Don't be fooled into believing that hive bodies with butt joint construction will serve you well. They won't! The butt joint is the easiest, simplest and least expensive way to join two pieces of wood together, which is precisely why Warré used it for his hives. What you have to remember here, is that Warré's main concern with beekeeping at the time was that sugar was much cheaper than honey, and that the honey industry would collapse unless beekeepers could keep their production costs to a bare minimum. Wood was often free in those days and if a hive body only lasted a year or two before it fell apart, he'd just find some old, discarded wooden packing crate, tear it apart and build a new box. In the 21st century, most of us do not have the luxury of free (or even inexpensive) wood, so it is more important than ever that the wood products we buy are built to last.
butt joint is not just the easiest, simplest and least expensive way to
join two pieces of wood together. It is also the weakest joint in
woodworking. Butt joints have very poor tensile (pull) strength and even
poorer lateral (sideways) strength. No matter how much glue or how many
nails or wood screws are used when assembling a butt jointed hive body,
that hive body will not be strong enough to stay square or tight for
same goes for hives that are assembled without glue. Even when rabbet
joining is used, if the joints aren't glued, strength will be
compromised significantly. Remember that hive bodies don't have a board
on the top or bottom to give them rigidity, and using screws to assemble
them will not make up for this. Those
who are new to beekeeping might not realize how heavy hive bodies can
get. A standard Warré hive body can weigh 35 pounds (16kg) when full of
honey. The mere act of harvesting honey from these boxes can weaken or
even break the joints if they aren't strong enough. Also, if not glued, the corners of the boxes (between the nail or screw and the edge of the box) will warp and pull apart and/or break off completely. Any "concerns about chemicals in the hive from wood glue" are not valid. Titebond III wood glue, which is extremely low in VOCs, is what we use to assemble out hives. I can assure you that there will be no chemicals in your hive by the time you receive it and set it up. I can also assure you that our hives will outperform and outlast any others on the market.
Teakwood Organics, we believe that hobby beekeepers should make wise
investments at the onset of deciding to keep bees. As hobbies go,
beekeeping is fairly inexpensive, but trying to do it "on the cheap" is
just asking for trouble.
misconception that some out there would have you believe is that it's
easy to build a hive or two for less money than you can buy them for.
This might be true if you already own the woodworking equipment that is needed to do it, and
you are an experienced woodworker. A table saw is an absolute
necessity. Boards must be cut to the correct width and those cuts must
be perfectly straight. Rebates for frames or top bars should be cut with
a router. If you've ever tried to put a box together with just
a hammer and nails, you know how difficult it is. Without a pneumatic
coil nailer, it is very difficult to line up the pieces and assemble
them squarely. So, at the very least, you should have a table saw, a
router and router table, a compressor, a pneumatic stapler and coil
nailer, and a half-dozen other small hand tools in order to build hives
of any measurable quality, and unless you are an experienced woodworker,
you are likely to make several mistakes along the way and ruin many
pieces of wood. This can get costly fast when you are using cedar!
If you do
decide to build your own, we really do wish you the best. But we hope
that you don't start your project with the notion that it will be cheap
and easy to build the hive that you want, because it's almost certainly
not going to be either of those things.
All of the beehives that we manufacture and sell are top quality units. We start with the very best kiln dried
cedar lumber that we can buy and we build every part with rabbet and/or
dado joint construction (with the exception of octagonal hive parts).
Staples are used for the assembly of many parts such as floors, quilt
boxes and hivetop feeders, while nails are used to assemble hive bodies
and roof assemblies. But it is the glue and the joints themselves that
give all of the parts their superior strength.