I’ve hopefully caught the problem early enough. Please see the attached photos. How can I fix this, and prevent it from getting worse?
That box has been treated with a wood stain and sealer, but on the outside only. I’ve used that box for nearly a year without any problem until now. There are plenty of bees in that box, and that pole is an umbrella, so that side of the hive stays very dry during rain.
I would say that might be pretty tough to fix, but perhaps somebody who is good at fixing boxes, like @JeffH will have some clever ideas.
From my rudimentary understanding of wood, if you wanted to straighten it, you would have to soak it for days in water, then apply a ratcheting clamp of some sort to strain it straight, then find a way to prevent it from warping again.
If it was my box, I wouldn’t attempt that. If the bees are using it happily, I would get some metal right angle brackets/braces and screw them across the corners to hold them in place. It wouldn’t fix the problem, but it should stop it from getting worse.
Hi Salem & thanks @Dawn_SD . That looks like Araucaria wood (hoop pine). I treat all my hoop pine boxes with copper naphthenate, before applying several coats of paint inside & out.
It looks like that corner could be fixed with an extra screw, after clamping it together. If a screw isn’t sufficient, a piece of angle (I use aluminium), as Dawn suggests should work. You should be able to clamp & screw with the bees in the box. Use your smoker, when necessary.
Okay, I will give it a try. I’ll make a trip to the hardware store, and see if I can find a 90 degree corner clamp - one that isn’t too bulky. I’ll also get 2 aluminum angle brackets, just in case the screws don’t work.
Thank you both for the advice!
There are plenty on Amazon, the only problem is that the ones I found were mostly for using inside a corner, not outside. I guess you could put it inside the hive box, but I was thinking of something that you could fix in place without taking all of the frames out first. You may need to look at furniture hardware, like you might use for building a storage box or table with outside joints. I gave up after 15 minutes of searching, as I had some work to do…
Just an afterthought: If you use a long screw with a head that you can put a large flat washer under, the large flat washer might help to hold the wood in place. The clamp I use is a pipe sash clamp. With a long screw & large washer, you may not need a clamp, as long as the screw is a loose fit in the hole of the wood you’re trying to straighten/pull up tight…
A pipe sash clamp. That’s brilliant. I didn’t know clamps like that existed - it’ll make this task much, much easier. I’ll follow your advice and try a washer too. Many thanks!
Update: In case others have this issue in the future.
I contacted the Flow Team, and ordered 12 Square Drive Screws. ($10 total)
I used two trigger clamps, and slowly nudged the wood back into place over two weeks:
I drilled small pilot holes, and manually screwed the Square Drive Screws in, without the need to remove any frames of bees. (Though I did take the lid off.)
I added 4 screws to each brood box, and 2 screws to the flow super. I also obtained a hive quilt for next winter, to allow for easier moisture control inside the hive.
Thank you again for all the helpful posts everyone!
And the final result looks like this: