We made it all from scratch, excepting the metal work.
We could easily add ventilation to the roof but it wasn't clear from what I had read if we needed it as we have a open mesh floor providing ventilation from the bottom. Some of what I read seemed to maybe imply this.
I have seen plans for several forms of ventilation in the roof. Considering the open floor mesh what type of ventilation, if any, would people recommend in the roof?
The crown board, however, does not. The crownboard could even have a layer of insulation over it at all times; it would make little odds. Some may even advocate it all the year round. Mine stays on until May and some all the year. I consider it a wise investment for the winter months.
Likewise, the entrance slot could have been made one bee width. It would not make one jot of difference, except perhaps of reducing visibility into the hive entrance in the winter months! That is just another of the design changes that have not been incorporated since the advent of the OMF, and, of course, the reduced wooden lathe above the floor material might be a bit too thin for the duty.
Looks like a competent job well done. Easy isn't it?
Not quite sure what the board(?) is over the brood box - presumably a queen excluder? Most lay the metal slot type directly on the tops of the frames and it can be peeled off when needed. So is yours a wire version?
I always scew the side lathes from the inside - less places for water to enter the woodwork and no corrosion points. Not a big criticism, just a small suggestion.
At the moment it is 22mm? If the entrance were only a bee space wide, that is all the cover would be around the rest of the floor (between floor mesh and brood box). 8 mm thick (or thin!) might not be robust enough.
It all looks very good. OK, the next one(s) will be easy! The first is always that much more difficult.
You now need to make at least two more! I always advocate two colonies minimum, if possible, to make the beekeeping that much easier, and then you will need more kit, for swarm control, eventually.
Don't believe anyone who says they keep bees with just the one hive only. Just not true (unless they have a Dartington or similar), unless they take drastic measures to prevent swarms, use shoe boxes to hive swarms, or just let them loose (neither efficient nor (possibly) socially acceptable these days! Spring cleaning is easier too.
We are lucky enough that we share a garden with a neighbor that also wants to take up beekeeping. He is sourcing one hive and us another. But with your advice and some reading if seems like a 3rd hive might be a good idea incase of swarming.
Maybe a national with top bee space? My wife ,(and me to be honest), is quite keen on the looks of a WBC. Anyone ever hear of folks making a pretty WBC like cover for a national?
Is this a trick of the light ? or does the timber have a green tinge?, if so make sure that it isn't tannalised. If it is give it a spot of weathering before introducing bees!
Having said that, I believe copper is one of the ingredients of the tannalising fluid and has been advocated as a varroa treatment in the past (although outlawed pdq!).
The hives look the part, well finished ,hopefully the dimensions are accurate although anyone finishing to those standards will be aware of the importance of the "bee space" .
Well done on what looks like a well made hive.
It has being mentioned on this forum in the past
that a national hive can actually fit inside the lifts of
a WBC hive so go for it the WBC hive in a garden looks great.
WBC? Well, yes, as Tom says. However the classic tapered lifts which are, IMO, better looking than some of the 'vertical' offerings, are a little more complex to build - especially for a beginner. But looking at your first attempt it should be no more than a 'good challenge' for you!
Very good Phill a very nice need job, as a newy here I have looked and looked about ventilation in the roof, the more I read and look the more confused I become, how about the roofing material, galvenised sheet is quite good and cheap but does it cook the bees in summer, the temperature must rise considerably inside the hive. Have started by making my hives out of WPB 18mm ply, national's just like yours, have made 1 roof so far and is there a trick to bending the steel, have cut the corners and soldered them, does anybody else bother with this or just nail it on?
I must say I am really glad to have found this forum, so much info to read my better half thinks I have a mistress in the office .