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Stainless Steel "Z" Springs, for hive clipping

Worth their weight in gold

These springs are readily available from the appliance trade. They are strong and secure enough to hold a hive together for transport purposes. They are quick and easy to use and aid productivity and efficiency, without costing much.

The three diagrams at top left shows how I used these springs in the latter part of my beekeeping career, (with this layout there is the opportunity to use 9 mm thick or 18 mm thick items between the boxes).

The reasoning behind their use can be seen on the page that deals with

The "Rational" Roof.

The screws used are of two types:-

19 mm x 4 mm Round Head are used
for the pivot and latch positions.

19 mm x 3.2 mm Pan Head are used
as the "pegs" for the spring to lip over.

The smaller screws are used for the pegs so that the springs will pass easily between the pegs when the lower screws are being used.

  Stainless Steel "Z" Springs

The 4th and 5th diagrams give the details of the fixing as described in the leaflet that I produced when I used to supply this item commercially.

When I first used this type of spring there was no method of incorporating a queen excluder or any other item between the boxes.

I decided it would be useful to provide the means to accommodate a 9 mm thick framed queen excluder (or any other 9 mm thick device).

  Stainless Steel "Z" Springs (old format)

The 6th diagram shows the method intended by the original manufacturer.

There have been many times when I was glad of the extra facilities provided by the extra screws, particularly when moving bees.

  Stainless Steel "Z" Springs (original fixing method)

The 7th and 8th diagrams show a modification to enable two half sized nuc boxes to be securely fitted over a standard size box or another pair of nuc boxes.

I use a drilling jig for speed and repeat accuracy, but if only a small number of boxes are involved the pilot holes could be marked out using a pencil and rule.

(The first few hundred boxes that I kitted out with these springs were marked out using rule and pencil.)

These springs can be obtained from...
B. J. Engineering.

  Stainless Steel "Z" Springs for use with Nuc Boxes

Chet Orton wrote to me saying...

I'm in the USA and I have never seen these Z Springs that you discuss. I did see an Australian article that referred to them as "Reade Clips" but I can't find any other mention of them on the web either. The beekeeping suppliers here only sell staples for this purpose. Are these springs known by some other name? Do you know of anyone in the states that can supply them? Thanks.

My reply...

Hi Chet

I had never heard of the term 'Reade Clips'.

I have been familiar with "Z" springs for thirty odd years and have used them personally for more than 25 years.

I have only known them to be made in France by 'Thomas' and in England by Thorne and B.J. Engineering, had I still been in business, I would have been a manufacturer of these myself rather than B.J. Engineering, as I think they are a very worthwhile piece of kit.

I know of nobody else that manufactures them, in the states or otherwise.

I also said that I would follow up the Australian connection with some Aussie contacts, which I duly did, but apart from minor remembrance of their existence, I gained no more information.

 Written... Autumn 2000, Revised... 17 October 2001, Revised... 25 May 2003, New Domain... 02 May 2004, Upgraded... 29 November 2004, Further Upgraded... 05 January 2007,
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