Preliminary hive plans

First off, my blog’s look is still generic. I was hoping to make it prettier before I started making entries, but oh well. I know some HTML, but have to learn more about CSS before I can customize the template for my blog. If anyone is actually reading this, you will have to put up with the basic design until I get around to customizing it. I did some customization, and like the look now. Thank you to everyone who puts photos on Flickr under a Creative Commons license!

I have gone through a whole bunch of plans for how I want to build my top-bar hive . I have probably spent too much time fiddling. It gave me something to do this winter while I still didn’t have bees though. Now that the time for getting my bees is approaching, I have to finalize my plans and actually get the things built. (I pick up my two 3 lbs. packages April 21 from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm)

I am calling this model version 0.8 (its still in beta đŸ˜› ) Its not the simplest design, but I don’t mind a little more work in construction. Right now I only plan on making two, so having them a little more complicated is not a problem. I am sure some time in the future I will want to make more, but I assume by then I will want to make a bunch of changes to the design. I have tried to keep them reasonably economical though.

Some of the design aspects are for functional reasons, some for aesthetic purposes. I wanted a screened bottom (with removable board) for mite drops and ventilation. I originally wanted to keep my top-bars 19″ so they could fit in Langstroth hives, but gave that up so that I could have a larger volume. I like the Kenyan style sides (sloped) partly for function, but mostly for looks. The sloped roof has mixed reasons too (better looking and weathering). Amid all this, I wanted to be able to make my two hives using 1 sheet of 3/4 ” plywood, 1 sheet of panel board (4′ x 8′), and 2×4’s. The plywood would be the main body of the hive, the panel board for the roof and removable bottom board, and 2×4’s for the legs, frame of the roof, and top-bars (ripped and cut to size). In addition, the roof will be covered (wrapped) with aluminum flashing that I found in rolls 10′ x 20″. I found it in the roofing section and though it adds a little to the cost, its not to bad and I like it for good weather proofing of the roof.

I used Google Sketchup (free) to do the design, and once I finalize it I plan on putting the full design here (and possibly in their 3D warehouse). It was useful for planing it out, and has all the measurements for when I build it. I really liked to be able to make sure I liked how it all fit together and how it looked.

4 Responses to “Preliminary hive plans”

  1. Phil Chandler Says:

    Suggestion – make the legs detachable. It makes moving the hives around a lot easier. I achieved it by bolting legs onto the ends.

  2. kawayanan Says:

    I was planning on screwing the legs onto the ends. That could easily be replaced with bolts. I would only be worried about setting the hive on its “underbelly” since there is no bottom board. I will have to see how sturdy the side boards feel without a bottom to connect them.

    Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. Phil Chandler Says:

    IMO bolts are much better than screws, which can work out if the wood softens (it will!) and cause a hive to fall over – not a pretty sight.

    You can strengthen the joint between side boards and ends using aluminium brackets or square section timber.

  4. kawayanan Says:

    Thanks Phil. Its definitely better safe than sorry. Bolts to attach the legs is probably a better idea. I will have to look for some brackets the next time I go by the hardware store to see if I can find something that might help.

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