New version of the OSMPBeehive is just about ready for “primetime”, I am dubbing it 0.2 as it’s still just me getting whats in my head down in 3d without figuring out exact numbers (not parametric yet, sorry!). Looking more at Makerslide, I think that’s our support material – MakerSlide is an aluminum V rail integrated into a standard extrusion profile.
An installation would be two 4′-7′ legnths set 2′ or so in the ground, with the wheel grooves on both facing inward. Those seem pretty ideal for the type of ratcheting “insert Clean unit in the bottom, remove Full unit out the top” system I mentioned in the brainstorm post.
Without further adue, here she is!
I call it the Hivestack, the bottom unit is suspended off the ground and the bottom holes would be covered by strong wire mesh. The central nesting shaft is now gone, and the comb-templates create a sort-of library feeling with narrow corridors between the frames. I was able to increase the number of full-size frames to 6 with this configuration. The floor plate which was previously a seperate piece is now integrated into the body, each unit will nest on top of the next with little or no gap. There are still entrance holes on all four sides, but only one row per module now (two rows was a bit silly) – Also, I’ve angled the round entrance holes up at a 45 degree angle to make them easier to defend and to keep out rain. Since we got rid of the “floor” piece, that means the top unit needs a roof of some kind to keep out the weather. I havn’t put much thought into it, but when my wife saw it she said it looked like a little elf house made from a tree. Me? I’m just subconsciously emulating the Ukranians. Any ideas or clever things we should build into it?
I didn’t worry about removing the combs individually: Modular design allows the top unit on the stack to be harvested as one piece!
Since each unit is small, in the next version we could dispense with formal “frames” and just print some kind of lattice matrix that would let the bees build comb in whatever way was easiest. Simply use a centrifuge to extract the honey from the module, then toss it in a large pot of boiling water to remove the wax from the module and sterilize it (this also recovers the wax, but not the comb). That seems like a pretty slick and sanitary workflow to me. With a conventional hive, do you sterilize the inside & outside walls every harvest? I could even see doing this over the course of several days to minimize the stress, where you remove the top unit, then add one clean unit to the bottom of the stack each day until your harvest is complete.
Reddit.com/r/beekeepers User svarogteuse had this to say:
Its illegal. Every state requires all the frames to be removeable. Doesn matter if belive they need to be or not its the law. Version 0.2 needs to have all moveable frames if you want to even discuss the merits or flaws of this design over the current standards.
And I very much do want to discuss it here, but I’m curious if others think this will be a problem? Seems like this design probably fits the letter and spirit of the law, but I’d like a second (3rd…4th…etc) opinion, please chime in!
Size and ratio will be important once someone starts drawing this up in parametric fashion – bees seem to use how big a hole is relative to their body size to determine how to respond to a breach in the hive. Whenever this gets to real CAD software, all transit spaces will need to be fixed…. Anybody have experiance with this? Can we scale part of a design, but not all of it while still tracking where the fixed diameter features are on the overall model (if that makes sense)?
My “render” times on tinkercad have gotten into the 10 minute range, and breaks altogether with more than 4 modules so I think this is the last version I can build there. The next step is to transition to more capable CAD software, and create the 1.0 iteration. Anybody want to take the first shot at Hivestack 1 plans? Any suggestions to topics I did or didn’t address here? Thanks to everyone who has participated so far, if seeing what I’m doing is giving you ideas please share them!