Timber Talk August 2019

Keep up with all the timber buzz for this season. There’s some exciting new information and some candid discussion from the bosses that we’re sure will capture your eye! Read Below.

The Takeover, One Year on

One year ago on August 1st 2018 Mark and Scott officially took over Tunnicliffes. Since then they have been busy putting into action their plan for the company.

To celebrate the leaps and bounds made over the last year everyone decided to pool together for a pizza, KFC, and hot chips lunch, as well as a couple of beers. Kind words were exchanged about the overall quality of life and the drastic changes made within the work place. Heartfelt thanks were given from worker to boss and boss to worker, and then everyone sat to enjoy their meal together, away from the noise and busyness of the factory.

Over the past year Scott and Mark have worked hard to come up with multiple workplace changes, including the streamlining of timber processing and adding an incentive for a productive and well done work week. Mark and Scott have been hard at work, losing many a nights sleep to ensure that their company does as well as possible.

Among other changes the pair have brought to the workplace, there have been some product roll outs, and good ones too. With the “Better Workbench” and the introduction of new products including Transoms and Beads for the Joinery side of the company, they have expanded the horizons and capabilities of the company, as well as adding high demand items made with quality and care.

Both Mark and Scott were asked; “What out of all the changes made over the past year they are most proud of?” they came back with some great replies.

Scott is most proud of the change to the working week, where if work is completed across the factory, workers are gifted with their Friday off. This gives incentive to workers to be productive and smart with their work throughout their days. After in-depth research on the concept of a gifted day and some trial and error they have been able to successfully implement the system across various parts of the company. This has been done by creating clear measures and reporting systems to provide the team with the tools needed to consistently hit targets and go above and beyond each week.

The change Mark says he is most proud of is the increased focus on customer service and satisfaction. The company has made great changes regarding customer retention and care and takes all feedback incredibly seriously. After clearly separating the Bee and Joinery customers there is much more room to place individual attention on the needs of each group, as both are vastly different. Because of the increased attentiveness to customer needs there has been a definitive change in efficiency and transparency, as well as flexibility.

Among other changes within the previous year, social media has become a focal point, as with the creation of the Honeycliffes site and blog, to allow easier lines of communication to our customers as well as keeping everyone updated on what the company is doing. Be sure to keep an eye on our social media as well as this blog to keep up to date with all the changes over the coming year. There are always new things in the works that Mark and Scott are popping out, and no doubt they’ll be good.

Assembling A Beehive: A Crash Course

If you are thinking about beekeeping it can be a bit of a daunting task. There’s so many pieces to a hive and so many things to choose from. To make it easier, this is a little bit of instruction and information all in one place.

Choosing What Suits You

For beginners who want to have lasting boxes that stand the test of time, and are easier to manage, we recommend picking one of the treated wood types for your beehive. 
The grade of the wood you choose comes down to how much you want to spend and how beat up you could see a box getting.

Timber Treatment Type:

First you need to think about the wood of the hive and what suits you the best. Honeycliffes offers three different wood treatments to our customers. ThermoWood, TanE and Untreated.

Untreated is NZ Radiata Pine that usually protected by dipping it in paraffin wax and then simply painting the outside with a few layers of paint. This option is the least durable as it is not treated against mould and fungus .

ThermoWood is thermally modified NZ Radiata Pine that has had anything that fungus and mould may gain nutrition from cooked out of it. Because of the heat treatment it becomes harder and a little more brittle, so it is recommended that if you are going to screw this wood together, to pre-drill the holes. A layer or two of paint and this timber will be good to go out in the field.

Tanalised Ecowood is a bee-friendly chemically treated wood option. It is treated differently to standard CCA wood and does not contain chrome or arsenic which makes it the healthier and more environmentally friendly option for your bees. Because of its treatment it does not support mould or fungus growth and is not harmful to your bees. We recommend giving it one or two layers of paint to ensure that it is not damaged by damp to give you the longest lasting hive possible.

Timber Grades:

We also have different qualities of wood which need to be considered when picking what suits you the best.

The highest grade is Premium, knot free but minor defects such as blemishes can occur. 

Our Commercial grade has tight knots, away from the ends so they can be easily fixed with staples, nails or screws.  

Our Seconds grade is a downfall product accumulating from the production of Premium and Commercial boxes. They have larger knots and smaller knots can be near the edges.

