Light a wad of newspaper, put it in the smoker, start pumping the bellows while stuffing in pine needles, keep pumping while adding smoker chips, keep pumping til the smoke is rolling out, then put the top on. Ok, that's the hard way, now I just use a mini torch and forget the newspaper.
Foundationless frame between two drawn foundation frames. The bees are hanging it just perfectly.
To make beehives, you need wood. A Granberg Alaskan chain saw mill attached to my old 55c McCulloch saw with a 28" bar and a narrow ripping chain.
We had some dead Monterey pine.
Sticker dried and ready to make some beehives.
Print finger joint on stiff paper, cut many slits with band saw, chisel out, sand to fit, glue up. I now use a jig saw instead of chiseling.
Mark both sides and ends with same template but cut them out as shown. Cut slits with band saw, widen the slit for the jigsaw blade, cut the base with the jigsaw. Faster than chiseling.
For frame sides, rout one edge 3/4 and the other side 7/8
Slice off the frame sides
Sherline mill jigged as an edger to rout the frame edge bottoms.
Frame top bar, cutting the slots for the frame sides.
Stack of top groove bars almost done.
Grooving the top bar.
trimming top bar ends. Ok, I do this on the band saw now, it's much easier and quicker.
Glue up foundationless frames with titebond III, no nails. Only glue the very ends of the foundationless strips in the grooves in case you decide to switch back to plasticell or other foundation.
Slice thin strips on the band saw and glue in top groove.
4/10/2011 swarm, 2nd swarm this year, 12 ft up in a redwood
Duct tape box to long pole and push it up under the swarm
I hold the box, Sheueling cuts the branch
bring it down and close the box
Dumping the bees into their new home
Carefully replace all the frames.
Wait for all the stragglers to rejoin the swarm in their new home.
Third swarm this year was huge and very stressed. Here it is dumped into our third hive.
I fed them 1:1 sugar water but hundreds died. They are now going great guns. This swarm was nearly five lbs.
Hives sit on 4 of these ant barrier posts. Oil in the outer pipe keeps ants out.
Ant barrier posts under hive. The CDs keep bees from falling in the oil on missed landings. 2" outer pvc pipe, 1" inner, glued to acrylic base with cyano acrylate (super glue).
Foundationless brood frame, honey store in upper right white caps, orange pollen stores, yellowish capped brood in the middle, scattered uncapped larvae (white grubs).
This queen looks like part Carniolan. From a swarm from a strong feral hive inside some ladies' garage wall.
Beautiful cinnamon queen, looks Italian.
Foundationless frame bulged out to make room for a mini comb.
Three queen cells on the edge of a foundationless frame.
Our hive number three swarmed to a wall near our house.
Ready with box and bee brush to collect our own swarm. We have a spare hive (number 4) to put it in.
Sweep them into the box.
Wait til they all figure out that the queen is in the box and they should go get in the box with her.
Solar beeswax melter made from duct tape, insulation board, two layer window of 1/16" plexiglass
Duct tape in a floor, plastic bucket with screen basket, cloth filter (black gunky thing). Water in the bucket will give a layer of wax easy to remove.
Break up the filtered pieces, put them in a silicone rubber mold for a perfect chunk of beeswax.
Trying to confuse the bees so they reorient after being moved.
Sublimator mounted on board to slide under screened bottom board. This is the bottom side.
Top side of sublimator board. Multimeter with temperature probe to set thermostat at no higher than 320F. Milled away everything from the top of the aluminum block except for a square cup just under 1/4" deep.
Woodrat Trapout: This is the oak that captured the swarm that Jack lost. This is the hole in the base of the oak that captured the swarm that Jack lost. This is the woodrat that lived in the hole and ate the comb produced by the swarm that Jack lost. This is the trap that caught the woodrat.... etc.
Quick easy sublimator for sliding under SBB. 3/4" endcap, 1/2" pipe, hard soldered together. Soldering iron is 23W. Needs more watts on cool or breezy day.
