Building Hives vs. Buying Hives

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by blueblood, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Hive building is in full flurry in my workshop as of late. I sat down yesterday to crunch some numbers on building hives vs. buying hives. My conclusion? I can build twice as many hive bodies for the same price of buying hives. And, I can build 5 sets of solid bottom boards, inner covers and telescoping lids for the same price as buying 2 sets give or take a few dollars.

    SHIPPING is the devil in this equation and is absolutely redonkulous. If it weren't for that, I would order all my equipment. Even better, living close to a supplier for local pickup would make it more enticing. I am seeing $50 to $70 to ship wooden-ware with all major suppliers. Shipping is high even on small orders. I was going to order 5lbs of pollen patties from a well known supplier until I noticed the shipping was nearly two more dollars than the patties!!

    Frames are where they have me over the barrel. I would not ignore my labor/time making those. I will order them and bite my tongue when I pay shipping equal to the amount of frames/foundation :???:. I would like to try going completely foundation-less in the honey supers only on a couple of hives to see how things go. Maybe this will cut down on costs a little and benefit the bees by allowing them to build the comb as they see fit and reap some benefits from the natural process.

    The Conclusion? Until shipping rates and most likely fuel costs chill out, building everything but the frames is more cost effective....IMHO
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I buy band sawn rough lumber from a local small mill and that works out to a bit less than half price what I can get hive bodies from Mann Lake. Transportation is free to the border at Sault Ste. Marie Michigan but I have a 180 mile round trip and border crossing fees to pick it up. Good job I have a VW diesel! Shipping from Manitoba, like you say costs just about as much as the product. I make some and I buy some.

    I think once a person has lots of drawn out super frames he could get by with slippiing blank frames in between and the bees would draw them out. They certainly do it nicely in the brood boxes. You could still pre wire or use monofiliament in the frames and they build right into it seamlessly. I may try a few next summer for some cut comb honey just for a novelty. That is not such a big thing in Canada though as it seems in the US.

    Frames, like you say. I made a set of 60 deeps to be narrowed foundationless but I was three days at it including making some jigs. I know that it could be done much quicker if you geared up for it but I thrive on novelty not long repetitious runs so I doubt I will go back there. Maybe it is attention deficit disorder but I am not going to fight it! Lol~
     

  3. Ray

    Ray Member

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    I keep bragging about this:grin:.There is a local Amish that cuts woodware, he uses (sort of) local White pine. $10 for a deep and $0.70 a frame. Shipping; the gas it takes, for a 5 mile round trip :thumbsup:. I even get package bees from him, for the same price, that I would get from the supplier. His 'bulk' price covers the shipping.:thumbsup:
    I try to remember that; when I slam on my brakes, to keep from running over one of them #%^&# black buggies.

    Frank
    I know what you mean, the boredom gets replace by frustration, when you realize that you have been screwing up for the last half hour :shock::cry:. I do a very good Donald Duck Impersonation. I hope to out grow that:roll:
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Got bored last week and built 5 deep nucs and 28 migratory lids, now for the part i hate, painting them:roll:. Lids are made from 5/8" and 3/4" waverboard and 1"x2" CCA board lips for front and back of the lids. The only thing i bought for these was the metal (alum.) flashing, the rest was scrap boards given to me from 3 yrs. ago when they were building houses 2 miles down the road.:thumbsup: Some building is starting up again,hope to stock up on scrap again. I did have to buy the 1"x 12"'s (#4 lumber) for the nucs. Jack
     
  5. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Jack, I am not a big fan of painting either. Getting scrap lumber from construction is a great score. I plan on making some more tbh's with all the free scrap, desk, shelves and whatever else I can find.
     
  6. BoilerJim

    BoilerJim New Member

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    Dave, the woodworking portion of beekeeping gives me almost as much pleasure as harvesting honey. So unless buying hives became a lot cheaper than building OR I get behind real quick due to an enormous amount of free swarms then I will most likely keep making mine from scratch.