Assembling Your Hive
Now it is time to select your components and assemble a great hive and the following list is an idea of what a standard beginners hive could be.
When arranging a hive you will need to start with the hive floor. This is what the hive sits on and lets the bees into the hive.
Next is the full depth box that will be functioning as a brood box. This is where the queen bee lives and lays her eggs. 
On top of that you will want a queen excluder. This is a mesh that the smaller worker bees can fit through but the queen can’t, so that she doesn’t lays eggs in the honey stored in the boxes above that you want to harvest. We got ours from Ceracell, and it fits perfectly with our Honeycliffes hives.
Next comes our honey super. This is a 3/4 depth box that we will be putting 3/4 depth frames in for our bees to store honey in for us.
After that we will put our feeder frame on top of that. This is what a feeder is placed in so the bees don’t starve to death over winter when food is scarce.
Next up is our hive mat so that the bees have some insulation against the elements. The hive mat creates a dead air space that acts as insulation between it and the lid.
And last but not least, a lid for your hive. Honeycliffes hive lids are made from galvanised steel, and hold down snugly to keep the elements and pests out.

Last you will want a ratchet strap or something similar to tighten around the hive and hold it all together. No one wants a hive falling to pieces.

 

Introducing a Better Work Bench

Not long ago here at Honeycliffes we were working away at our boring work desks or tailing out the back of machines with old worn out-feed tables. 
They were flimsy, ugly, uninspiring MDF behemoths, and we wanted something to change as nothing is worse than an uninspiring work space.
As luck would have it we are a timber re-manufacturing plant, so what better place to be when you want a better bench!

Our boffins racked their brains to work out what we could do to make the greatest work bench possible. Browsing rows and rows of timber gave us an idea. Nothing can top a solid, multipurpose work bench. Perfect for any type of use, and won’t leave you feeling ripped off about your choice of work space.

So we set to work creating a better bench. Made of solid finger-jointed lengths of H3.2 Treated Pine with just as solid construction, we have taken cuts of wood with character that will make these benches a hearty work space but also a unique one. Expertly manufactured, glued and laminated into the ideal product, this bench goes perfect in any space you can think of. The “Better Bench” can be used as a workshop assembly bench, sturdy garage storage, stylish office desk, sleek study space for kids, even a coffee table!

We are excited to be able to provide the best “Better Bench” ever right here on our website, available in multiple sizes and even able to be custom made to your specifications up to 6300mm x 1000mm. Head on over to https://honeycliffes.co.nz/product/better-work-bench or email us at orders@tunnicliffes.co.nz to custom order.

HONEYCLIFFES BY TUNNICLIFFES

In 1929, Tunnicliffes was founded by the Tunnicliffe family as a native sawmilling business. Since then, our company has built a history of innovation and has established itself as a flexible business in the timber market. This has been achieved by reacting to what the market wants and modifying our goods accordingly. Rather than reinventing the wheel completely, we kept making little amendments to our timber products.

As we continued to grow from our humble beginnings, there became two clear sides to the business. Timber manufacturing and bee woodware. When Mark and Scott bought the business back in late 2018, they became immediately aware that the two sides had diverse customer bases that were distinct from each other. Since they both needed specialist attention, Honeycliffes was born to specially cater for the bee woodware side.

After establishing our name in the bee woodware industry, we also identified a gap in the market for hobbyist beekeepers.  Hobbyist beekeeping is gaining traction in New Zealand, and we found that many small beekeepers are faced with various challenges. This is because the industry has a heavy commercial focus in the products and services offered.   

By being flexible and practical in our relationships, Honeycliffes have a wide array of products and services for both hobbyists and commercial operators. Come talk to us today!

3-piece Shiplap Beehive Floors

Timber moves, especially across the grain (over the width of the boards), due to variations in temperature and moisture. The 3-piece Bee Box Floor is designed with shiplap joints to allow for this movement and we recommend assembling the floors as follows:

As per the diagram below line up the first board with the end of the bearers making sure the bearers are at right angles to the board.

Position the next two boards and allow for a 2mm gap in the shiplap joints. The overall width of Tunnicliffe’s bee boxes is 409mm and you should end up at this width.

We recommend nailing or screwing the boards in the positions shown in the diagram below to avoid splitting of floor boards when they move.

The 75 or 100 x 50mm H4 bearers are 405mm long, shorter than the box is wide to avoid the floors from hooking up with neighbouring hives when stacking them close for transport. The board will therefore overhang on one side by approx. 4mm which is normal. Alternatively, you can start with a 2mm overhang of the first board to locate the bearer evenly under the floorboards.

The ‘back’ riser is cut short to also allow for movement and should have a 2mm gap either side from the side risers.