Innovation Never Ends

And everything in between

Boring Boxes. Langstroth style hive boxes are pretty standard. The only differences are the way the corners are built and assembled, or the wood species used. Since bee suppliers sell unfinished boxes, the finish color and any creative designs are the responsiblity of the beekeeper. Slatted Rack. I use a slatted rack on all hives. I build them pretty standard, except that I use the same species of wood as I am using for the boxes, base and roof. Rain Shields. When a hurricane passed over, I was concerned for the bees. The hives were strapped down, but the rain was puddling on the entrance and some guard bees had drowned. I immediately went to the shop and constructed a shield to protect the entrance during heavy or blowing rain. The striped piece pictured to the right, attaches to the hive via some small clasps and is easily removed. Slatted Shim. This new idea resulted from a series of steps to create necessary pieces. I built quilt boxes one fall that were about the height of a shallow but with slats built into the bottom. I also built some shims for use when treating the hive. The next year, I ended up cutting the quilt boxes up to create additional shims leaving the slatted portion which was similar to what you see to the right. Now I build the slatted shim specifically. This one component can serve three different purposes. It still works as a shim and simply lifts the treatment off the top of the frames to the slats. It can be used to support multiple types of feeding uses, such as mason jars or zip loc bags. In the winter, cover the slats with #8 wire, add a shallow or medium on top, and you have a quilt box. Rough Sawn Lumber. The way red cedar is readily available in this area is in rough sawn boards. It is a full inch thick and must be planed to create ¾” boards and smooth surfaces. But this also gives the opportunity to leave one rough sawn face in the interior for the bees, very much like they would have in the hollow of a tree. Some people believe that bees prefer that and will add propolis to this rough surface, increasing the hygenic benefits propolis adds to a hive. It also allows for the option to use the rough sawn finish on the outer surface of other components, as you can see on the cedar barn roof above. This gives it extra character and authenticity. Eastern red cedar is the same material used to line closets and chests to keep out moths and moth larvae. While it might help disuade wax moths from a strong hive, evidence shows it won’t keep them completely out if a hive weakens and cannot keep it policed.
What do you want in your back yard?