I have been a bit busy this past seven days producing spare hives and hive parts that should take care of swarm management and perhaps possible expansion if a new apiary location presents itself. I started the process last year after acquiring a large amount of salvaged timber from a job I worked on. The timber is pine and some of it about 150 years old. It required a reasonable amount of work to get it ready for machining such as de-nailing, cutting to length, plaining and jointing to form the brood boxes. Also as the salvaged timber was not the perfect size and lengths it resulted in a good number of off cuts that went towards keeping me warm through the worst of the winter, nothing goes to waste.
Ok so what I have made from this wonderful timber is-
12 brood boxes
4 flat roves
2 gabled roves
370 top bars and bottom bars
190 brood side bars
120 super sidebars
As for the framed there’s a slight discrepancy as I have more top bars over side bars and ideally you want double the amount of side bars to top bars. You can look at this two ways. First it is much easier to machine side bars and requires smaller lengths of timber, very handy if you like to make your frames from salvaged timber so you machine as many top bars as you can and then later catch up with more side bars when needed. Or I got a bit carried away and miss calculated.
Either way miss calculated or cleaver strategy along with the frames I already have and ready to assemble, not forgetting old frames ready to clean, sterilise and reuse after recovering othe old wax I should have plenty of frames to keep going for a good few years. I am going to post about the sequences I go through to produce my foundationless frames very soon.
It’s not all been from salvaged timber as I have had to invest in mesh for the floors and still need to get some aluminium sheet for the rooves along with a couple of sheets of ply to make crown boards and finish the roves. I also have frames to make for wire queen excluders and they are fore another day.
The whole week has reminded me of the two and a half years where I turned my joinery and fine woodwork business into a full time hive manufacturer, The Beehive Workshop. It was a very nice time and loved meeting all the customers who bought hives from me. It was extremely hard work and very hard to keep myself competitive with the big boys. Time moved on and I closed my big workshop three years ago now so I could reduce all my expensive living costs and seek a much more relaxed simpler way of life and know it was the right thing to do. So just happy to make my own hives these days and make my beekeeping as self sufficient as possible.
ps managed to squeeze in three eating and a serving spoon along with a small coffee scoop