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Beehive Compost Box (Aesthetic)

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Bottingswood

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Good people of UKW, I am looking to build a beehive compost box, purely for aesthetic reasons, but I cannot find any plans for same. Having messed about with some miniature versions I’m having difficulty with the angle / size of the various levels. This is resulting in toooooo much wasted cuts and hence my call for (more) help. Any input would be appreciated. I have attached a pic (from internet) for general reference.
 

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baldkev

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The size looks to be around 300 x 450mm base and maybe 700mm high.
If you are concerned with offcut length,
Base your sizes on your availabile boards... so if you are buying 1.8m lengths of featheredge boarding, the roof could be 600 long, so you get 3 roof slats from one length....
In terms of the end angle per run, the first run ( starting from the bottom ) is going to be square cut, then the next row, clamp the side piece on in your desired position so you can set a sliding bevel to that angle. If you keep the overlaps the same, that bevel should be good for all the end cuts ( as long ad your frame is square and the featheredge is uniform )
If you dont have a sliding bevel, hold your end piece up to it ( level ) and mark the angle from the side board, that gives you one end, cut it then measure the width and make a mark, slide the board sideways until the mark lines up with the outside edge of the other side board and mark that angle. Cut it, fix it, repeat.
 

Bottingswood

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Kev,
Thank you for your input, getting right on it.

Dave
 

nickds1

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As a long-time beekeeper who has always hated working with WBC hives (like those in the OP), I must say I really like this!

The problem with making WBCs is mainly around the compound angles in the "lifts" - the external box layers - and that they're a multi-walled hive (the actual beehive was another set of boxes inside the exterior lifts).

As beehives, they are simply a complex & expensive menace, whereas as compost bins, the idea is great!

Just for reference, the WBC is named after the inventor, William Broughton Carr, who in 1890 developed the first really reusable beehive - before that, straw skeps were mainly used. WBCs were originally designed to be made out of old apple boxes and had an outer wall so that in the very harsh winters they had back then, you could pack straw between the inner and outer walls. They were also aimed at the then common Dark Northern European Bee - these were essentially wiped out in the early 1900s.

Since the disasters of the early 1900s, new strains of resistant bees were developed and these are much more fecund, so the colonies require larger boxes. Also, now our winters are milder and we have far simpler and more appropriate hives, the WBC is something of an anachronism.

Plans can be found at: https://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/images/education/techdatasheets/TDS number 7 wbc hive.pdf
 

Bottingswood

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As a long-time beekeeper who has always hated working with WBC hives (like those in the OP), I must say I really like this!

The problem with making WBCs is mainly around the compound angles in the "lifts" - the external box layers - and that they're a multi-walled hive (the actual beehive was another set of boxes inside the exterior lifts).

As beehives, they are simply a complex & expensive menace, whereas as compost bins, the idea is great!

Just for reference, the WBC is named after the inventor, William Broughton Carr, who in 1890 developed the first really reusable beehive - before that, straw skeps were mainly used. WBCs were originally designed to be made out of old apple boxes and had an outer wall so that in the very harsh winters they had back then, you could pack straw between the inner and outer walls. They were also aimed at the then common Dark Northern European Bee - these were essentially wiped out in the early 1900s.

Since the disasters of the early 1900s, new strains of resistant bees were developed and these are much more fecund, so the colonies require larger boxes. Also, now our winters are milder and we have far simpler and more appropriate hives, the WBC is something of an anachronism.

Plans can be found at: https://www.scottishbeekeepers.org.uk/images/education/techdatasheets/TDS number 7 wbc hive.pdf
Wow Nick,
I doff my cap to you, not only for the interesting background but for the plans, much appreciated. I’ve spent much of today designing / planning / cutting a template for the frame. My angles are all set at 10’ and from initial proofs they seem to be bang on. Having seen the box joint option on your plans I am of a mind to crack on with that.

Dave
 

Woodchips2

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Geoff Hamilton had a design for a beehive compost bin in one of his books but not sure which one! I bought the book and made the compost bin but I think I gave the book to one of the children years ago.

Have a search on the net for "Images for Geoff Hamilton beehive composter plans". A chop saw would be a great way to save time on the composite angles but I did it all by trial and error with a hand saw. Makes great compost!!

Regards Keith
 

Sandyn

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An ideal project for a compound mitre saw and air nailer . I think the angles are about 5.8/84.2 degrees in the design. I set up the saw and cut a sample with scrap wood in 10min. Once set up, the others are very easy to do. It's so easy to do this kind of thing with the saw.

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sawdust1

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Hi Dave, on my website Sunnyfields Poultry Housing i have Beehive Composters that i make,
see pics attached, if you have not started on yours i can forward paper templates of the wood templates i use.
The trouble with mitred corners is when they shrink they look bad !
 

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