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Watertight hive joints

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rbaz 

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I have just built my first hive and have it empty in the garden to weather in a little and to test its watertight.
In between the 2 supers it has let a little rain run along and down the inside edge of the hive. I could sand the 2 surfaces a little to make a better fit but in time this will probably move as the wood ages.
Is there a technique used to seal these joints? I was thinking of putting a trim on one edge of each box to keep the water/wind out but I dont know if this will cause problems getting the boxes apart later as it will not be as easy to get the hive tool between them. Will also make the hive walls perfectly square at all times and and more secure.

What do you use?
 

Leigh 

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I use bees!

You'll find they do a pretty good job of sealing the edges with propolis. I believe some of the european hives have rims - presumably the disadvantage of these is that they are extra difficult to prise apart once the bees have propolised them.

All you can do is make as good a vertical fit as you can (so that there isn't a protruding horizontal surface for the water to sit on and ingress) and stack carefully.
 

rbaz 

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I use bees!

You'll find they do a pretty good job of sealing the edges with propolis. I believe some of the european hives have rims - presumably the disadvantage of these is that they are extra difficult to prise apart once the bees have propolised them.

All you can do is make as good a vertical fit as you can (so that there isn't a protruding horizontal surface for the water to sit on and ingress) and stack carefully.
I did think they would but thought it may be a little counter productive.
 

oliver90owner 

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Over winter I have made sure hive parts are pulled together tightly with a ratchet strap (ratchet under the roof). Not usually a real problem unless hive parts are pulled apart after the bees are clustered (see Leigh's response),

Regards, RAB
 

madasafish 

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Not a problem with a TBH I am glad to say... :)
 
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If bees built caravans they would be more watertight than the caravan manufacturers make them..
 

Adam 

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I find that a small amount of water does run into the rebate above the ends of the bars when you have supers on, although over time it gets propolised up. During spring inspections, which are weekly (hence breaking the propolis), you do occasionally find water in there.

but... thats in the summer. During the winter (when it's also cold) you wouldn't want water in so either A) you let the bees propolise it up, or better still, have not gap by having no exposed seam. That's easy if you are single brood (or 14 x 12) but difficult if you are brood and a half or double brood.

Thats a reason I don't like double brood - the gap half way up - although they will propolise it up. At least on brood and a half you can use an extra deep lid.

Adam
 

madasafish 

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Gaffer tape is the solution..

(to most things)..
 

Rosti 

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ratshit, sorry spelling again, ratchet, on reflection, both probably work.
 

MuswellMetro 

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yes ,ratchet them tight down and let the bees seal them,

i use 99p ratchect straps from Lidl, cheap enough to throw away

( and even if they dont last more than a year so what, i can never find them in my shed when i need them in autumn anway)
 

madasafish 

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lol
sorry for stealing half your punchline...
 
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Slap a pile of vaseline around the joins...should keep the earwigs out as well.
 

rbaz 

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Propolis.

Maybe there's a case for you seeing a working beehive or at least reading a beekeeping book.
Thanks again for your encouragement. Us newbees would be lost without the help and advice of people like you :cheers2:

I understood the bees would fill any gaps but if I could seal them first surely that would be better?
 

MuswellMetro 

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Thanks again for your encouragement. Us newbees would be lost without the help and advice of people like you :cheers2:

I understood the bees would fill any gaps but if I could seal them first surely that would be better?
by the time you have prized off a queen excluder with your hive tool a few times ( especially if it is a cheap one) the seals on you brood you have now will look perfect compared with a year old soft cedar hive

a
 

rbaz 

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by the time you have prized off a queen excluder with your hive tool a few times ( especially if it is a cheap one) the seals on you brood you have now will look perfect compared with a year old soft cedar hive

a
Good point and thanks for all the ideas guys.
Maybe a trim around the bottom of the box to cover the joint/align them then put a wedge on each side of the lower box to prize the two apart if needed? Not damage the seal then.
 
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