This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself. Credit: Dave Cushman’s website.
Compound Mitre for Mounting Nucleus Bee Hives
The idea for this item was generated by L&RBKA member John Groocock. I have adopted it for my system because it is an excellent method of mounting small nuc boxes. It also means that my equipment and that belonging to my local bee keeping association are compatible.
The principle is simple and it works much more effectively than you would guess by looking at the drawings, there are three component parts…
The triangular piece (left) that is fixed to the post or vertical surface. The widest face must be outwards and the narrowest part towards the top. I use three countersunk screws to fix this part in position and I make sure that the screw heads are well under the block surface to prevent binding. The three screws are placed near each corner of the triangle, ensuring that they do not interfere with the bevelled surfaces.
I use three long screws of 8 gauge or 10 gauge as some of the posts that I fix to are less than fully sound.
The striped appearance is due to the parts being made from exterior grade hardwood veneer plywood which has a fully waterproof glue. The face shown is the one that is facing the post when installed.
post mount for nuc boxes
The other two parts are similar to each other, but are mirror images. They are mounted on the box by gluing and screwing, I do this from inside the box with 8 gauge or 10 gauge countersunk screws.
Positioning of the two blocks is done using a spare triangular block as a jig. This is held in place using deep throated “G” clamps, the block to be fixed is then positioned and held with another “G” clamp, whilst the screwing is done. The clamps are then removed and any excess glue is cleaned from the box, the part that has been fixed and the triangular jig by using a dampened rag.
To attach the second block the jig is positioned tightly up to the part that has already been fixed and again held with a clamp. The second block is positioned, clamped, glued and screwed in the same manner as the first, again ensuring that all excess glue is removed.
box mounted parts of compound dovetail
scraping tool fabricated from old hacksaw blade The removal of excess glue is important, particularly if PVA glue is used, as when the nuc is in service there will be a high, constant, pressure on the mount and any spare glue will fuse the whole lot together making removal difficult. I have found this to be so true that even after removing excess glue with a damp cloth, I use a scraper made from a piece of hacksaw blade to scrape out the last traces of glue from the internal angle.
I have used this method for four seasons (as of 2003), I have every confidence in recommending it to others.
The Triangular parts are pickled in raw linseed oil before use. The parts that are fixed to the nuc box are also liberally oiled at the same time that the box itself is treated.
This method also lends itself well to the mounting of bird boxes. The picture at right is of the top of one of the posts that are installed in the mating yard at the Brooksby Bee yard.
Top of post in L&RBKA mating apiary, photo Dave Cushman
Ingenuous though I put my minis on the ground and they work fine there.