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aberreef 

Field Bee
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I'll be making some more hives over the next few months ready for next spring.

My question is what materials to use. Ply seems the cheap, easy option but is there anty reason not to use it?

If ply is no good can anyone suggest a good supplier of cedar?

Thanks in advance

Huw
 

Black Comb 

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Ply is heavy, especially when the box is filled with bees or honey>
It won't last as long as cedar.

Somewhere on here there is a thread about sources of cedar.

Not cheap unless you buy a lot.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Ply is heavy, especially when the box is filled with bees or honey>
It won't last as long as cedar.

Somewhere on here there is a thread about sources of cedar.

Not cheap unless you buy a lot.
my "artificial swarm Hive" cost me a £5 for glue and nails, standard national plus eke plus 2 supers, floor (+£7 for Galv mesh though could have been solid flor)

it is made of recovered 19mm thick pine floor boards, nail holes ripped down and then glue to form wider planks, the bees are only in there in my garden (3miles) for a month before i recombine
 
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kazmcc 

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You are so clever Muswell, me and the guy who is looking after the bees with me were talking about how much it would cost us to start up with our own bees ( instead of them being the schools ) we were talking about how hard it might be to build the hive instead of buy it. I certainly am on a very low budget being a single mum. Maybe one day we'll be able to do this type of thing ourselves. More experience I think...I want to run before I can walk lol
 

susbees 

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You are so clever Muswell, me and the guy who is looking after the bees with me were talking about how much it would cost us to start up with our own bees ( instead of them being the schools ) we were talking about how hard it might be to build the hive instead of buy it. I certainly am on a very low budget being a single mum. Maybe one day we'll be able to do this type of thing ourselves. More experience I think...I want to run before I can walk lol
Horizontal top bar hive....for not much more than the price of just a brood box. Sorted ;). And you only need basic hand tools.
 

madasafish 

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I have just built a TBH using pallets for £10 - the cost of mesh, roof, screws and glue .
 
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Dartmoor edge, uk
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5...2 wooden National, 2 poly Nat & 1 poly nuc...bursting at the seams
Problem is you have to be a bit handy, which I am...NOT! Hubby tried to make me a nuc. box - but I think if I used it, the bees would be helping me to drive - I did point out that they didn't need windows...but he didn't get the hint!

Kazmcc - enjoy the bees you have for now - maybe go along to your assoc. to make your face and desire known and someone may help you out.

OR do what I did, I registered on Freecycle and asked if anyone had any beekeeping equipment that they didn't want. I got two full WBC hives, enough parts to make 1/2 a third, and boxes & boxes of unmade up frames (including wax - which wasn't usable) and odd gadgets. Might be worth a try. It takes alot of work to get the hives clean and safe for new bees but it was the only way I could afford to do it too.
 

Nik 

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I have just ordered a full hive from a large supplier, it is a slight second (but don't tell the bees) but at around £120 delivered including floor, brood box, QE, 2 supers crownboard, roof and enough frames and foundation to fill it I decided I couldn't even buy the wood for that price. I can and have made hives in the past and will probably do it again in the future but at these prices it is hard to justify.
 

madasafish 

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I just go round to our local industrial estate: lots of pallets being broken - and surplus wood.

Of course, some of it is pretty warped.and split or dirty so it's not all plain sailing and you need to be able to glue planks together.

On the other hand I obtained 10 metres of 8" x1" planed timber.. A few splits and woodworm holes and filthy but try buying that ....

I have a 33year old Workmate, a jig saw, a circular saw and hand tools....Nothing else...
 

jimbeekeeper 

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Scaffold boards are better for a TBH, but need ripping down and then joining together to make the correct board width....thats as far as I have got with my TBH project, and supect will not progress any more.

But get the untreated ones. Scaffold compnaies will most likley give a few of their old ones
 

Stiffy 

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Ply is fine if you are fit enough to take the supers off because when full they are heavy.
You can buy good quality 18mm exterior ply for about £30 a sheet so a complete hive wouldn’t cost a great deal more by the time you have added all the bits and bobs.

But and this is a big but you have to make sure that all measurements are good and edges square or you will be in serious trouble........not that I found out the hard way!
Oh and woody woodpecker doesn’t like them at all
 

wannaBkeeper 

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But and this is a big but you have to make sure that all measurements are good and edges square or you will be in serious trouble........not that I found out the hard way!
Oh and woody woodpecker doesn’t like them at all
In the picture below, the hive on the right was bought from Beechwood bees, the top bee space was too big and the girls built comb with stores from the top of the frames to the crown board. It was a nightmare every time i inspected the hive.

The hive on the left i built myself from 18mm ply using the ply plans i found on this forum, this hive has no problems at all.

The ply brood box on the table i built Last sunday whilst the weather was too windy to inspect the hives.

You never know if you don't have a go:smash:

Dave

View attachment 2143
 

admin 

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Well done WannaB,I made a few box's from those plans last year.
 

Brosville 

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so far, for a total outlay of around £150 I have 4 colonies of bees, 3 top bar hives, a bait hive, a Warré hive, smoker, veil, boiler suit etc...... (all I need)....:cheers2:

(And no woodworking experience to speak of.......if I can do it, so can anybody!)
 

aberreef 

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Thanks for all the replies and appologies for not taking part in my own thread:leaving:

My TBH is a self build but cost me about £100 due to making it look pretty with wood flooring. I'll post some pics if I ever sort my camera out.

Heavy shouldn't be too much of a problem for me so I'll have a go with some ply I think. I'll make some hives and nuc boxes in national and TBH designs so I can perform AS on both hives easily if needed.

There's a load of pallets on the industrial estate where the station is so I may look at aquiring a few of these. Hives for free:p
 

kazmcc 

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I think I'll stick with what i've got for now, and maybe try and collect from generous bee keepers for the future. Maybe when I know a bit more about hives, their types, etc, I will give it a go myself :)

I have already put a request on freecycle...not holding my breath though. Did a search for bee keeping on there and came back blank. I might drop a few hints with Paul ;) he should know where to get any freebies (free-bees, get it?) groan ;)

Love the hive pics. Wannabe, lovely garden. My garden is a tiny bit smaller, and totally overgrown. Must try and do something with it. I would keep mine on an allotment though as I live on an estate with a drug dealer next door....you can't have anything around here :(
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
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8x Langstroth, a few Lang nucs,1x TBH, and about 17 mating mini nucs
picture 1 shows on the left my pallet TBH. On the right, body made from new wood (roof was reclamied bedhead).

Picture 2 shows part complete mini TBH entirely pallets...
 

Finman 

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A month ago i made one box from 20mm plywood. It is afully unpractical.
First, it is heavy like a stone.
Next, the material is not good for cleaning with torch. Awfull to back.
 

justme 

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I just go round to our local industrial estate: lots of pallets being broken - and surplus wood.

Of course, some of it is pretty warped.and split or dirty so it's not all plain sailing and you need to be able to glue planks together.

On the other hand I obtained 10 metres of 8" x1" planed timber.. A few splits and woodworm holes and filthy but try buying that ....

I have a 33year old Workmate, a jig saw, a circular saw and hand tools....Nothing else...
Hi. Im the same as far as tools go, but iv made 3 omf floors, 2 rooves so far, 3 crown boards and 2 boxes + 1 nuc bnx. Mainly out of pallets n odd bits. Got fatherinlaw to cut wood for side bitsfor 4 bnxes out of 190mm x 44 x 3.5m of dotglas fir that came from a local sawmill n cost less than a tenner. Di. 45 yo not woodworker:.)
 

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