has anyone tried to build traps. Manufactured traps are cheap but shipping doubles the cost. If I was to build square luan boxes 13" wide by 14" tall with a bottom enterance would this work. They would be light enough to pull up in a tree with a rope. After a bad fall three years ago my wife doesn't allow me on ladders anymore. Maybe even coat the inside with melted wax using a roller and lure.
I hit the dumpsters of all the homebuilders in the area and pull as much of the 5/8 " OSB as I can use. Use it to make 5 frame deep nuc's which I use for my swarm traps and nuc's. Most of the cost in them is the paint @ $5 a gallon of Ooops paint at Home Depot. That way I don't have to worry if some of them go missing (which luckily none have, knock on wood)! Some comments about the glue giving off some fumes but by the time the homebuilders get rid of the boards, I get them together, and the bee's finally get into them, I don't see any problems.
next to free paint
Locally around Des Moines Iowa is a recycling center for household hazardous waste. They collect paint, chemicals, ect.. You can get free partial gallons of exterior primer. There might be a place like that i your area to get free paint if you are not stuck with using only white.
OSB and weathering?
How does the OSB hold up to weathering? I tried various cardboard boxes for traps last year, some held up very well and I got a swarm in one. Other melt in the weather within a few weeks.
Don't know how they would hold up without paint since I paint all of them. Prime + 2-3 coat's of paint. I use them from the beginning of spring as swarm traps, then as nuc's and mating nuc's. I don't leave any out during the winter since everything get's combined and they look great. I leave the finished side or smooth side inside and paint the rougher side. So, bottom line is they are probably only as good as the paint you use. Mine still have years and years ahead of them.
Try this link:
A not-quite-competed idea starter for home-made and alternative trap designs.
I went to the garden center and bought 6 big fiber planting pots. They have every size, these are like 16x16 round. I filled the 4 holes in the bottom with puddy and drilled a 7/8th hole in the side. One piece of square plywood 18 inches covers the top. I drilled 2 holes in the pot and 2 in the plywood threaded wire to hold it on ,and so I can pull it up into a tree easy.
Compared to a normal bee box or nuc, it wont be as easy to get the bees out if they have been in it for a while, put I plan on putting these up in the woods and only checking them once in a while.:) If these get swiped or shot up I'm only out 4 bucks.