    I am with you on the frames though. Buying them pre-cut and then assembling them.

    I tried foundation less on a few last year in my supers but they blew apart when extracting. My fault though because I did not wire them at all. I will this year though. I think I will follow Omie's suggestion and use fishing string.
     
  7. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Me too Jim! I get a good cup of coffee and some music going and it's my happy place :grin:. Is the fishing line ran through the holes on the end pieces intended for pins?
     
  8. BoilerJim

    BoilerJim New Member

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    I "think" I read that in one of Omie's posting a while back. She claimed (If my memory is correct) that you did not need to use the metal hole protectors when using fishing line like you do when using wire. The nylon does not chew up the wooden frames. I am curious how "long" they will last though.
     
  9. BoilerJim

    BoilerJim New Member

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    I found Omie's post from yesterday:

    If the wooden side pieces of the frames have holes in them, you just take a long piece of fishing line and thread it through one hole, cross the frame diagonally, out through a hole in the other side, back in by another hole to complete the X across to the first side, then pull it a bit snug and tie the ends. No need for nails or pins. The bees build right around the lines, and it keeps the comb in place in hot weather."
     
  10. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I use a staple from of a hand stapler on the edge or the hole to keep the wire from cuting into the end bar causing the wire to loose it tightness.
     
  11. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Ah, thanks Apis, that is a good idea. Better than fighting the tightness while I try to tie it off.
     
  12. reidi_tim

    reidi_tim New Member

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    I went lazy this year, ordered from WT Kellley they are going to deliver it to me at the Audubon bee school. Had to many irons in the fire to try and make it myself and have it done on time. So dad and I will just assemble and paint again this year. The nice part about WT location is that they are about 2 hours from here and close to Rough River state park. So I can decide to hook up the camper on Friday and camp for the weekend and pick up supplies on Saturday.
     
  13. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I have to dig out my frame wire jig and take and post pictures. Has a foot peddle with cable pulley for bowing the end bars so when released the wire is guitar string tight.
     
  14. Yankee11

    Yankee11 New Member

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    I can build deeps for about 8 buck and mediums for under 4. Bottom boards, inner covers and top covers very cheap. Can use the scraps from ripping the Deep supers for much of the inner covers and bottom boards.

    As far as frames. I buy from Mann Lake. if you buy frames 100 at a time you get them for 79 cents each. Orders of 100 dollars get free shipping. Just ordered 200 medium frames and total bill bill was 158.00.

    So order 100 frames, 79 bucks then throw on 21 dollars of something you might need and get free shipping.
     
  15. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    I'm on the same track Yankee with using the rippings from the deep supers. I do the exact same thing. That is a pretty good deal on the frames. Did you order some foundation with those and if so, were they as good of a deal?
     
  16. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    https://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=ACLN They have weekly web specials and Bee Bucks bonus points that can be credited to purchases. Wax foundation will be shipped in winter weather only at your own risk. Last winter I had them hold my order and wait for a warm window. They called when they were about to ship to give my a heads up.
     
  17. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    This time give the poor man a brush bigger than the one you had him use last time, that looked like something Rembrandt would have used. :lol:
     
  18. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Frames I can pretty much make a ton of them from salvaged wood. So there is almost no cost in materials but get eaten up in labor. Only answer I know for that is make them in mass. Production work can reduce the cost or time of making them buy a huge degree. Work smarter nto harder for this one and you will see improvement.

    What soruces are you comparing to for cost of wooden ware. prices from suppliers are all over the place. Are you looking at lowest cost you found or mid price?
     
  19. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Daniel, my comparison was an average of Kelleys and Dadant. Do you have plans for the the frames? I figured If I ever attempted to make them, I would just copy the frames I have now. My favorite frames are N frames from Kelleys.
     
  20. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I know that member Ben's Bees here makes most of his own stuff, including frames.