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.
Standard Swarm Box Lid
The basic internal dimensions of the standard and Marburg versions of the swarm box are 434 mm x 216 mm, with 5 mm walls that are rimmed with further strips of 5 mm ply, thus we have an overall dimension of 454 mm x 236 mm. (2 mm smaller each way on the Marburg version, due to the use of 9 mm ply, but cardboard shims under the toggle catches on the box will compensate for this discrepancy.)
The material used for the main plate of this item is waterproof exterior grade plywood 9 mm in thickness. The handle parts are softwood and the handle itself has it’s central portion rounded with a spokeshave for comfort while carrying.
Standard lid for swarm boxes
This type of lid is positioned on the box and located by the two strips of 9 mm ply, 214 mm long, that are placed 11 mm from each end. The strips also provide a clamping action to any frames that are in the box by pressing them firmly on to the lug bearer strips within the box.
The carrying handle supports and the handle are made from 33 mm x 44 mm stock (which is a common size in UK).
In addition to the handle a small block is placed on each of the unused corners of the handle spacer/supports, this is so that the box presents a flat surface for anything that may be placed upon it (this feature has proved most useful during storage).
The two mesh covered feeding panels are 75 mm in diameter and the backing is ‘8’ mesh. By carefully drilling pilot holes at the point where the hinges occur the holes can be cut using a fret saw (powered or by hand). The material that is removed can then be used as a blanking plate to cover the mesh and maintain a dark interior. A small wood screw acts as a knob on these hinged blankers. 75 mm was chosen for the diameter as our ‘standard’ 1lb squat honey jar has a lid of 70 mm diameter.
The lids of the feed jars are perforated by nail punch holes and will sit comfortably in the recesses resting on the mesh. I put sugar syrup in one jar and plain water in the other… This allows the bees to choose whichever they require.
The lids are kept securely in place by strong toggle fasteners that need accurate placement to ensure absolute interchangeability of different lids.