Monday, May 2, 2016

Bee Package Box Sifter

As we were doing some spring cleaning in the garage the other day, we came across some old screened boxes that had previously contained packages of bees.  They were this kind:

Bee package boxes
Now featuring garage dust!

The originators of the boxes had no desire to get them back and, as we are definitely not in the bee package business, we clearly had no use for them.  At least, not in their current form.  We were pondering what we might do with such a contraption (other than throw it out) when we realized the screens had openings of useful dimensions.  With 10 minutes and $4 of parts, we figured we could turn them into sifters!

Package boxes on the half shell
First step: saw them in half the long way.

Sieve bolts
Second step: drill holes and bolt them together.  3/4" bolts are too short; 1" bolts work fine.

Sieve orientation and bolts
We did two to each side, and it feels a smidge flimsy for heavy sifting jobs.  More bolts would help.  Also, make sure the hole that was previously in the top is in the center or a lot of what you're sifting might spill out the sides.

Sieve on plastic tote and biochar
Our immediate use for the sifters was for processing biochar. But you could also use them for sifting compost, large quantities of powdered sugar, or whatever else you have on hand!

Washed biochar
Just sifting gets rid of a lot of the ash, but a little hose water really cleans it up.

Washed biochar closeup
Most of the dirt that came along with it is easily washed away, too (except a few pieces of now-kiln-fired clay), leaving a nice shiny batch of black charcoal for whatever we want to use it for.

What do you do with your old bee package boxes?


  1. Aren't you clever! I have three of those (if my husband hasn't thrown them away) so now I know what to do with them. :)