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Advice needed about gaps


Hi there I need some advice about what to do. The brood boxes I have recived,have big gaps between fingers in the joints. A lot of them 1,5 mm and I found a single one at 1,9 mm. I can see light trough the joints. When I gave it oil the oil ran through the joints and came out on the inside.
So what to do because I fear that rain will get into the hive.
With regards from Lars Kjærsgaard


Can you put some photos up so we can help



Here you can see where the gaps are. And you see the feeler gauge, I have put two together so it is 1,5 mm that goes in the gap. When I put my head in the boxes I can see light trough the joints. It helped with oil but it is not closed.


You could fill with painters caulk or any wood filler or glue. The bees do not care only the beekeeper.


I wouldn’t worry about it at all. The bees will seal it with propolis within a few weeks of using it.

One of the things that struck me when I first started building hives was how “agricultural” everything is. I thought I was building fine furniture for my bees, but I was wrong. These are just sturdy wood boxes, which don’t have to be perfect, as long as they work. :wink:


To stop any water penetration into the end grains of the timers I would smear in some water proof glue. that will prevent any water getting into the cells of the wood to prevent issues. It won’t bother the bees at all as that will also stop air drafts.


I glued my joints and that solved the problem. I used regular wood glue. The bees filled the rest. of any gaps.


Bees will fill any small holes with propolis. I would not worry about them just seal the timber and let the bees worry about the finer points.



Thankew for your advices. Sorry about the delay. I was looking for something to do from the inside. Maybe fill with melted wax. Will that work or not?


If the gaps are a couple of mm the bees will fill them with propolis. I would not worry about them. Afterall, after you chuck them around a few times gaps will appear and the bees won’t care. Work on the KISS principal here.



If you seal the outside it will prevent drafts and any rain water penetration of the timber. If the bees are not happy with the inside of the box they will do what is needed so leave it to them. There is lots giving the same advise which is good advise, use glue and paint the joints when the glue has hardened…
I use glue in assembling my boxes to eliminate the same problem you are having now, Then 3 coats of paint to seal everything up. I haven’t had my bees doing a protest march yet.:grin:


melted wax will be fine if you feel the need. personally I wouldn’t worry at all about gaps that small. To a degree- it is necessary to have small gaps with box joints as if you made them 100% perfect fit- there is too great a chance that the timbers would swell differently and you would find it very hard to assemble. With a soft wood like cedar there would be a risk of joints splitting or breaking. Like other said: if those gaps bother the bees the bees will plug them all up. They are very good at plugging up things they don’t like. Also if rain did penetrate- I am guessing the wood would swell to close the gap?


Thankew everyone for the answers. I think I will just leave it to the bees,and see how it works.
With regards from Lars