Gaps between supers

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by clinch, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. clinch

    clinch New Member

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    Hello everyone. I have finished assembling my hive bodies/supers and I stacked them all up in my house to see how they look. I'm noticing some gaps between a couple of them, and I'm wondering what's an acceptable gap size? I believe it's due to the fact that the boxes are not completely flat on the bottoms and tops.

    I know that the bees will fill small gaps with propolis but the largest gap on one side is 1/8" and it seems like it would be big enough for ants or cold air in. Will this be a problem?
     
  2. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    The bees can use propolis to fill 1/8 in crack, biggest problem is yours trying, too
    get them apart.
    Set the box on flat surface, add as much weight to it as you can, leave. As long as you can.
    One other thing, you didn't put one side inside out ? EVERY one has done this at least once, " Darn manufacturer did'nt put handles on this side !

    The bees can Handle most all our mistakes.

    Murrell
     

  3. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I see gaps in my boxs also,I am getting the comerical grade and it is not because of wrap but some not ran through the saw square, the amount is not more than 1/8 though, oh and the gape is not the hole lenght of the box. I may go up one grade to see if this is only on the grade I am buying.

    kebee
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I used to be concerned with some of these gaps, even going so far as to run a hand plane to try and get things perfect until I discovered something ..................................................nothing is ever perfect. :lol: By doing that I simply transferred the problem to the next edge of the box! :shock:
    In my opinion an 1/8" gap will provide a bit of airflow if they need it and they will close it up if they don't. As long as bees can't get through there is no harm.
     
  5. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Just consider the gaps to be "hive tool slots"...but don't let the sellers know or they'll charge more for this undocumented feature. ;)

    Ed
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :lol: :rolling: :thumbsup:
     
  7. clinch

    clinch New Member

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    Thanks everyone! I appreciate the advice. I did notice something after examining the problem and moving the supers around. I experimented by purchasing 2 supers that have rabbet joints rather than the standard finger joints. It's the rabbet jointed boxes that are causing problems. They were cheaper by about $5 a box, and now I know why. Lesson learned.
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    I would say that there is definitely more room for "operator error" in assembling rabbet jointed boxes. That is all that I have put together. I purchased mine from Rossman in Georgia and it seems to be very good woodenware. With rabbets you don't have the guidance of the finger-jointed boxes. If the sides of the rabbeted boxes are nailed on "square" they should be as "square" as finger jointed boxes. But (and I have evidence of this!:|) if you don't get the sides square with each other then you're going to have a "rocking" box with gaps. Similarly, if fingers are "off" a grunt, then you can have problem there, too. Naturally "crooked cut" wood just ain't gonna be straight...regardless of joints.

    Out of 16 mediums and 4 deeps that I've assembled I'm only really dissatisfied with 1 of them so far...and I think that was from my assembling it...I'll pay more attention on the next ones! I really don't have a smooth, level work surface to work on and have considered getting a thick piece of glass to stack the newly assembled boxes on with a weight on top of them. What Murrell said makes good sense to me.

    But, I'm just a rank newbee so I'm just stumbling along here... :)

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    The bees really don't care one way or the other. Some of my boxes the corners are rotten and in the summer they get used as an upper entrance and if they don't seal it up in the winter I just slap a piece of duct tap on it to keep cold winter winds out.
     
  10. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    So you turned your deeps into mediums... ...what's wrong with that?

    I have to complain a bit though, my back still aches a bit from sitting over the breakfast table this morning that I made a couple of years ago.
    :rolling:


    The gaps are often from a bit of warping in the planks. If you stack and weight them, you might think to wet down the worst of them to help the wood move a bit. Keep them under pressure until dry and you should be good to go.
     
  11. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    I'm a pretty good carpenter and just made some boxes. One is a bit twisted and has about a 1/8 " gap. Trying to correct it by sanding or planeing only adds to the problem as it just passes it on to the next box above unless it's the top box. I just put some 3/4" x 1/4" foam gap tape and forgot about it. Caulking will make it difficult to separate at a later date.
     
  12. vermillion

    vermillion New Member

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    It its big enough the SHB will go in there. I watched them do it. I hate those little buggers. Its amazing how small a space they can get in.
     
  13. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Perry, I was laughing before I finished your reply, ha! I did the same thing! I helped relieve this somewhat the second batch I made by paying attention to the crown of each board to keep them with the crown up. However, I started laying the sections down and forgot which way I had the crown...I had to shake hands with it....It's good to know many of you were not concerned with it after all...:grin:
     
  14. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    you gave the 1/8 inch more worry than 60,000 bees did put together...lol...everything being not perfect is in itself perfect....what a boring life it would be if everything fit just the way it was supposed to an never made us think....hive tool slot...i love it
     
  15. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Hey, out of the 16 mediums I put together in my Phase I beekeeping odysey I had two that "rocked" pretty bad when placed on a flat surface. What I found, though, was that they nestled together quiet nicely without hardly a gap between them.

    I'm now on the lookout for a top and bottom board that has the same warp! :thumbsup: :Dancing:

    Ed
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sadly... the trees the bees use to live in were not perfect either and typically totally unsquare and unplumb.
     
  17. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Next thing you're gonna tell us is something crazy like they didn't have sticky boards or something!!!
     
  18. mrbee

    mrbee New Member

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    Haha. I'll have to take a picture of some of our hives. We use boxes that are older than me. (I'm 29 btw) Masking and duct tape works wonders. A little gap in the boxes never hurts much. Allows for more ventilation during the honey flow to keep down moisture content in the honey and hive cooling ;-)
     
  19. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Revisiting this thread... I picked up 12 8-frame medium supers up at the Auburn Bee Symposium and they've been sitting in the box since.

    Yesterday evening before church I decided to put a few together...ended up gluing/nailing three together. One of those 'slap some glue on, flush two edges up, knock'em to gether, and check diagonals' sessions. I propped them up on a corner and headed to church. I check'em this morning and out of those three boxes I've got two *good* rockers. :( One of them to the tune of 3/8"....they won't glue it and they won't fill it with comb so i guess it's an entrance.:roll:

    Well, this got me curious as to what was going on. I started measuring pieces. Seems that a 6-5/8" wide piece of wood isn't always 6-5/8"....it might be 6-9/16" or 6-11/16" or <gulp> even 6-1/2". :ranting:

    I know 1/8" don't seem like much but...it sure made a difference on those two boxes...I think. After seeing this problem I measured the rest of the pieces in that carton and found a few pieces that were "out" as far as 1/8". I went through the rest of that carton and matched up pieces so now I know that pieces for each box that I'm starting to assemble will be pretty close to the same width. These are rabbeted boxes...I've only bought from one supplier (and they only do rabbet joints) but I may look at other suppliers and try some box joints. It seems like the difference in width shouldn't cause the "warp", though...it seems like that would simply leave a consistent gap along the edge. :confused: But, I'm definitely no woodworker!!!

    I'm going to put a few more together this evening but I'm going slow and careful.

    It's probably all got to do with operator problems... :grin: But, I sure would like some un-rocking boxes! :|

    Here's a shot of the boxes. Top two are really warped but nestle nicely together. :roll: The bottom box is pretty much square... Ed

    [​IMG]
     
  20. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    nice looking wood.... nice looking job... mine never look that good.

    I never have much appreciated the cut in hand holds... grumble, grumble, grumble. I have gone to cleats on the ends.

    ps... put a cinder block on the top cover when you place on that gappy super and I bet most of that gap disappears.