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A Bee House In Busso

I have commenced building a fit for purpose “Bee House” for the wanto better words"
SWMBO refers to it as the Taj BeeHal.
There were two reasons:

  1. Being 76 and already feeling the limitations of hive weight on my ability to do what I want.
    It is hard to put hive boxs back without squishing bees and avoid back problems to boot. So looking forward another 20 years I still want to be able to attend to the needs of the bees and manage my hives responsibily and
  2. I was jealous of those couple of great “bee houses” I saw on here but can’t find again.

To that end the build was envisaged and commenced.

Set amongst the olive trees and with the front aspect facing North East to catch the morning sun in Winter and a adequate shade provided by large trees at the rear.
Something for our @Eva . The first post.

To get an idear of this pole Eva I can just lightly mesh my fingers with my arms around it. It has 1.1m inthe ground and 2.9m above. Weighs in just 300 Kg. You have to amit that "that is a pole).
Soon there were 4.

The size is roughly 3.5m X4.5m
Now you can see some of the centre piece of the building.

Those big I beams will have trollies running back and forth along them. Attached to those trollies, and extending between them will be another beam (actually a HD roller door track) which will also have a trolley running along it suspending a chain block and tackle.
This crane system will enable me to pickup any box or whole hive from anywhere in the house and place it any where else. The chain block and tackle will allow precision in lifting and lowering a mm at a time if necessary.

All the poles are on waiting for the roof and wall cladding. Roof poles have a 4 deg slope left to right.
Notice the sand pile and boards. They were there to give Trevor enough height to put the rails on top. The 3m lift was just out of his reach on level ground.
The floor will be cemented.
Well thats the stage I am at now and have to leave it till the tin comes.

Will also let me get on with all the other neglected jobs . Yippee says SWMBO

Will update as more is done.


Impressive! Look forward to seeing more :wink:

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Very impressive indeed, @busso - and what a clever plan! And here I thought you said pole-raising was getting difficult at 76 :wink:


Nice work. Look forward to the progress. I’ll have to drop in one day.

Have you thought about making some long/horizontal hives? Would reduce the lifting too.


Yes I did look very seriously at it but no one has posted on successfully using a flow super on a long hive.

Interestingly I asked 5 firms to quote on a crane system like I am building. The cheapest was $4500 and the most expensive $7000. Possibly they were more elegant with their proprietary systems but I have spent $650 using off shelf stuff and I might add could crane around my car just as easily as a bee hive.


Great project @busso. Lovely to see you posting again, and to see what has been keeping you busy! :blush:

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You will be dancing to those photos, @Eva, I am sure of that! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Truly thinking “Outside of the Box!” Looking forward to seeing how your system is completed.

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Now that will be a bee house, well thought out for your needs into the future and it won’t fall over in a wind, even a cyclone !!! :grinning:

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Yep, it is taking a long time for @Semaphore and others to come to a conclusion about the integration of flow frames into a long hive. Their more recent posts have been more positive and I think’m going to make another one with 5 or 6 flow frames in it this winter. I’ve really enjoyed working my one long hive without flow frames this summer/autumn.

Yep always cheaper to do than pay. But as you say it takes some thinking, tinkering and time to make it happen compared to an off the shelf solution. Keep the photos coming.


My hive is tentatively successfull now busso. I harvested the flow frames a month ago. I also got some very nice regular combs from the other end of the hive. The bees are seemingly doing well. Only thing that remains to be seen is if I can get similar harvests to what I get from my standard hives. This spring will be interesting!

Another thing that’s working well for me is my tall Nuc box hive- I’ve harvested it multiple times and it’s thriving . The boxes are easier to manage: but there are more of them.

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@busso …very impressive. Please ensure you post photos of progress!

As for the bee houses you couldn’t find, was it the slovenian bee houses / beehives?

No there were work houses for storage and processing honey. What I was particularly interested in was the use of form ply. I noticed shelving and benches using form ply. I use it a lot but it has a smell similar to formaldehyde l and wondered if the bees may be affected.
My idea is to put two hives in an open front and have the rest of the building for everything associated the bees like inspections and storage of boxs, frames, jars etc.

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Tin for the roof and walls arrived today. Maybe get onto it again next week. Gutter replacement on the house taking longer than anticipated.


Hopefully you get the house done before the coming rain early next week…

Yes. I am playing second fiddle here to an expert. Frustrating. No wonder I like to do things alone.:slightly_smiling_face:

Formaldehyde is used in the glue used in a variety of plywood, if the timber is painted with an undercoat and an acrylic top coat I would assume the ‘nasty’ is well sealed in. I paint all my plywood timber both external and internal with a white ‘picket fence acrylic water based paint’ available from Mitre10 and apply 2 coats and it is a primer as well as a top coat.
Regards Wilfred

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Busso, please be advised any type of chip board or ply that has been impregnated with formaldehyde is POISON to your bees.
I manufactured a new base for my hive using chipboard flooring which was 10 years old in storage. Thought it’d be safe, with all the deadly stuff evaporated.
No such luck, a week after instaling the new base, my son asked me where all my bees were. Oh, OH. Checked it out and found the majority were DEAD. At the time, couldn’t work out what had killed them, over time worked out it was the formaldehyde impregnated chip board.
Be advised, DO NOT EVER, use this stuff to house your bees.


I just bought a box off shelf , Ross rounds. There are 3 dividing boards that whiff off same chemical.
Been thinking undercoat sealing the edges and seams. But wonder if I can just replace the boards with natural timber without glues.

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Peter, with all due respect, I don’t accept for a second, painting formaldehyde impregnated wood is a good idea. The vapors will go thru paint as if it’s not there. Recall the caravans the U.S. used for accomadation during their hurricane damage in New Orleans. The folks living in them complained of the smell, and every trailer was then condemned.
Don’t risk it mate, you’ll lose all your bees.