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Thread: Plywood Supers

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    I find some real disconnects here on beesource lately, seems to be more prevalent within the last year or so. Maybe I'm just getting old and grouchy. There are folks praising the "plywood nucs" thread (myself included) and here some are warning against its usage. Further, some have no problems dumping a whole host of essential oils, acids, and other "stuff" into their colonies, then we have other posts were someone's concerned about outgassing of plastic foundations..... I guess there's strength in diversity of opinion, but I get the overwhelming sense that there are bigger issues to worry about and I think we'd benefit our bees more if we focused on the core issues impacting the health and management of our colonies.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    I found this information really helpful. I was close to using the plywood but then my neighbor said he wouldn't advise it. He mentioned particle board but I wasn't sure if it's a good idea. This forum board affirmed it's advantages.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    Although no one here has demonstrated that there is any actual danger to honeybees living in plywood hives, I'll offer this tidbit:

    Exterior-grade plywood uses adhesives containing phenyl formaldehyde that have a much lower rate of outgassing than interior grades made with urea formaldehyde adhesives.

    Again, I'd be interested in seeing any factual information concerning harmful effects in using any grade of plywood in building bee equipment.

    Wayne

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    If it is any consolation, the folks at USDA use plywood for just about anything, i did not see any plywood boxes when i was down there.

    mike
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    I would also be curious to know WHO would sponsor such research. It would not be a plywood company as it's not in their best interest. It could not be a hobbyiest due to the excessive costs. Everybody else is broke! and to what end? As hygiene is most important to the the bees, I too would practice safe beekeeping and avoid all such potential possibilities.
    And of course those that disagree could ill afford to "prove" their position as well.....ask two beeks one question and get five answers, anytime, day or night!


    Quote Originally Posted by waynesgarden View Post
    Although no one here has demonstrated that there is any actual danger to honeybees living in plywood hives, I'll offer this tidbit:

    Exterior-grade plywood uses adhesives containing phenyl formaldehyde that have a much lower rate of outgassing than interior grades made with urea formaldehyde adhesives.

    Again, I'd be interested in seeing any factual information concerning harmful effects in using any grade of plywood in building bee equipment.

    Wayne

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    When they put tree sap between the layers of plywood , I might concider this. Being in flooring ,I recall when lots of people were getting sick shortly after haveing carpet installed. They realized it was the chem. used to bond the pad together. Big reason carpet is used a lot less in homes. The same chems.is still used in ply. Plus used out side even with paint, warping would be an issue with layered wood..

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    Quote Originally Posted by LenInNorCal View Post
    ...WHO would sponsor such research. It would not be a plywood company as it's not in their best interest. It could not be a hobbyiest due to the excessive costs.
    I think enough anecdotal evidence is in to satisfy me. Generations of bees have lived their natural life spans in my plywood nucs without any apparent ill-effects. Likewise, no one I know has seen any ill effects from hiving nucs or colonies in plywood and I do not remember ever reading of a single instance of resulting harm.

    So, exactly what are the ill-effects that those concerned imagine, anyway? Do you imagine the bees are going to contract some sort of lung cancer during their short, few weeks on this planet? Perhaps they are at risk of impaling themselves on the large splinters that plywood is prone to have?

    How much of this supposedly harmful outgassing is going to occur through the face grain of plywood that the bees are exposed to as opposed to the edges which generally do not face the interior of the (well ventilated) space occupied by these short-lived bees?

    I think concern about toxins that no one seems able to establish is a real problem is as far down my list of things to worry about as it can go. In fact, I have a trailer-load of scrap plywood that I will be ripping down this weekend to make nuc/swarm trap boxes for next year. Lot's of plywood.

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 11-06-2010 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Spelling

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    I was in the "chemical" industry for a decade and I would hate to know what my liver has been through. I do know that humans tolerate bad chemistry or polutants better than do insects or bugs. Now, after years of running a wood shop, I find that my chemistry knowledge is vitally important. All this said, I am very very concerned with the chemicals used out of the USA in wood products fabrication. Both the glues and the processes used in making plywood and other such composites are without regard to how residuals or residues affect our health. You may recall the sheet rock recently shipped here from China... it was bad stuff and had to be removed from housing. Other countries such as Russia have no constraints on harmful chemicals. My bottom line is that the loss of a hive due to elements that come out of plywood sitting out in the sun just isn't worth the cost savings. Also, you probably wouldn't be able to prove what killed your bees.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    I, for one, am going "Green." I'm painting all my plywood equipment a nice shade of green with some free paint I just obtained. Lids, bottom boards, pallets, nuc boxes, everything! The rest of you greenies go ahead and regress to bee gums. Much safer than man-manipulated natural products. BTW, I hear you can get lubricating oil on the lumber they saw up for beehives; OMG! And all of it has those manufacturer ID ink stamps, which I'm sure contains some form of harmful chemicals.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tubee View Post
    I was in the "chemical" industry for a decade ..... My bottom line is that the loss of a hive due to elements that come out of plywood sitting out in the sun just isn't worth the cost savings.
    Again I ask, have you lost a hive in a plywood box during all your time as a beekeeper? Do you know anyone who has? Have you observed unexplained declines in colonies hived in plywood with no correlation to loss of control hives housed in conventional hives? Or is this just more supposition? Are facts iimportant in this discussion?

