1000 BOXES PER DAY
The latest Option on the 5 station BBMC is CNC control of the router section. It enables the machine to produce 4 different styles of box construction.
- Typical 3/8 x 5/8 top finger.
- 1 5/8 top finger. All machines can do this.
- Hybrid “Stoddard” box.
- Inset Frame rest.
Best of all it can produce the INSET frame rest. Which is the strongest of all types of construction by enabling the use of a consistent size finger top to bottom and full 3/4 thickness. No more weak 3/8 thick fingers.
Woodman Engineering has designed and developed a high speed, thru feed, production machine specifically designed for the manufacture of Hive Bodies and Supers.
Hives bodies, while simple in their design can be produced with a minimum of tools, such as the common table saw… But at a rate that is just to slow for mass production.
The need for a dedicated Hive Body, or Bee Box making machine was recognized many years ago.
It wasn’t until 2009 that we were approached by a local apiary that wanted, “…something that would keep his guys busy in the off season”. They were going to get more than they asked for!
I took the opportunity to build what was really needed.
The design of the BBMC is based on years of experience designing building and repairing production machinery. The design was a success.
The BBMC-0025 was the first machine. Serial Number 001
In 1851, Lorenzo L. Langstroth, the “father of American beekeeping”. Designed and built the Bee hive as we know it today, that is, the dimensions, layout and function.
The Woodman Engineering Bee Box Machining Center is designed to create Hive Bodies and “Supers” Based on Langstroth”s design. The BBMC is based on 1 inch “fingers” or “LOCK CORNER” as it sometimes called, that make up the method of construction of the boxes.
Woodman Engineering is currently producing the BBMC-0012. And a modified version that has optional additional stations for Trimming and Hole drilling. Currently a total of 5 different operations can be cut and machined to the panel.
The BBMC machines can be operated by one man at a reduced rate or multiple machines can be operated by just 2 operators.
All machines need to have finished to length or near to length panels. All panels are finish trimmed along the long edge, or rabbet edge.
Panels are stacked at the feed hopper and once the desired stations are started and the feed button has been pushed, the machine will continue to run as long as there is wood in the Hopper.
Any station can be run independently. Example: The Hand Hold cut out need not be cut in the panel while the other operations are still preformed.
Change over from 9-5/8 to 6-5/8 to 5-5/8 is simplified based on the 1 inch layout of the box joint.
When a machine is banging and crashing about …it is talking to you. It is telling you it is not working right.
This is what is so important about designing mechanical devices …Kind of like what Beethoven must have been hearing in his head when he was writing his symphonies. A smooth working machine …is a good running machine.
Best of all, our products are designed to use many off-the-shelf parts readily available from numerous OEM suppliers; so you’re assured quick repairs when
Currently in the design phase is a high speed through feed machine that will make the small wooden parts for honeycomb “FRAMES”.
(The small thin frames to which bees build their wax comb and Queens lay an egg into, as well as storing honey.)
I was referred to Eric Mussen. His articles are plentiful and worth reading. Google “Eric Mussen” and it returns an hours worth of reading and education. I asked about the relationship between Bee Hive Boxes and the Diseases they (after a period of time) harbor in the propolis that coats the interior of a bee hive.
The following is his reply in its entirety, reprinted with his permission:
Hi, Hank, Christi Heintz suggested I contact you about possible microbial contamination of used beekeeping equipment. As far as I know, there is little or no concern about wooden hive boxes becoming contaminated with viruses. Certain fungi and bacteria are a different matter, because a number of them can produce spores that may be found on the surfaces of the woodenware. While many of the spores are air-borne, and of litte concern, spores that cause chalkbrood disease (fungus) and American foulbrood disease (bacterium) should be avoided. I could not readily find any information on decontamination of contaminated wood except by irradiation or fumigation with ethylene oxide. Heat might sound good, especially for the chalkbrood spores, but American foulbrood is isolated from other spore-forming bacteria found in beehives by using heat treatments to kill off the competing bacteria – 176 degrees Fahrenheit for hours – before trying to culture the microbe. I read a statement that it would take temperatures high enough to “burn wood” to kill the spores. Beekeepers do singe the wood inside hive boxes to try to kill or seal off American foulbrood spores, after removing the sick bees and contaminated frames. It would be best not to try to use old bee boxes to make new ones. – Eric Mussen, Extension Apiculturist
I believe it is important to share this kind of information.
Go forth young bees….