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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5

    Post

    I'm looking for fact, not just opinions, please.

    Does anyone have any definite information on whether plywood & OSB wood products containing glues have any adverse effect on bees?

    Or, for that matter, would using some "green" (arsenic of copper) pressure treated wood would be bad for bees?

    I've a great deal of both available and would use at least some of it for hive parts if I believed it was safe to the bees and honey.
    Leonard W. (Mo) Molberg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    I have used plywood and OSB in hives with no problems except the life of the equipment was shorter than regular lumber.
    Using treated lumber with arsnick of copper will kill the bees period
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    I've never used any preservative containing arsenic, but I soak all hive, super, covers, and bottom boards in copper napthanate before assembly and painting. No problems.

    BubbaBob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    There are people making bottom boards from the
    new (plastic? high-density particle-board?)
    outdoor deck materials being sold at all the
    big-box home improvement stores, and they look
    like a real technological improvement over other
    approaches.

    Dunno about you, but bottom boards when made from
    the usual pine just seem to only last a few years
    no matter what I do. I've got boxes from the 1970s
    that are still in service, but I doubt if I have
    a single bottom board over 5 years old.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    &gt;Does anyone have any definite information on whether plywood & OSB wood products containing glues have any adverse effect on bees?

    I have used a lot of plywood with no apparent ill effects. I'm sure someone thinks it's bad, but I know of no research that would support there being any problem with bees.

    &gt;Or, for that matter, would using some "green" (arsenic of copper) pressure treated wood would be bad for bees?

    It is very bad for the bees. The arsenic is an insecticide.

    I like cypress for bottom boards. As Jim says, the bottom boards are really the only piece that tends to rot very quickly.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    "Dunno about you, but bottom boards when made from
    the usual pine just seem to only last a few years
    no matter what I do."

    I make my screen bottom boards out of oak or hickory. Before sbb's, making them out of oak was not really practical, but with sbb's you don't use nearly as much wood, so it's easy to do. I use to use old pallets, but I lucked into some wood that had smoke damage, so now I have a nice supply available.

    I'd be willing to bet my oak sbb's will be around longer than I will, and I hope to live another 40 years at least.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
    Posts
    581

    Post

    It's hard to find arseninc preserved wood theses day. To costly for manufactures to maintain their permits.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5

    Post

    Thanks for your replies, folks.

    chemistbert writes:

    "It's hard to find arseninc preserved wood theses day. To costly for manufactures to maintain their permits."

    I checked a can of wood treatment on my shelf (which I purchased several years ago) and it is copper napthenate, which makes me wonder if any "green board" pressure treated in the last couple of years contains arsenic? I only know it was "big in the news" some time back that newer pressure treated stuff would be less toxic.

    I have a large supply of 1 x 2's that were cut off larger boards and discarded. I may make a few bottom boards from them. I wonder how you would test for arsenic? A dead colony of bees would, I suppose, give a hint if other reasons such as Varroa Mites, etc. were eliminated. That's the hard way.

    Mo
    Leonard W. (Mo) Molberg

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    The copper napthenate is not an insecticide, but I don't believe it's the common treatment for the green treated lumber either. The green treated has changed a couple of times in recent times, but I believe it still has an insecticide in it.

    I like the green treated for hive stands. I like two four by fours for rails to put hives on, but the bees don't really come into contact with it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,280

    Post

    I use to use old pallets
    I thought about dismantling old pallets and using the wood for hives, but decided that there's no way I could tell what all had been spilled on the pallet or where it had been during it's short and brutal life. If anyone's interested, here's a nice machine for taking them apart.

    http://www.smetco.com/bandsawDismantlers.shtml
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milford, NH
    Posts
    32

    Post

    FYI -

    "Old" (pre-January 1, 2004) green lumber was treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). "New" (post-January 1, 2004) green lumber is treated with alkaline copper quat (ACQ). Neither should be used when contact with living organisms is likely. As Michael says, it's okay for stands, especially when painted.

    All imported pallets must be treated and certified to be phytosanitary. The usual treatment is with methyl bromide.

    The "new" decking materials consist of some form of cellulose (wood fiber, rice hulls, etc., depending on the manufacturer) and a plastic binder (frequently recycled 2-liter beverage bottles). They last nigh on to forever. We use Trex® for our raised perennial beds.
    How many legs would a horse have if you count the tail as a leg? Four: saying it doesn\'t make it true. A. Lincoln

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    &gt; cellulose... and a plastic binder

    So that's what they are made of. Thanks!

