Hive assembly problems


I am assembling Langstroth pre-cut bee hives and supers from the WALTER T. KELLEY CO.

I put the hives together and they are fairly square. But when I put them on top of each other they do not fit flat and there are gaps on some sides.

What am I doing wrong?




I doubt that you're doing anything wrong!

Most of the bee hive kits that I've ever assembled have come out that way. The kits are mass-produced, and the fit and precision of the kits usually are less than perfect.

(I don't think I've ever assembled kits from Kelley, but I've assembled kits from at least 4 or 5 different suppliers over the years.)

The lack of precision is to save money, of course - both for the company producing the hive kits, and for us, the consumers. If the kits were made with greater precision, they'd be more expensive.

Unless the gaps are significant, I wouldn't worry about it. What's significant? Well, if a bee can get through the gaps, that's significant!

But if you have gaps that are roughly around 1/8 of an inch or so (or maybe even a bit more), I wouldn't worry about it.

You could use a planer if you wish to even things up, but again, unless the gaps are significant, I just wouldn't worry about it.

(NOTE: If you use a planer, be very careful not to remove too much wood. If you remove too much, you're liable to violate bee space. If that happens, then the bees will build bridge comb between the supers.)

Remember that the bees will be gluing things together, and if there's air flowing through any gaps they don't want, they'll chink them with propolis.

Good luck!

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