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BrentG

DIY Bee super

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Hi folks. I am a new hobbyist with one hive in central Auckland. I have been here a while but just fascinated to read  and learn before bursting into song.

 

Anyway. Does anyone DIY their own hive box's, either full or 3/4? If so, where do you buy your timber? I thought that surely I could make a simple frame box at less cost but If I buy from Bunnings and Mitre 10  the project is not worth the cost ?. I know it's easy to just buy a kit set but being able to make your own appeals to my kiwi culture (dumb as they may be). Appreciate any comments.

 

Thanks.

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Welcome along @BrentG, the boyz with expensive toys (but darling, sweetie, honey, it's essential workshop equipment) will be along soon. 

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You can always get cheap timber if you buy enough. Making 1 or 2 boxes is fun but not cost effective. Have A look at my videos. I did a series of about 6 videos on box making. Enjoy.

BTW when you can produce boxes for less than $10.00 including buying the timber. Let us know.  That is harder than making the boxes 

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You could always build up boxes out of free pallet wood.....make sure inside dimensions are spot on and it doesn't matter what the outside is like

eg with vertical battens to fabricate 240 widths out of pallet strips...some pallets are quite good quality Baltic pine...

Edited by yesbut

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38 minutes ago, BrentG said:

Anyway. Does anyone DIY their own hive box's,

used to including cutting the trees down, getting it milled etc.

however even when the trees are free, you can buy the timber cheaper.

for most of it you can buy kitsets cheaper.

if you happen to have all the wood working gear you could do it cheaper assuming you can find good timber and be able to store it well.

most of the guys that i know that do their own are usually using other types of timbers or their own personal designs that suits them.

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Thank you. Good vids Trev. I have seen all of them, and bulk buying I guess. pallets.. Good idea.

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1 hour ago, BrentG said:

pallets.. Good idea.

No. I don t use pallets. I can'tbe bothered with all the work involved with second hand timber. Just to time consuming to denail etc

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And another opinion? if you have the workshop space and the tools/machinery already accounted for in another hobby then you are already halfway there. Contact a local timber merchant and see what “industrial” or “box grade” 250x25 or 200x25 Kiln Dried Rough Sawn that they have. I have seen some really nice Box grade timber is only in the packet because of some minor appearance grade downfall and not structural like holes or big loose knots, or if you have a really good bandsaw buy 250x50 and center Rip it to recover two pieces from one board. 

Its all about reducing the amount of processing further up stream. If you can do that it will help keep the cost down.

and think outside the square too, there is plenty of useable timber getting thrown away or sold cheaply every day in the way of furniture.

when looking around keep in mind the lengths for each component of the box. If making Rabbet joints the box ends need to be 405mm long x 240 or 185mm high and the sides need to be 485mm long by the same height as the ends. Plan on needing 1.8m of timber per box. That allows for a small amount of docking waste.

if you don’t have the tools or the experience to make the handholds just go with a simple cleat screwed across the ends, it’s way quicker and easier to do and makes the boxes a whole heap easier to lift.

 

i hope you get to make some boxes from scratch it is quite rewarding to be able to keep bees in a hive you have made yourself.

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I made a top feeder (90mm) with Bunnings supplies and realized afterward I could have bought one for half the price..) But it was about the DIY thing. Im thinking i only need anther 4x supers for this summer for a split. Small scale backyard Auckland guy. Incidently ..With auckland temperatures do i really need a nuc split first in spring or just a 10 frame split? 

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6 minutes ago, BrentG said:

With auckland temperatures do i really need a nuc split first in spring or just a 10 frame split? 

I do neither. I  get through the swarm season by putting empty frames in the brood, keeps them busy..

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I have an still do frequently make everything for the hive including the frames. The main trouble I have is sourcing old-growth pine for making the boxes and usually these days I by thermawood  boxes because fast grown pine has no lasting ability. There are some very good boxes available out there but there is also a lot of satisfaction from making your own. We used to get a lot of timber offcuts from pallet making facilities and it was mostly cheaper than firewood but I haven't been able to source any for years.

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@BrentG, we always recomend at least one nuc box for each hive you hit spring with, if only to be able to catch and hive swarms, and for easier requeening. Totally agree with making first supers - made my first few with some douglass fir I had to prove I could, but like most, can't get the timber for what I buy them for. We buy flat pack as a group so you get a better price per box. Nuc boxes can be the wooden ends/coreflute rest, which are easy to make, and cost jack-zip, so are good for quarantining swarms from an unknown source. 

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2 hours ago, BrentG said:

I made a top feeder (90mm) with Bunnings supplies and realized afterward I could have bought one for half the price..) But it was about the DIY thing. Im thinking i only need anther 4x supers for this summer for a split. Small scale backyard Auckland guy. Incidently ..With auckland temperatures do i really need a nuc split first in spring or just a 10 frame split? 

Feeder rims and rims for making your own telescopic roofs and very cheaply made by using recycled pallets. Literally costing you the screws and glue and pick up a damaged pallet from the hardware store or business nearby. I see pallets stacked out on the roadside free to take away all the time.

