'The Pine Hive' - Advice please?

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I'd say top marks as a design project, full of interesting new ideas along with sensible compromises. Good idea to use existing standards where possible.

I don't think the current design will quite work in the field because of all the niggles that other people have already pointed out.

Pargyle in particular is very much worth listening to - his long journey from re-inventing the beehive towards using standard equipment with a few tweaks has been very well documented on the forum!

Yes .. A few years of bumping along on square wheels gives even the most ardent hive inventor piles ... Of ideas that lead you back to the standard 'box' ... It's a journey I've found valuable and there are still a few tweaks eddying around the old grey matter but. .... There's a lot to be said for conforming ! I never thought I would say that !!
Hive looks great but...

I think that your hive looks great, however as you have already heard it is not sufficiently practical to be successful.
I am sure that we all applaud you for the effort and imagination you have put into this project and hope that you are not too disheartened with the response

I would suggest that you start your foray into hive design by focusing on known problems and improving these areas.

If asked I would say my biggest gripes about hive design would be
Insulation in the winter
Woodpecker damage in the winter
Awkward for one person to carry, not much better for two
Entrance block design could be improved
Strapping down can be fiddly and occasionally fails (when in the car and it goes goes over a particularly big rut!)

You have already identified that they are expensive to buy, but the design is probably not the main problem. It is more the materials and labour element. Perhaps they could be built from something different? How about recycled tyres or maybe some other waste material. Lots of good reasons for exploring this and from a few of the comments you have made I suspect that might be close to your heart

Good luck!
This is all extremely helpful - I like the idea of applying myself to specific aspects of the hive rather than a completely new version. I feel that could bare more fruitful results! And I agree Pargyle, I've never been one to conform but sometimes it just makes sense :)

Thankyou jackstraw! Just thinking.. It might actually be a good idea to create a new thread which could specifically house design problems in relation to beekeeping. I'm sure everyone on here, be they designer/beekeeper or beekeeper/designer has encountered some unexpected issue that needs rethinking or reworking. That way if there are any budding designers looking for problems to solve that stumble across the thread, there would be a list of realistic issues for them to explore. I'm new here though, I'm not sure if it's needed/already been done. I'm guessing it has, just maybe not all in one place.
I really like the look of the hive and as something to add interest in a garden it would be a nive feature. But as from the many posts above you can see that there are a significant number of impracticalities with the design, both for beekeeping and water retention on the handles and roof.

If you remove the bevels on the box joins, (to allow sliding boxes, queen exlcuders, snellgrove boards etc) and make the box to take standard National frames, isn't it just a nice looking National hive.

When I was studying Engineering at University, there was a great tempation to try and re-invent the wheel with everything. You make modifications to an existing design and by the time you have worked out the practical issues you are mostly back to where you started. If you want to re-design a beehive you need something fundamentally different which has been tried and tested by experienced beekeepers that offers something unique.

I am not a fan of Top Bar Hives, Sun Hives, or BeeHaus, etc but they all have a Unique Selling Point and therefore have gained a foothold and following in the marketplace.

With your design of hive, you need to ask yourself "Why is someone going to buy this and not an off the shelf British National Beehive". If it is on a cost basis then poly hives are cheaper and will last longer, plywood hives are also cheap and can be made from FSC timber, and will last about the same as your pine hive.

Sorry to rain on your parade but you really need a USP to make your idea into something saleable.

Wow that looks good does it come in other colours

Awww ... Come on ... it's me ... Bent tin from Buy and Quick whilst it was on the 'nobody in their right mind would buy a can that dented and that big but it's very cheap' shelf.

Enough for every bee hive in the next ten years I reckon - might have to buy another small can of something to mark the hives in order not to confuse the bees ....
Or maybe a couple of these

Looks very similar to those on my boxes but I have two each end...Cant figure out the ones at the bottom........can only think that they're for when you tip the bees out.
Pine is the most usual outdoor wooden construction material in Finland.
it needs absolutely weather coating, and that is painting. To keep its natural color, it does not succeed outodoors. First the wood takes blue mold or black mold. Then the wood turns gray. Then wood swells in rain and shrinken in sun. It will be wracked and starts to rotten.

wall must be painted with light colors because dark color makes hive very hot in sun shining. Wood needs thin outdoor latex paint layer. Moisture pushes thick paint layer off.
I have tens of pine wood boxes. I made them 1966. They are now 48 y old.
Wood needs thin outdoor latex paint layer.

Now there's a thought for what I can use the tin of rubber roofing paint I have in my shed.
I think he covered that - he said that the indenting of the sides of the national boxes provides a "handle" i.e. an edge of wood to lift with. But it does look like you have to "drop" the boxes into one another rather than sliding them across - could squash a lot of poor bees.

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