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03. The 'BRITISH NATIONAL' Beehive (Custom Bottoms).

Again, to recap:

typical_hive_2

      Open-Backed Eke & Open Mesh Floor

Here we have a typical open-backed eke which allows maximum ventilation from below without excessive draught. Each eke has a closure plate (not shown) which can be installed if gale-force winds are forecast, or when fumigating with Vapourised Oxalic Acid.

eke_in_use

 

Here the refuse plate is partly withdrawn, showing how easy it is to clean debris from beneath the brood boxes without disturbing the hive.

refuse_plate

 

This shows a newly constructed open-backed eke, prior to fitting with an Open Mesh Floor, made from pallet-wood.

eke_pallet_wood

 

Here we have an open-backed eke (shown upside-down) fitted with an experimental (low-cost) plastic windbreak mesh OMF.

plastic_omf

 

This experiment was NOT successful - it seems that bees do not like anything in their hive which is not hard to the touch, and which can then be chewed.

plastic_fail

 

And so that mesh was replaced by more expensive, but far more durable, steel mesh.

steel_mesh

 

And so onto hive stands ....

 

      Stands

As a six-foot four-inch beekeeper, I need single box hives to be positioned at a reasonably comfortable working height, and so this is how I made a handful of high-rise stands:

First, I cut a number of pallet stretchers in half to form legs, then selected a number of thickish (circa 25mm) pallet planks into appropriate lengths for tops and sides, then clamped a thin batten, centrally, at EXACTLY 90 degrees to one top plank, then clamped and later glued & screwed two legs at what appeared to be a suitable angle, measuring their ends out equally from the batten, to ensure that the two legs are splayed-out at equal angles.

stands_1

 

There is only a need to do this once, as the layout of those planks and their angles can then be transferred to a template of some kind - I used a sheet of plywood for this purpose.
By this method, a large number of leg 'pairs' can then be made very quickly - here are several pairs of legs - in pairs - all suitably 'glued and screwed':

stands_2

 

The side planks can then be added, working on the same template as before, so that the leg 'splay' is the same between the pairs of legs already made. And this is what results:

stands_3

 

And finally a lick of paint, leaving the protected inside surfaces unpainted, so that the wood may 'breathe' and expel any moisture penetrating past the paint layer:

stands_4

 

These are not the finest stands in the world, but they were simple, easy and quick to make, and their cost was only that of the glue, screws and paint - just a few pence.

 

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