Sugarbag Bees – Pollination Box

Design

Made by Sugarbag Bees (Brisbane small business), these boxes are intended for use on farms for pollination so design and construction is very simple, keeping with the standard OATH specifications of 280mm x 200mm with only a top and bottom box. Each half is 3.1 litres making a total box volume of 6.2 litres.

Materials

Constructed from 24mm PVC board these will be very durable and stable. Timber could be susceptible to termites and also warp which can distort the box over time and create gaps in the joins. This is all ok when we can monitor boxes in our own backyards but when these are placed in the bush or on farms any monitoring or maintenance by the farmer is unlikely. Note that most of the boxes we make are from timber and work perfectly fine, this is just one benefit of PVC board.

The top half has the usual brood support bars mounted. The bottom half has a block of pine in the base. The underside of the bottom box has a large hole in the PVC board exposing the timber block inside. The intention is for the timber block to absorb excess moisture and let it evaporate to the outside via the large hole.

The timber block is slightly smaller than the floor area so it creates a thin gutter or drain space which leads to a small drain hole in the corner of the box. This could also help with excess moisture in the box or spilt honey during a split.

Vent

The rear of the top box has a vent hole with a black poly elbow inserted, covered by a clear tube and mesh. This gives the bees an extra breather hole and also provides defense against intruders.

Thoughts…

From a design and construction point of view i do tend to like simple designs and this is a very simple and well constructed box. I don’t see there being any issues over time. I have one of these boxes set up in my yard and it’s going quite well. I haven’t seen any signs of excess moisture. (photo below)

As intended, these will be good low maintenance boxes for pollination on farms, or even just used for backyard hives. They aren’t designed for honey harvesting and have no Honey Super so if you’re wanting to extract honey from a hive this isn’t the box you want.

As with any native bee box they really need a good large roof on top that protects it from intense sun and rain. The joins on these boxes are the best you’ll find but no matter how good your joins they wont be waterproof as water can run down the sides of boxes and enter through where the two boxes join together.

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Boxes made by Sugarbag Bees – https://sugarbag.net

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