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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central Georgia
    Posts
    48

    Lightbulb

    ChoiceDek is a composite material made of recycled plastic and recycled wood. It is nearly impervious to moisture, CAN be painted, but does not require any sealer, etc. Readily available at your local Lowes.

    http://www.choicedek.com/about/default.asp

    Has anyone considered building hive bodies, etc from this? Granted, it's just under 1/2" thick if you buy the planks, so you would need to adjust your dimensions accordingly. I thought of doubling it up on the end pieces with the inner panel cut shorter to form the frame rest.

    In theory, this would create a hive body that would never need repainted, and would never rot. With PermaComb, you could nearly have a complete hive that would be dang-near dishwasher safe!

    The potential downside would be that it won't wick humidity away, but if you paint your hive bodies inside and out, it's not doing that anyway.

    Any thoughts (especially show stoppers) before I consider building me a couple of honey supers to use with some PermaComb this year?


    Joe
    Joe<br /><br /><br />\"The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell\" -- Confucious

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,104

    Post

    Breathing and dimensions are about the only issues I can see and it's questionable how much a hive breaths by the time you paint the outside and the bees propolize the inside.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,881

    Post

    Most of those plasti-woods are very, very heavy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    CANDIA, NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Posts
    76

    Post

    And very expensive. You could replace your equipment every year for what that "wood" costs.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central Georgia
    Posts
    48

    Post

    Since I already have some of this material for another project, I'm going to make a honey super out of it and reply back here with real numbers on both weight and cost.
    Joe<br /><br /><br />\"The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell\" -- Confucious

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default Was looking for this

    I was doing a search about this very material and this is all that I found. I have a chance to get some scraps that are about the right size for the right price. Did you get a chance to try it out? Has anyone else tried this yet?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default

    I had some given to me for free.
    I built three supers out of this stuff, with my trademark special "horribly ugly box joints." I built a box joint jig but the truth is my box joints looked like an old man with arthritis crossing his knuckles. Only uglier and without liver spots. Here's my take on it:
    1. It's heavy. It's really heavy. Did I mention that it's heavy? It's thicker than the 3/4 that most wood I use.
    2. It's weak. It flexes and flexes badly lengthwise. I used the composite material screws you are supposed to use and they began to burrow into the material in a very short order.

    I hated it, considered it a waste of effort on my part. I understand there's a variant that has a lot more plastic and is lighter. Perhaps that would yield different results. I hope someone else has success with this but I've had my fill of it.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison Heights VA
    Posts
    396

    Default

    xCOOOOOO5, Have you had a bad experience with this wonder wood? Thanks for your response, I too was thinking about using it, but my suspicions have been answered.
    Thanks again,
    Curtis

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Breathing
    Given that beehives are rarely made to be overly tight, and that bees then alter any gaps and go on to actually ventilate the thing, is the whole "breathing" thing real?

    I know wood breaths and moves with changes in humidity, but after we fry the stuff in parrafin, paint it and the bee varnish it etc, how much breathing is going on? And compared to the openings at the top and bottom of a hive, is the rate of gas exchange through 3/4 inch of solid wood really significant?

    I am not picking on Michael, but I have seen this argument for wood hundreds of time and I am wondering if it holds water.

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    OPP, Al USA
    Posts
    415

    Default Chems?

    Chemicals? It's made for exterior use. Is it going to give off any gases that the Bees won't like?

    Built a SBB using old material from my scrap pile. Had a piece of PT wood that had been used on a deck for about 5 years. Figured it wood be good to go by then. WRONG!!!
    Bees wouldn't go near it. Almost lost the hive before I saw my mistake.

    Some of the plasticised woods give off a lot of Formaldehyde.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Benson View Post
    I am not picking on Michael, but I have seen this argument for wood hundreds of time and I am wondering if it holds water.
    Ha! I get it! Of course it doesn't hold water if it breathes! Really, though, does propolis and wax breathe? (I doubt it!) and the inside of a hive is covered with that too. Part of the arguement might be leftover from the natural log hollows in which much of the inside is punky rotten wood which will absorb and hold excess water.

    But I think it is all a moot point considering the other arguments against using fake wood decking for supers. But then again, if you got the scraps and the time it doesn't hurt too much to whip one up and try it out to see if it works for you, others have.

    Rick

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,080

    Default

    I can't speak from any research or experience, but some of the synthetic lumber compounds may have preservatives. In my opinion, the synthetic materials may be better suited for bottoms, stands, pallets, etc. to keep rot from soil exposure at bay. As for the hive bodies, I feel that most of these materials I've worked with are too heavy or the thinner ones may warp, which could cause frames to dislodge or other similar problems. My 2 cents.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Default

    Personally, I wouldn't use it because I much prefer natural materials. For me, beekeeping is man working in and with nature, and as much as is possible and practical, I prefer to keep things natural. Beekeeping loses some of its soul when the bees live in plastic houses complete with plastic furniture (permacomb). But that is solely my bias, and obviously has no bearing on how the bees will respond.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default

    OOOOOKAY! I shall tell them no thanks. Thanks for the inputs.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Swobee View Post
    synthetic lumber compounds may have preservatives.
    WHy would one need preservatives in plastic? One of the big problems with plastic is that it persists . . . . for centuries.

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ScadsOBees View Post
    But I think it is all a moot point considering the other arguments against using fake wood decking for supers.
    You are right - I was off on a tangent. The stuff doesn't seem suited to making hive parts - for a lot of reasons.

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    The company I work for manufactures WPC (Wood Plastic Composite) in China. The product does not contain any chemical additives that would be of concern, its just plastic and wood fibre with a little color concentrate added. They have a voided deck board that I have considered making supers from if I can figure out a suitable corner joint. The voided deck board is considerably lighter and more rigid than the solid one. The voids in the board however make the corner joints problematic. I am thinking that a light guage steel corner bracket of some kind is what will be needed. Here is a link to our website that shows the board (scroll down to the "Decking" heading and it is product #BH-2):

    http://www.newtechwood.com/DeckingAndRailing.html
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

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