Building Frames and Supers

Three video's by John Lewis BONS how to assemble a Langstroth hive 8-9 minutes each -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lYCSuj0dwg

Video #2 by John Lewis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UGwzAh6iIg

Video #3 by John Lewis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmK249NYaHs

 

Written instructions by Ray Cross - HOW TO ASSEMBLE A LANGSTROTH HIVE

 

The Hive Body

Materials:

§  2 short end pieces & 2 long side pieces

§  32 nails 2-21/4 or deck type screws of similar size, & screwdriver

§  glue

§  hammer

§  square

§  wet rag

§  (useful but not required: chisel or coarse sandpaper, soft mallet, glue brush)

 

 

1.     Dry assemble the 2 short ends and the 2 long sidepieces so that all handholds are facing in the same direction, and are on the outside of the box. If the fit is too snug, use a chisel or coarse sandpaper to remove some wood material from the offending fingers.

 

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2.     Apply glue to all of the box joints. You can use a small brush or your finger to spread the glue on the joints.

 

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3.     Assemble the pieces, and drive 1 nail/screw in each bottom corner, front and back.  Clean up excess glue.

 

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4.     Making sure that the assembly stays square, drive another nail/screw in each corner of both sides.

 

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5.     Then drive nails/screws in all the remaining pre-drilled holes.

 

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6.     Check all the corners to make certain that all the nails/screws are in place.

Paint the outside of the hive body with a good quality outdoor paint (latex or oil). You can use any color you wish, but light pastels or white are best. Do NOT paint the inside or the edges of the hive box.

 

The Frame

Materials:

§  2 short end pieces,1 top bar, & 1 bottom bar

§  10 wire nails 1 or 1¼ inch

§  Glue

§  Glue brush

§  Hammer

§  Square

§  Hive tool or knife

§  Wet rag

Note - if you have a pneumatic (compressed air) stapler or brad nailer, it will be easier than using a hammer.

Note – the eyelets (see the wiring instructions) can be inserted before assembly while the sides are flat on the bench.  However, care needs to be take, while assembling, to be sure the eyelets are on the outside of the frame & do not fall out.

 

1. Layout your frame parts and prepare for assembly.

2. To prepare the top bar, using a hive tool or knife, remove the retaining wedge by breaking it from the top bar. Any remaining wood should be cleaned from the top bar and retaining wedge using a sharp knife. The retaining wedge should be kept for use when fitting the foundation.

 

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3. Put glue in the top upper groove, located on the thicker section of the side bar as seen in the picture below.

 

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4. Fit the top bar piece inside the side bar (where you applied glue). Push or tap with hammer so the pieces fit together tightly.

 

 

5. Assemble the other side in the same manner.

6. You now have a 3-sided frame made from two side pieces and a top bar. Turn the partially assembled frame upside down and apply glue to the bottom grooves of both side bars.

 

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7. Put the bottom bar of the frame in place with the groove facing the inside. Push down or tap with hammer until it fits snugly.

 

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8. Hammer two nails into the top of the frame.

 

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9. Do the same with the other sidepiece

10. Check if the frame is square. Adjust if necessary.

 

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11. Flip the frame over and nail the bottom of the frame in the same fashion with two nails on each side. 

 

12. Check if the frame is square. Adjust if necessary.

13.  Clean up excess glue.

 

14. Now that your frame is nailed together, hammer one nail into the side of the frame near the top bar as seen in the picture below. Align the nail with the thick side of the top bar, not the side the wedge was removed from. Do the same with the other sidepiece.

 

 

 

 

15. Before putting the frame aside, check all the tops, bottoms, & corners have been nailed correctly. It is easy to overlook a location when working on 40 or 80 frames and the result of missing a location is a mess in the hive.

Pictures are from “Beverly Bees” and “Ohio State Beekeepers Association”

 

Wiring a Frame

Materials:   

§  assembled frame

§  Frame wire

§  4 eyelets

§  Eyelet punch

§  Hammer

§  1 5/8 nail

§  Needle nose pliers

§  Wire cutter

 

Note: Pictures are for deep frames. Medium frame wiring process is the same.

Note: If you are wiring after the foundation is installed, string the wires on alternate sides of the foundation.

 

1.     The eyelets prevent the wire from digging into the wood of the frame.  Note: the eyelets can be installed before frame assembly.  Slide eyelet, rim first, on eyelet punch.

 

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2.     Push or tap with hammer an eyelet into each of the holes in the sides bars.

 

 

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3.  Partially hammer one 5/8″ nail into the side of the sidepiece of the frame, as seen in the picture below.  An alternative method is to use a nail at each eyelet.  Do not hammer the nail in all the way. This nail will be used to hold the wire when wiring the frame. 

 

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4.  Now you are ready to wire your frame.  Start wiring on the same side of the frame as the 5/8″ nail you just hammered. Thread the wire through the first eyelet.  Pull the wire across the frame and out the parallel eyelet on the other side of the frame.

 

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5.  Next, thread the wire up against the side of the frame and through the next eyelet.  Pull the wire across the frame and out the eyelet on the same side of the frame you started the wiring process.

 

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6.  Now that the wire is threaded through, you need to secure it.  Take end of the wire and wrap a few loops around the nail.

 

 

7.  Pull the other end of wire as tight as you can (you can use needle nose pliers and apply some leverage against the frame) and wrap the wire around the nail. 

 

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8.  Once the wire is tight, hammer in the nail or see alternative method in step10.

 

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9.  After the nail is hammered in, move the excess wire by bending the wire back and forth (it should break off at the nail leaving a clean break).

10 Alternative method: Once the wire is tight, cut all excess wire using the wire cutters.  Then hammer in the nail.

 

Wax Foundation

Materials:   

§  assembled frame

§  wedge

§  3 to 5 – 5/8-inch brads

§  embedder

§  hammer

§  board

 

After the frame is assembled and wired, you are ready to install the wax foundation. When wax is cold it is easy to break, so try to work in a warm room and let the wax come up to room temperature. The goal is to weave the wax through the wires.

 

1. Lay the frame in front of you with the top bar toward you and the bottom bar away. The frame should have the side that had the “wedge” (you remember the wedge from assembling the frame) removed facing up.

2. Arrange the wax foundation with the wire hooks in the up position and toward your stomach.

3. Ease the wax over the top of the top bar and the first wire. Now go down between the first and second wire.

4. Weave the wax up and down through the wires until the wax is inserted into the groove of the bottom bar.

5. At this point you should be able to tuck the edge of the wax with the wire hooks into the space where the “wedge” was removed. When everything is smooth and neat put the wedge bar back into the frame securing the wax foundation in place. Push down and against the top bar.

6. Using some 5/8” brads or stapler, tack the wedge into place. Put one in the center then one or two on each side of center.  Note: The brads can be started before putting the wedge in place.  Set the brads at an angle (as shown in the photo below), so you do not hit the foundation when hammering the brads in.

 

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6. The last step is to embed the wires into the wax. Using a piece of wood, cut small enough to fit inside the frame, and with a sheet of the paper that separates each piece of foundation, put on the board to prevents sticking, you can lay the frame on this platform and roll a hot-water (use near boiling) heated spur embedder along each wire, pushing it about halfway through the wax and against the wires already in the wax. This crimps and embeds the wires into the wax, see photo below.

 

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Panel “B” must be thick enough to ensure the wires and foundation are supported by Panel “B” for a satisfactory embedment.

 

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Pictures from: “http://www.newmoonapiary.com/inserting_wax_foundation.html”, “http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/framewiring.html”, & http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/html_pubs/BEEKEEP/CHAPT2/chapt2.html