Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Medium Boxes

One of my favorite things about beekeeping is all the time in the workshop during the off season.  Everything slows down and we can plan for the next year.  After which i get to build the shiny new equipment.

Two of four unfinished Brood & Honey boxes for 2013
I got an early start to the off season and built four of these today; ten frame mediums.  Southern yellow pine is less dense and likes to split at the ends when screws are snugged down.  Spruce, used above, is light but sturdy and doesn't regularly split.  The local home improvement store carries both including white pine and occasionally fir.

Spruce can be more knotty but the knots weep less than the knots of yellow pine. Plus, a coating of beeswax & paraffin on the inside of a knot keeps hive moisture from seeping in it.  Then one coat of quality primer followed by two coats of a decent top-coat semi gloss paint.  The box can last as long as a human house. 

Tight bond III glue and 2" decking screws keep it all together.  Since i use butt joints each 6' of board becomes one box.  I buy 12' x 8" boards, which are very cheap, and get two boxes out of it.  That way the homemade boxes are cheaper than the cheapest box i can get from any supplier.  The cheap boxes from the suppliers are much lower in quality too.

For finishing touches the frame rests are armored with an "L" shaped strip of regular flashing.  At 1" in width it protect the rest from getting gouged out over time.

I wish the bees were as simple to keep as these are simple to make.


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