To Bee Or Not To Bee

Last spring, several of my plum trees flowered but did not bear fruit. I blame a severe cold snap late in May for that but I also did not see a lot of bees that early in the season. Should I set up a beehive next spring? Just in case I decide to do that, I’m recycling some old lumber into a Langstroth hive.

Nearly 30 years ago, TLW and I built a big house in a small town north of Winnipeg. As usually happens there were some leftover pieces of lumber. Some were 2X6 inch boards used as studs in the house. I used these extras as shelves in my workshop resting on a steel frame. All these years later, I’ve only put them to use occasionally, hoisting a deer or supporting a table in the garden. Normally, one uses 1X8 or 1X12 boards to make Langstroth boxes but the bees would not mind more thermal mass and insulation, so I will make Langstroth boxes using 2X6s. The interior dimensions matter. The outside will be increased by about twice the thickness.

I’ve fired up the old table-saw and cut pieces about half an inch long to make precise cutting easier later. I ripped rabbets on the boards to allow a ship lap joint to make the 2X6s into pieces 2X9-5/8. Some waterproof glue, clamps and nails will increase the height of the box to Langstroth “deep” dimensions. Then, I will bevel the ends to make a mitre-joint reinforced by nails.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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