    &gt; How many legs would a horse have...

    A horse has two forelegs, and two rear legs...
    So, two times fore is eight plus two is ten.
    Ten legs... that's an odd number of legs for
    a horse to have.

    But everyone knows that all living creatures have
    an EVEN number of legs.

    So, the only number that is both odd and even
    would be infinity.

    So, horses have an infinite number of legs!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
    Posts
    716

    Post

    I use advantech sheeting and OSB board. The advantech uses wood chips and a plastic binder. I had a piece left over from a job that got thrown off the truck at the edge of the woods and forgot about for 4 years. It is now bee equipment. No paint laying flat of the ground and no rot. I am making all my BB out of it now. The OSB board is only going to last a few years as boxes even after painting. Several boxes made last spring with OSB are already starting to swell. I am not going to use my OSB hive bodies all winter unless I do not have enough boxes because of their quick failing. For just summer honey supers and then being placed in the barn I think they will last alot longer. I think alot of these new plastic polimer lumbers will end up being used for many more things because they last. All the green treated wood has some kind of insectacide in it. I use 4X4s leveled as my hive stands and the old stand by concrete blocks.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5

    Post

    Well, I asked a couple of chemist friends if there were an easy test for arsenic. The answer is no...the easiest being a gas chromatograph test which is expensive. There is a liquid chemical test as well, but I understand that it is complicated and tedious. I was hoping for a simple "litmus" type of test. No such luck. One friend I asked runs a blood testing lab and he said that if I ground up some and got someone to eat it (preferably not a friend...) that he could then test for it in their blood.

    There might be legal problems with that
    Leonard W. (Mo) Molberg

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    wills point,tx,usa
    Posts
    132

    Post

    i know of several commercial guys that have used the green treated lumber for 25+ years to build bottom boards with no ill effects. ironically, i just had this conversation with two of them last night.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Southeastern PA/ Central Maine
    Posts
    5

    Post

    What would happen if the pressure treated lumber/plywood was painted with two coats of exterior latex paint?? I made a Garden Hivery Cover like the one that Mann Lake offers. I used pressure treated plywood for the slopped roof and two coated both the inside and outside. My first package is coming next week and I’d hate to loose them because I tried to make some long lasting woodware. I also made a bottom board with cedar rails and pressure treated plywood coated it twice but then made a Varroa Screen Trap (all pine) and intend to use that instead. I thought I read in this forum somewhere that the bottom board could be completely painted both inside and out. Also, in I think January 2003 I was told by my lumber supplier that the new pressure treated wood would not contain arsenic anymore but was going to be very acidic and we could only use stainless fasteners. It’s great coming home these days after working all day build a deck and not feeling sick like I use to.
    Weather People – the only job you can be wrong 90 percent of the time and still get a paycheck :-)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Post

    As long as the bees aren't in contact with it, I don't see a problem with the treated lumber. While an occasional bee may land on the roof, it's not a place of common bee traffic. I assume with a sloped roof like that they bees can't get into the "attic"? Pesonally, I wouldn't use it on a bottom board. I do use it for stands.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Guatemala
    Posts
    243

    Post

    Painting hives is one way to go. Just make sure you use solvent-free paint like any latex type.
    When painting, be careful not to smear the edges of the boxes, because you will eventually scrape wax or propolis from those edges, and so fine paint dust or scales will end up in the wax or the honey.
    Current honey testing in a lab will detect anything, and regardless of it being harmful or not, most contaminants are undesirable.

    Some types of wood will last more than others.
    Engineered boards that use resins for particle adhesion are being very widely used by commercial beekeepers, mostly for flat tops. To the best of my knowledge none has reported bee kills due to any resin or other substance given off by the boards.

    I guess one sure way of knowing is to establish an test apiary using all kinds of materials and finishing or preserving products, from treated wood to non-food grade plastics, and make serious observations of the colonies. Then, test for any alien presence in the honey, wax and propolis from all hives. This kind of study would be a nice college thesis topic, since I don´t think any of the bee labs deals with hive building materials.
    A serious report on the findings will be extremely useful for beekeepers, since there are some myths that cut back on creativity and cost effectiveness of alternative materials.

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