Smoker made from two CV470 Campingaz canisters. Empty, screw out valve, use faucet hot-cold cycle to pump full of water so that all residual gas out! I made the upper right version with the two arched bottoms forming an air space for the bellows to blow into.
Device for sucking bees off flowers etc. May be used for beelining or capturing drones etc.
Need a better extractor, a radial that can handle both deep and medium frames. So I bought this 55 gal foodgrade plastic barrel for $25 on Craig's List and cut out the top leaving a rim. Advance to next pic.
Almost done, made from 3/4 x 1/8 aluminum bar stock plus some 1/2 x 1/8 bar for the vertical supports and the frame brackets. Axle is milled flat where frame is bolted on. I had these 30mm OD bearings but you'd be better off deciding on the bearing supports and axle first then buy bearings sized to make the job easier. This will spin 2 deeps plus 2 mediums or 4 mediums. Could be extended for more mediums.
Inside view. Bottom bearing support made from an aluminum water softener cannister plus a turned bearing holder and a bottom mounting piece. Top bearing support bar is held by two slots on the left and one slot with removable bar on the right. 1/4" plate can support future motor. I also cut the barrel top in half and trimmed it to close the top to stop the updraft honey mist. 5/1/13 I just extracted 8.25 gallons from 4 deeps and 20 mediums, it worked flawlessly.
For now it is powered by my old worn out B&D drill and a cheap light dimmer connected to an outlet. Works ok. If you are worried about amps, you can get a more expensive fan controller instead of the light dimmer. This dimmer knob works better than a variable speed drill where you have to control the speed by the pressure on the trigger. But a DC motor with PWM speed control would be better yet, so that's next.
Here is the complete plan in Google Sketchup. If you want the Sketchup .skp file from which you can get all the dimensions, let me know. Some details are missing. Uses 10-24 stainless steel bolts and 3/16 pop rivets (for brackets).
To warm the frames before extracting. Outlet box has bimetal thermostat in series with power. Stack all the boxes of frames in an insulated enclosure (eg. cardboard box). Put space heater at the bottom, put temperature sensor on top with thermostat set at 95F, leave overnight. Space heater's thermostat is useless, it will vary 20-30F; likewise a thermal switch as in lower left. Bimetal thermostat keeps temp within 10F.
Our neighbor took down a dead Monterrey pine and I agreed to clean it up for the lumber and firewood.
Husqvarna 372xp with 28" bar and Granberg Alaskan III chainsaw mill, slicing off another board.
Potential bee hives.
Sheueling decapping frames of honey.
Another of our own swarms, I gave them a new home.
Big swarm, captured on a rainy day. Man were they unhappy with me. My ventilated suit worked but they found my ankle which is now quite fat. The cardboard box got wet and the duct tape wouldn't stick. But they are now hived and hopefully their mood will improve.
I just made this Triangle bee escape, and it works like magic and makes collecting honey so much easier. I just take frames of honey, shake off bees, and put the frame plus bees that didn't shake off in supers above this escape. Put a blocked inner cover on top so the only way out for the bees is through this hole and out the maze. They can't find their way back in. 24 hours later almost all the bees are gone and the frames can be extracted. No more angry bees.
Monterrey Pine are short lived. Another two of our neighbor's and one of ours died so we hired guys to cut them down and I limbed and turned them into more lumber.
Ready to mill.
Attach a ladder guide for the first slice.
Husqvarna 372xp I bought used/rebuilt on ebay. It can take a lot of continuous full throttle.
First slice done.
28" bar, Granberg Alaskan mill. Making the boards mostly 1 1/4"
Stickered for drying.
Those Monterrey pine became behives plus a table for my daughter.
Who likes farmhouse style.
Plus a pair of end tables.
Finally figured out how to stain pine. Use great care sanding, 2 coats minwax water based pre stain conditioner wiped off and let dry, 2 coats of General Finishes dye stain, multiple coats of Polycrylic.
And a toybox for granddaughter.