Beard balm is a leave-in conditioner that softens, moisturizes, and helps style your beard. The beeswax in beard balm offers a light to medium hold, but its main job is to seal in moisture. A well-made beard balm will also condition the skin, leaving it soft and moisturized. Beard balm is a thicker, more moisturizing product than beard oil.
Read full recipe for beard balm here: DIY Beard Balm — Keeping Backyard Bees
My plan for this coming year is to do some queen rearing. In preparation I will need mating nucs. I pondered using deep 5 frame nucs, which I have a quantity of already, but for various reasons I have decided to use medium height 5 frame nuc boxes. This plan accommodates nuc hive sales as well as queen rearing. Additionally, the medium boxes are significantly cheaper to build as described below.
Nuc boxes External dimensions:
Deep Boxes: 19 7/8″ Length X 9 5/8″ Width X 9 5/8″ Height (Comment: Different bee supply companies makes these different widths. Some as small as 9″ width. Mann Lake makes them a generous 9 5/8″ which I assume is in order to handle their frame feeder. I use this dimension as I have found that whether with or without the frame feeder it avoids crowding of the frames yet doesn’t seem to cause burr comb against the sides. This may not be true if one used frames from a different manufacturer.
Medium Boxes: 19 7/8″ Length X 9 5/8″ Width X 6 5/8″ Height
The above dimensions, both deep and medium, are different than the actual cutting of the box components due to the corner joints. I use a rabbet joint cut 3/8″ deep on the front and back pieces. Because the front and back then contribute to the side length the board on the side is cut 3/4″” smaller than the external 19 7/8″ (side length is cut is 19 1/8″).
Making Medium Boxes: My initial estimate is that I can make 11 of these boxes from a single sheet of 23/32″ sheathing plywood. at about $23-$24 per sheet of 23/32″ sheathing that comes to about $2.25 per box. Tops and bottoms will add to this cost. Total waste is approximately 9%.
Making Deep Boxes: My estimate is that I can make 6 boxes from a single sheet of 23/32″ sheathing plywood. This results in a price per box of $4. Tops and bottoms will add to this cost. The large reduction in the number of boxes that can be made vs medium boxes is a result of waste which results due to the larger dimensions. Total waste per 4′ x 8′ sheet when deep boxes are constructed from plywood is approximately 28%.
I’m using a computer program called CutList Plus which maximizes layout on the plywood. It’s a fun program and I’d encourage you to give it a spin. http://cutlistplus.com/
Before someone lectures me on use of plywood and it’s longevity, warping, and delamination characteristics please don’t. I have used this particular sheathing and found that with three proper coats of protection it holds up without delamination or warping quite well.
Make this permanent/portable hive stand for cheap or free.
For under ten dollars you can build a sturdy hive stand that can be used in either a permanent or portable situation. Since it uses relatively short pieces of lumber, sometimes you can find scraps and make one free. I have made several of these and use them as portable stands moving them around as I perform hive inspections. Along the way… they sometimes get used in a more permanent way when the unexpected happens and a stand is needed for a captured swarm or an unexpected, but necessary, spring split.
5/4″ x 6″ x 12′ treated deck lumber (#2 lowest grade)- qty. 1
2″ x 4″ x 8′ treated lumber – qty. 1
2 1/2″ nails or ~ 2″ screws – about 36
You’re going to make several 18″ cuts so if you have a table or radial arm saw set it for 18 inches first. If you don’t have either then that’s okay too – any saw will work.
Cut the 2”X4″ into 4 leg pieces each measuring 18″ (you’ll have a piece left)
Using the 5/4″ x 6″ lumber cut an additional two 18″ pieces.
Reset your saw to 24″ and cut the remaining 5/4″ lumber into 4 pieces. (you will have a short piece remaining).
The 2″x4″s are your legs. Make a sandwich by nailing two of the 24″ pieces to sandwich two 18″ legs. A carpenter’s square helps keep things perpendicular but not absolutely necessary. (don’t overcomplicate it; do one side, turn it over and repeat.)
Make another sandwich using the remaining 24″ pieces and 18″ leg pieces.
On a flat concrete surface, stand and connect the two sandwiched pieces using the remaining 5/4″ x 6″ x 18″ pieces by nailing them them to the sides joining the sandwiches. Your stand should now be complete and level.