Back to Notice Board.

Back to Report on the Apiary Visit.

Construction of a Kewl Floor

During the first apiary event, we constructed a kewl floor to be used under a new hive we are starting this year. The total cost of constructing this floor was less than 4 euros. Construction time was about 20-25 minutes.

The tools required for the floor were:

The raw materials for the floor were:

Step 1.

Congratulations, you have completed 80% of the cuts required for the project. You should have 6 pieces of wood as shown in the following diagram and 2 pieces left over from the lathes.

Step 2.

The first phase of assembly uses 4 joints that I call quarter lap joints. During assembly, the crownboard is used to help keep the pieces square. Place the pieces marked A on opposite edges of the crownboard with the cutout sections facing upwards. Place 2 of the pieces marked B across the cutouts to form a square frame. Use some glue and 4 screws to fasten the 4 pieces together.

Step 3.

Flip the square frame upside-down. Use some glue and 4 screws to fasten parts B and C onto the edges of the frame and parallel to the other pieces marked B. Piece C will form a built in landing board when the floor is finished.

Step 4.

Flip the frame over again. Measure and cut a piece of wood (Part D) from the long piece of lathe left over from Step 1. This piece needs to fit snugly between parts A and it will sit on top of part C forming a vertical wall of the end of the landing board. When you are fastening this piece in place (3 screws), leave a gap of 8-10mm to allow the bees to get through the L-shaped entrance easily without shedding their pollen.

Step 5.

Flip the frame over again. Measure and cut 2 final pieces (Parts E) which will fasten to parts A and sit snugly between parts B and C. These pieces will form runners to hold the varroa tray and also strengthen the floor. Cut a piece of correx or thin plywood to fit the slot at the back of the floor.

Step 6.

Cut a piece of mesh to fit the floor. 370mm x 460mm should be about the size you want. Fasten in place with staples or felt roofing nails to cover the area outlined in red. Make sure you don't cover the slot at the end of the L-shaped entrance.

I recommend painting only the external surfaces of the floor that will be exposed to weather. The bees can easily exit and enter through the L-shaped entrance. This floor is easy to transport due having the same footprint as the hive bodies, but also provides a landing board. The tight corners and concealed landing board make it difficult for mice to enter, and make it easy for guard bees to defend against wasps and robbers. The entrance size should be restricted by inserting scraps of wood into the entrance during times when the hive is not at full strength.

Photos provided courtesy of Michele Russell

Back to Notice Board.

Back to Report on the Apiary Visit.