    How do you explain the countless generations of honeybees raised in plywood boxes by many beekeepers with no noticible effects? Would not evidence of harm have become apparent rather quickly, given the short lifespan of the average bee? Several generations of bees are easaily observed in a single season. After all, one doe not have to wait years for toxins to build up in the liver. (Bees have no liver.)

    Please, someone tell me exactly how harmful are the minute outgassings from plywood into a well-ventilated space occupied by very short-lived insects with a very different physiology than humans.

    Well, I'm finished asking these questions since it's obvous that no one is going to support their fears with facts or any reasonable hypothises or any actual experience other than having worked in the "chemical" business or in the carpet trade or in a mill. Tell me you worked in these trade doing biological research on the molecular level and that you have actual information to present and I'll reconsider using plywood in the dozens of nucs I am making for next year. Unfounded fears won't convince me.

    Wayne

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    I made my La Gargantua hives out of ply wood in 2007. Both have died out once since then but it did not seem in relationship to the plywood but just part of the immense die out I have had occurring over the last few years in all of my hives. On 4/17 a gigantic bait hive moved into the large cell bait hive and proceed to produce a 150 pound crop. Clearly the bees were not able to recognize any toxic qualities of the plywood if they exist.
    Click pic to view video of this swarm moving in.


  12. #32
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    Quote Originally Posted by waynesgarden View Post
    Again I ask, have you lost a hive in a plywood box during all your time as a beekeeper? Do you know anyone who has? Have you observed unexplained declines in colonies hived in plywood with no correlation to loss of control hives housed in conventional hives? Or is this just more supposition? Are facts iimportant in this discussion?
    You make an excellent point. As with you, I doubt if anyone can give proof positive that hive loss was due what others believe to be harmful to bees. Of course, as previously stated, it is not in any monied interest to prove such, now is it? I mean the plywood association wouldn't set out to do so, and I would suspect they would counter anyone that attempt to do such. Much like cigarettes did not cause cancer for all those years and those companies had plenty of proof that it was the case that no cancer could be directly linked to esophageal, throat, lung, pharynx, or any of the complications of that smoke. Those were FACTS those companies had and all those old stupid wives tales were simply silly, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by waunesgarden View Post
    How do you explain the countless generations of honeybees raised in plywood boxes by many beekeepers with no noticible effects? Would not evidence of harm have become apparent rather quickly, given the short lifespan of the average bee? Several generations of bees are easaily observed in a single season. After all, one doe not have to wait years for toxins to build up in the liver. (Bees have no liver.)
    It is the possibility that "noticeable effects" are not noticed within a generation, no? Or even several scores of generations, as the chemicals used in manufacturing and the enviornment change as well. Some regulatory agency is always after manufacturers due to short term studies so youj may be right in that what has been used for five years and is no longer used may not show immediately. Of course the word "cumulative" comes to mind, as do "longtitudal studies" but you wish to see effects right now, you old Doubting Thomas, you.
    Of course, when you come down to it, it's all a statistical numbers game. It may not effect this queen or that, or it may not show up for a while but sooner or later some sport will adjust to the outgas and will be nudged to change. Although I am probably wrong in that they've not changed much in 65 million years, so tomorrow or next summer may be to soon, but sooner or later mutation does occurs, and while most are unsuccessfull, some will take, and you will get your wish.