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i've made bases, hive mats, rims, and lids from scrap/free timber. Supers i've never made from scratch - priced the timber and it made no sense. Started out buying a few pre-made, mostly get kitset now - once in a while a tempting, well made up box gets the better of me though

Edited by tommy dave

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all our frames are made from pallet timber, if you can get the real long ones all the better, and pipe surrounds are great, not many nails

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Occasionally you can get tropical  hardwood pallets .

They are very heavy and the timber is very durable .

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I used to have ideas and plans to make my own gear however I never got to the point of getting all the tools I need.

 

Anyway here is a tool some of you may find it useful: The pallet buster from AUS for AU$89+AU$10 for shipping

https://www.uopaint.com/products/pallet-buster

Edited by Kiwi Bee
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On 29/04/2018 at 3:43 PM, kevin moore said:

all our frames are made from pallet timber, if you can get the real long ones all the better, and pipe surrounds are great, not many nails

How do you go about making frames from pallets @kevin moore ? Im curious as i wouldnt mind giving it ago

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On 28/04/2018 at 7:53 PM, yesbut said:

You could always build up boxes out of free pallet wood.....make sure inside dimensions are spot on and it doesn't matter what the outside is like

eg with vertical battens to fabricate 240 widths out of pallet strips...some pallets are quite good quality Baltic pine...

as someone who had over dimension on the outside boxes, DONT GO THERE, it is a pain in the arse, lids, top feeders, excluders, hive matts, propolis matts etc are all the same size, that is what you should make your outside dimensions to, also the inside dimensions are just as important for proper frame spacing, that means go fine the right size thickness of timber or mill it down to that size, you will thank me later.

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On 23/06/2018 at 10:13 AM, Jaspur M said:

How do you go about making frames from pallets @kevin moore ? Im curious as i wouldnt mind giving it ago

Its easy to do, but you need a good saw for ripping, a cut off saw for docking all the large knots out, a router to cut the side bars to shape, and a drill or drill press for boring the holes in the side bars and alot of time to do all this, 

cutting top bars i think you are looking at something like 5 cuts though the saw, every cut you make though the saw is the last for that side, no planning needed,

side bars you are looking at 4 cuts i think it is, these are all just straight cuts, once this is done you can leave them as being finnished or you can put it though the router so it looks like a shop brought frame, and then when finnished bore a few holes in it,

bottom bars these are easy, most of the time you can make the bottom bars out of the left over bits from the top bars, the top bar i tend to have a sorts of size's as long as they hold the bottom of the frame together frame 

 

as above you do need to keep your dimensions in keeping with the bee space etc, at the  end of the day if you keep to the same size's as a brought frame your bees will still be happy,

 

i will try and put a few pics up for you over the next few days,

if your coming to blenhiem next month look us up, Garden Bees,

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Simplicity frames are simpler and easier to make and in my opinion better. The main trouble with making frames or anything else out of pallets is that even if you don't hit a nail you will almost certainly hit the odd stone embedded in the wood. Saws and planar blades are expensive. Sometimes you can get offcuts from pallet making and these are generally clean and very suitable for frame making

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On 23/06/2018 at 10:13 AM, Jaspur M said:

How do you go about making frames from pallets @kevin moore ? Im curious as i wouldnt mind giving it ago

just had a thought, and i see it is still on you tube, danser put on a video on how to make simplicity frames," look it up", this is where i got the idea from for making them, over the past four years of making these i think i have only broken about 5-6 they are quite strong, hope this helps

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2 hours ago, kevin moore said:

just had a thought, and i see it is still on you tube, danser put on a video on how to make simplicity frames," look it up", this is where i got the idea from for making them, over the past four years of making these i think i have only broken about 5-6 they are quite strong, hope this helps

I made a video about them back in 2013. The dimensions and info I gleaned from @john berry

 

https://youtu.be/L7YnmPb_gRA

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On 28/04/2018 at 7:53 PM, yesbut said:

You could always build up boxes out of free pallet wood.....make sure inside dimensions are spot on and it doesn't matter what the outside is like

eg with vertical battens to fabricate 240 widths out of pallet strips...some pallets are quite good quality Baltic pine...

 

If using pallet timer for anything, look out for the heat treated ones (stamped ‘HT’ from memory). Those are presumably less toxic than the insecticide treated ones. Some are some kind of hardwood, which is depressing, but helpful for compost bin construction.

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3 hours ago, cBank said:

 

If using pallet timer for anything, look out for the heat treated ones (stamped ‘HT’ from memory). Those are presumably less toxic than the insecticide treated ones. Some are some kind of hardwood, which is depressing, but helpful for compost bin construction.

HT means the pallets or timber have been in a heat chamber to kill any wood boring insects that may be inside the timber. Nothing special about them. Almost all pallets are untreated.

sometimes you’ll see a stamp that has DB HT XXX. That means the timber was de barked and heat treated.

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