you need.

So would small strips of the foam mesh that's used to stabilize things in kitchen drawers. Temporarily I would wrap a nice shaped rock/ brick in an old T-shirt and plump it down on the cover. The tops are like new counter tops, the first dings are the most painful, after that it's called patina. Besides, you don't want to flaunt your newbie-ness do you?

I would also lay in some dedicated-to-the-apiary ratchet straps, just in case. When I was down in Rappahannock County there was more than one occasion when we had tornado/wind storms roar on through. You want to have your storm preps made ahead of time ....

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The last set of boxes we got were not very precise, and leave gaps where their finger joints were sloppy. I've got them marked to plane down, but some sort of gap filler would be handy. The gaps would be a little large to prophyize and would probably make a good SHB hiding place.

Planing these surfaces may be the problem, though. It is likely that the edges causing my problem are machine planed, making them too slick. So maybe I ought to rough them up with a rasp, instead.

I have a couple of old ratchet straps for the truck. They're cheap enough, and I could get some black ones that should weather less. The problem is they confuse my wife. The bungies (not the cheap wimpy cloth-covered ones but the heavy black rubber ones from Tractor Supply) are more her level of tech. The problem with the bungies is the need to make up a bunch of different lengths of rope with loops tied in the ends to get the length right. Obviously the ratchet straps have this issue nailed.

Fort Bee solves any problem with critters knocking the hives over, but wind is still a problem. We're on the downwind side of a mountain ridge but we get occasional rotors, which are essentially horizontal tornados. We lost a lot of trees the last couple of years to them.
 

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I have used wood filler before, but these days if they don't fit well and make a huge gap, I just slap some Gorilla Tape over it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I put a line of that stick-on foam weatherstripping between a really beat-up old shallow I was using for a quilt box and my used-one-season-only hive boxes last fall.
Enj.
Now you have me curious. What is a Quilt Box? We didn't cover that in bee class.
 

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try a couple spots of Hot Melt Glue to tie it togather so its doesnt slip. The HMG isnt permenant so it'll be easy enough to break open next time you get in there and easy enough to peel off once the wood edges are aged and not quite so slick.. As for scratches on the metal roof....lol...your on your own there buddy! My wife didnt like frisbees full of oil that the legs sit in to prevent ants from climbing up into the hives. When I told her she'd have to sit out here 24/7 with a fly swatter and smack ants she relented.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hot melt glue, eh? Well, then, I still have some leftover EVA sheet (ethylene vinyl acetate) from some solar panel experiments. In other words, hot melt glue in thin sheet form. Should work dandy!

What the wife thinks would not matter except that she thinks keeping bees was HER idea, and she's therefore the queen bee. I'm using the Charlie B. inverted grease cups for the ant issue, of which she approves and which she helped me install. My modification is posted in my Fort Bee topic.

What she clearly does NOT approve of is the large black ants that live in the vicinity of the apiary.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, Rader. I'd seen the concept, but just had never heard the term. I wonder if these top feeders, once dry, would do the job. But I'd probably be better off building a known working model. I just bought a stock of 1/8" hardware cloth, have the saws, etc.
 

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I don't think a hive-top feeder with a solid bottom (0therwise you'd have syrup everywhere!) will work as a quilt box. The whole point is to have something that will allow the hive-moisture to pass through - and on out through vents ABOVE the QB. I have a fabric floor on mine and they work even better than I had hoped. Mine are the depth of a shallow box, filled with coarse pine shavings from Tractor Supply, which will be recycled at the end of the "heating season" into blueberry mulch. I have a small upper vent below in the feeding rim, and two 1.5" holes in the shim above the QB which were open all winter. I'm up here in northern NY and I was dubious about whether Id need both holes open to get the moisture out, but I did. The shavings stayed dry and the air temps I felt through the fabric of the floor were always warm and toasty.

I added the QB to control moisture, but a side effect was having a very warm-topped hive which my bees hung out in all but the most awful weather. When it went below 0F, they tended to all go below and reform the cluster, but otherwise they were up in the feeding rim, snacking and shooting the breeze, so to speak. Very calm, and happy bees, quite zoned by Lauri's sugar bricks.

The QB are one first-year experiment that I "read about on the internet" (dangerous thing, a mouse is) which worked way better than predicted and I will always winter with them on in the future.

Edited to add: I would not recommend a wire mesh floor because there are too many fines among the shavings and they will get in your hive and ont e coms and floor, making a big mess. A piece of tightly stretched, all-cotton muslin is what i used and I'm very pleased with it. The bees loved to festoon down from it - and I occasionally indulged my self by tickling their toes from above. I wondered what they thoght of that.

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I got a little education yesterday on the need for these. We went with our mentor to steal some queen cells from one of "his" hives (the girls were not so convinced they were his to take).

That cold front that came thru a couple of days back gave us a day of rain followed by overnight freezing temperatures, and we popped this booming hive open to find a fair amount of condensation on the inside top cover. So this issue now has my attention. I expect I'll buy or build something before next winter.

Since we have blueberries, I expect the Master Gardener will appreciate the cedar chip idea.

I may have to put a few holes and corks in near the top so I can stick in an inspection camera to catch them shooting the breeze. I'll already have a microphone in there (gonna try making my own apidictor tech).
 

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I have used quilt boxes for nearly 5 years. They work great for me and our sometimes very snowy mountain environment. I have transitioned them to a hybrid Vivaldi board/top cover though. Sort of a vented roof with cedar chips in them.

Another item I have been building is a sort of wire screened feeder box I can load with dry sugar and cover up with wadded burlap or burlap pillows (filled with Cedar) on top for use as a quilt. Then in the spring, I pull the whole thing off and do not have to worry about scraping hardened sugar from frames. I do not have a name for these yet and I am about the only one I know using them.
 

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Gorilla tape or the aluminum HVAC tape to seal gaps. A nylon strap with a camlock to hold the hive down in the substantial wind we get here. The nylon strap/ camlock provide more clamping force than a bungee cord or rock and is quick to secure.
 
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