    Quote Originally Posted by waunesgarden View Post
    Please, someone tell me exactly how harmful are the minute outgassings from plywood into a well-ventilated space occupied by very short-lived insects with a very different physiology than humans.
    Well, I'm finished asking these questions since it's obvous that no one is going to support their fears with facts or any reasonable hypothises or any actual experience other than having worked in the "chemical" business or in the carpet trade or in a mill. Tell me you worked in these trade doing biological research on the molecular level and that you have actual information to present and I'll reconsider using plywood in the dozens of nucs I am making for next year. Unfounded fears won't convince me.
    Wayne
    Wayne, bud, you probably know if anyone came up with something it could easily be called fake, since anecdotal cases are never 'facts' so quit blowing smoke. As far as a reasonable person could discern, the plywood association aint going come out and say their stuff is poisonious. So AFAIK, we simply can't get there from here. You go on and build all you can bee and none will worry a lick about your honey. As for me and mine, good old Home Depot pine will do me right.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    "but sooner or later some sport will adjust to the outgas and will be nudged to change."

    You state this as fact but I can't help but assume that you have no knowledge and are simply making this up as you go along or would have provided actual facts, documentation or statistics if there was any basis to your claims.

    For what it is worth, my father, who was a heavy smoker, died from lung cancer during the days when tobacco companies hired doctors to appear in ads and claim cigarettes were safe. We saw heavy smokers getting sick and dying in our homes pretty regularly so we were doubtful when the companies strongly denied the scientific research linking smoking to lung cancer. So I don't think I'm the naive idiot that you seem to believe I am.

    Being non-scientists, we based our silly assumptions on our observations, on what we observed to be possible causes of the effects we were seeing. Actual effects, effects that actually happened, that we could document: dead fathers, husbands, etc.

    You haven't showed us a single dead bee. In this case, you are citing a cause for effects that, as far as you can show, have never happened, that you have no knowledge ever will happen. Effects that you only imagine, with no basis in fact, may happen in how many years? Decades? Centuries? Ever?

    Poor for even pseudo-science. Worthless.

    Wayne

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    By the way, just one more thing for you to worry (imagine) about:

    Know that smell of fresh pine? You know that wonderful Christmas tree smell?
    Outgassing of chemicals from the wood. Resins, terpenes, etc. What is that going to be doing to your bees decades or centuries down the road?

    Just wondering...not that I have any knowledge that it will be a problem. Just sayin...

    Wayne

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    plywood is good
    Last edited by MARBIS; 11-08-2010 at 01:18 PM. Reason: UNQ, political
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    Well Wayne, you bested me. I've no evidence that you ask for, but then again we can't observe on the chemical level, or at least none that I know can so we have to go with what biochem researches tell us. And they get their money from???? Besides Obama's folks, which is our money anyway, but also from those that wish to promulgate how good their products are. No?
    As for me making it up as I go along, you are right on the money again! But when I think about it, my statement you catch me on "sooner or later some sport will change" is simply based on statistics, math, and evolution. Now if you don't go with that I can understand but until something better comes those are fair yardsticks on which to measure. You mention the millions of bees born in a year, sooner or later there will be a mutation and reaction to what could be doing 'harm' such that stressors will be overcome and breeding will continue.
    Plain but extrapolated fact. Or all bees will die, and then I will be dead wrong as well.
    Sorry about your Dad, as my Grandfater also died of lung cancer, as will I after 30 years of smoking, though I quite almost the same amount of time back.
    As for science, pseudo science, etc. we only observe behavior and what out gasses of pines or plywood cause cannot be "seen" but can be measured with very fine instruments, none of which are available to you or me. Time will tell. Consider it in light of the mercury in fish, or other cause and effect problems. We can observe the effect and ascribe it to a singular cause, or even a constellation of causes, is what so many arguments are about.
    For me and mine, I just can't imagine making a hive out of something that makes mobile homes, as in the Katrina houses the gov't purchased, to be unlivable for humans. I notice Mann Lake, Dadant and others don't use ply in their woodenware, so why should I?

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    Mann Lake has plywood bottom boards. They're great, IMO.
    "Experience is that which enables us to recognize our mistakes - the next time we make them."

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    After reading all the debate if plywood is killing my bees or not? Now I canít sleep wondering, if I am endangering my bees with the glue I use to assemble my frames with. Or if I got them high enough off the ground for the wicked Michigan winters? Or if I have sanitized my hive tool enough and wonít transfer some new disease that we havenít discovered yet. And how do we know pine sap wonít make them sick. I never seen a hive in a pine tree, maple or oak or other hardwood. Not to mention all the buildings they have taken up residence.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    I have a friend who built 80 plywood hives in 1964,painted them and still using them. I have never heard of anyone being run out of a house because of plywood. Sheetrock yes, plywood no. I make hives and nucs from plywood, the girls don't mind at all.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Plywood Supers

    Most ply's these days use carb compliant and newer environmentally better things anyhow too. Maybe not in the USA everywhere lol but in some places and canada do..

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