Saturday, January 30, 2010

Putting it all together

Well my equipment has arrived in four big boxes. They are filled with all kinds of cut wood, oh my where do I begin? I separated all like parts, and then saw that it was going to be difficult to put 100 frames together by hand. 

So back to the internet to find something that could help me assemble them in a more orderly fashion. That is when I found this site  Look under down loads then Frame assembly Jig. What a great time saver and also some great Videos and pod casts about bees. After I had a friend build me the jig, my skills at carpentry are non existent. I started putting the frames together. The jig is very easy to use just slide the two removable boards in and place the frame sides in, ten will fit at one time. Place glue all around the area before you place the tops on. I used titebound III Premium wood clue. Then place the tops on and nail. I nail them straight down. Some people say you should nail it at a angle so they do not pull out. But that is why I am using glue, the nail is just to hold it tight the glue keeps them together.
 After you do the tops flip it over and do the same thing to the bottom. Pull the two boards out and the frames just fall out, start the next ten. In no time I was completed with all the frames. I will use 100% bees wax small cell foundation with wire and hooks. Check out this movie on putting foundation in your frames.

So now on to the boxes. When I purchased my boxes I wanted to use Cyprus commercial grade wood. All I could find at that time was butt Joint boxes. But now that I have read a little more about equipment I would look for Dove tail or Finger joints in  cyprus wood. 
I was only putting ten boxes together so I did not need a jig, just Screws, a battery powered screw gun, a square, and glue. Boxes went together fast just make sure they are square.
If I had it to do over I would of used white pine with Dove tail or Finger joints and put a good outdoor paint on them this would of saved some money and what I read, last just as long. I will try to use three medium or Illinois supers for the brood and the other two for honey. I might end up purchasing two more boxes for honey surplus for me a and the girls for the winter.

Putting the outer cover together was straight forward, just glue and screws It was made with tongue and grove joints . This outer telescoping cover protects hive parts from the weather. The top is normally covered with sheet metal to prevent weathering and leaking. I choose not to get one with metal because I thought it would make the hive like on over in the SC heat.

Now when it comes to the bottom board I wanted a screen bottom board and also wanted a Sticky board for Verroa Mites and a small hive beetle trap. I also wanted to be able to service these items from the back so not to disturb the girls that much. I could not find one for an eight frame hive so I ordered a screen bottom board and an extension kit. Screwed and glued them together.

 I am ready to bring on the bees? Just started looking for bees on the internet and asking questions on the bee forums. . when some one asked me what color I painted the hives. I said why paint I purchased that nice Cyprus wood that  can with stand all kinds of weather. To get the expected life out of the hive you should paint or stain the bodies ( All outside and cut ends ). So off to get some paint. I was trying to find the best outdoor paint I could find, you know I want these Hives to last a life time for what I have spent on them. But I could not decide on the color. Then my wife said let’s look at the return cart and were we lucky. We found three one quart cans of paint, cheep, off white. We asked the paint person what colors we could make out of this and they said what color do you want. I said bright pastels would be great. So he made a peach, powder blue, and yellow. Boy the bees are not going to miss these hives, They can see them a mile away.  Later on I found out that bees do not see colors like us, so whatever color you want to paint the hives is ok. I have heard don’t use red but not sure why. Lighter colors are best

Some of the local beekeepers use colors that blend into the back ground not for the bees. Because people will steal the hives when placed out for pollination. One guy in the local beekeeping association painted his camouflage and to this day he still cannot locate them. We have started to paint today. Well I should say my wife has started to paint. What a great job she does. I will post the pictures as soon as they dry.

I am glade I have the GPS location for these two hives. LOL..

Next I will be starting Bee class and I will give you the buzz on that, next time.

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