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Since all the commercial hives I have seen seem to rely on a rock on the lid to hold the lot together, do I need to bother with Emlock straps or anything for my hives? I have yet to see a commercial hive with straps on the,

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Only if you think they might be impacted by rampant schoolboys or other animals.

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5 minutes ago, Markypoo said:

Since all the commercial hives I have seen seem to rely on a rock on the lid to hold the lot together, do I need to bother with Emlock straps or anything for my hives? I have yet to see a commercial hive with straps on the,

The question I have learnt to ask is why?

I do and don’t strap my hives...

 

I was greatful for strapping one of the hives. After a storm I discovered it was knocked over by a fallen bough. 

It was quickly rectified, without too many ansy bees 

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I remember thinking during the Kaikoura Earthquake  " I wish those Emlock Straps were on the hives"

Fortunately not needed- for my hives anyway.

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We strap all our hives. Black strapping tape, the thin not the thick stuff & a packing strap thingamee. It usually makes the situation a lot more manageable as I’ve seen hives reduced to firewood by stroppy bulls. Picked 4 of Dale’s up yesterday cos of stroppy freisan bulls. The shepherdess rang us and they must have only just gone down. Dale picked another couple from the same yard again this morning! Bull have now gone out of paddock! We’ll be putting an electric tape up before they go back in next time. 

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i strap all mine as well using the same method as bron. At least if they fall over they stay together.

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all our hives get a strap of some kind, after having several tipped over by wind, cattle a few years back, as big hands said "at least they stay together" 

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Strapping your hives nice and tight means a simple job of standing them up next visit..

in this case the bulls broke into this paddock unknown to the farmer. 

A rock on a lid has a fairly different outcome.. 

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straps are a bit like an insurance policy, except it's a one-off cost.

if you can think of any downsides to straps then list them, and balance that against the $8 (?) cost of an emlock strap and the cost/inconvenience of a fallen over hive with all the boxes separated.

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@Stoney, I like your side handles on the boxes too. 

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strapping straps.  We bit the bullet a few years ago and bought a whole heap of Aerofast webbing ratchet straps.  I can now sleep easy during a howling Nor'Wster. I do notice though that after five years some are starting to fade and rot. By comparison, we bought hives from a respected Ashburton Beeman a few years ago and all his hives were strapped with home made steel hooks and seatbelt webbing. The webbing must be ten years old plus and still as strong as.

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13 hours ago, jamesc said:

 we bought hives from a respected Ashburton Beeman a few years ago and all his hives were strapped with home made steel hooks and seatbelt webbing. The webbing must be ten years old plus and still as strong as.

good call re the seatbelt webbing, bet that's fairly cheap from the wreckers. That respected beeman sounds well onto it. Thanks for the suggestion!

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Spring, chain and hook is just as effective as strapping and about 100 times quicker. That and four-way pallets would be the greatest advance of beekeeping in my lifetime.
I've never been that keen on change and takes something pretty spectacularly good to alter what I've been doing for years. I'll admit it took me a while to get used to pallets but the spring and chain with a hook on the lid was such an amazing advance over anything else I've ever used that I changed every hive over in one winter.
Hives on single floors that are protected from stock and properly levelled don't really need anything unless they are exposed to considerable wind and in that case a large rock is both effective and decorative but won't help much with that occasional hive destroyer the earthquake.
Any string, strap or tiedown can and eventually will get tangled around your foot and tripping over while carrying a box of honey is not one of life's little joys.
 

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I use emlocks on everything - when I work a pallet of hives, the emlock is undone and dropped in front of the hives.  I never walk in front (doorway) of the hives, so as long as the straps are in front, I never trip over them. I don’t run hot wires around any hives, each winter I get maybe 2 instances where steers have kept at them long enough to pop a strap and tip a couple hives. But for ease of use, low cost, no hot wires to manage and little issue with hives being knocked over, I’m more than happy with the system.

 

for nucs or single hives for sale I stick a rock on top - however even sheep will knock a reasonable rock off a single hive in winter.

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