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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    21

    Post

    Well I have decided to try to build a TBH out of Blue Insulation foam, it is sturdy, and should hold up pretty well. I will build the top bars out of wood. Since I live in Alaska this seems like the thing to do. I should be able winter them over. Has anyone else ever tried this??? What do you think.... Shorts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Post

    the bees have a tendency to chew on the foam. the foil back product seems to last quite well.

    ps... I have never constructed a top bar hive so the application here is permanent division in standard boxs for queen rearing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Shorts,

    Keith Malone built a tbh out of high density foam. It is used in building roadways, runways in permafrost areas. I've got a shot of his tbh hive on my site at: www.bwrangler.com/bee/ttbh.htm

    It's the pink tbh with supers about half way down the page. He may have more pictures on his website. I haven't been there in awhile and don't remember the link.

    Also, some of the earlier versions of the Cal-Kenya hive were made from blue foam. There are some neat pictures of this hive on Leonard's site.

    It seems that blue foam is just a little too soft for beehive use. But I think maybe a blue foam core with a grancrete type finish might fix that problem. http://www.grancrete.net/index_12.htm

    Such a hive should be light, tough, cheap, easy to build.

    Regards
    Dennis

    [SIZE=1][ December 31, 2006, 12:14 AM: Message edited by: D. Murrell ][/SIZE]
    Last edited by D. Murrell; 11-07-2007 at 07:45 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    another possibility would be to line it with 1/4" luan plywood
    can I stray from cheap and simple or what? [img]smile.gif[/img]
    I think at minimum I'd try to have some kinda of rim on it where the bars rest
    I would think the foam would get damaged easily when you pried loose the bars that are propilzed down

    Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    15

    Post

    I was thinking about using 1"x2" wood to make rails for the bars to sit on and glue that to the edge of the bluefoam. Would that work?
    As for the chewing, how about lining the inside with tinfoil? It worked on my cardboard follower board, and made a nice high temp. bee gasket. I'm currently useing a panneling follower with a low temp. bee gasket (duct tape).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    21

    Post

    That is what I was thinking too, some kind of rail for the topbars, I was reading in one of the bee catalogs about the foam type hives. Ah, found it, Betterbee sells a polystyrene hive... Called the beemax. Looks like it should work for cold climate very well. Gotta try it for my self.. any more thoughts??? Shorts

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockport, MA, USA
    Posts
    4

    Post

    A cheap way to go would be to just line the foam hive body with resawed, butt glued (gorilla glue pallet wood, glued down to the foam with el cheapo polyurethane construction adhesive (the 'liquid nails' stuff). Just check to make sure that the adhesive you intend to use will work on the foam board you've chosen.

    I'd also try to find a way to seal all exposed edges and the entrances so that the bees or other critters wouldn't be as likely to chew them up.

    Maybe something as simple as gluing in an oversized wood plug, then gingerly drilling it out. Or maybe pre-drilling it would be easier.

    If you just make the hive body out of foam board, then line it, you could put as much board on the outside as you wanted and get plenty of insulation. Of course, you would still have to make sure the joining edges were bevelled right so that you didn't leak out all the heat you were trying to keep in.

    Just some extra pennies to add to the 2cents [img]smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    >As for the chewing, how about lining the inside with tinfoil?

    Most of the chewing occurs in the corners and along edges. Duct tape (or metal auto body repair tape) applied along edges usually prevents that.

    Duct tape--the Alasakan repair kit....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    21

    Post

    Home depot has a polystyrene that might do the trick also, just have to find a good glue and make it solid. Might even make a base for the whole tbh to sit on. These bees really have it good don't they... later dudes... Shorts

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Yoder, CO
    Posts
    81

    Post

    I would like to build a hive out if Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for the brood boxes, but havn't found the type I want (2 inch foam laminated with 1/4" wood). Thought of just buying the 2 inch blue foam and laminating it myself.

  11. #11

    Post

    All my hives are build with combination of pink styrofoam, wood, plywood, Gorilla Glue (polyurethane), and are doing fine.
    General construction idea you my find : http://homepage.interaccess.com/~net...ezramkowy.html

    I have a few improvements ideas but for while I am tired of experimenting.

    It is in Polish language but picture will give you general orientation.
    Wojtek

  12. #12

    Post

    Dennis mentioned Grancrete as a material combined with Styrofoam. I didn’t try this. Too complicated to get it. However I used similar way synthetic stucco over wood and Styrofoam. I build roof this way. .. woden frame 3” or 2 ½” x ½” and 1” thick pink Styrofoam. All exterior surface is covered with about 1/8” of stucco. This excellently adhere to wood and foam creating indestructible by erosion surface, stiff enough and strong enough. All weights a few Lb. (about 4’ x2’) Just to be sure that water will not penetrate wood I painted wooden part with latex primer to seal it, before putting stucco.
    This stucco requite a good few days to harden, but then will last almost forever. After hardening I painted this with Latex. This way it is excellent thermal and erosive protection, very light, and strong sufficiently. You can see it on my internet sight.
    Wojtek

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    .

    Blue insulating board is too soft for bees, ants and woodpeckers. I have made mating nucs from that board. Board gets holes in one month.

    "Canoe plywood" on surface will help. Polyuretane clue works well because it attach to plastics and it's foam seals joints.

    .

  14. #14

    Post

    Any foam is too soft for bees, ants, insects, not mentioning birds, and quickly disintegrate with ultraviolet. But with proper preparation and a bit of skill, combining it with wood, polyurethane glue, synthetic stucco, paint, it is excellent material which will last almost forever as a hive. It is less expensive than wood, better thermal insulator than wood, and easy to work with. This however is balanced with a bit more work and some skill. But if someone has more time than money it shouldn’t be a problem. Skill comes with work, money free.
    Foam ( I am using pink one) covered with Gorilla Glue or equivalent (polyurethane without solvent which dissolves foam) in a form of thin layer is impenetrable by any insects and water and forms hard shell. Hard sufficiently. Certainly it is easy to pierce such shell but it is sufficiently hard for gentile scrubbing wax or propolis from it.
    This glue has to be applied with some skill. Surface of Styrofoam has to be made very flat. This is obtained with sand paper on a block of wood. The panel have to be on flat table.Dust have to be brushed thoroughly, of blown with compressed air. Then with 4” spatula the glue is spread very thin, almost scrubbed, just to make the surface wet. If too thick it will foam. After a few hours it is ready to sandpaper it gently again and repeat this process with slightly less pressure. Usually this is sufficient but the third layer will make it harder, stiffer, and more impenetrable.
    In my experience it didn’t happened that this was chewed by bees, or ants. Exposed raw foam certainly will be easily chewed.
    Wojtek

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