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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Cellular PVC Hives?

    Has anyone used Cellular PVC to build hives with? It is more expensive than pine, but would last forever, and has good insulation properties.

    Ted

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,742

    Default Re: Cellular PVC Hives?

    taydeko.... I think I am on the same page with you, but, not sure. I had not heard it called cellular PVC but rather by a Brand name "Versatec". I googled Cellular PVC, and Versatec, and I think it is the same thing you are talking about.

    I am running a test now on Versatec. I made two complete bottom boards and put hives on them. I wanted to see if they will warp as badly as the plastic and fiberglass bottom boards of the past. The bottom board is heavier than wood, but, would not have to be painted and would never rot, last forever. So far does not seem to have warped, still looks good. I'll know next year how it turned out after going through winter..

    I also made several tops, (just the side and end,) and then used wood and covered with metal. These will work well. I think they would draw moisture too badly if used for the top portion of a top.

    I only had pieces that were 4 inch wide, so I did not make a box from it. They can be glued using a special glue (can't remember the name and the can is in the wood shop). The regular pvc and cpvc glue did not work on it. Only bad thing is with the glue I used you have a very short working time until it sets, then it cannot be moved. This turned out to be critical in squaring the frame for a top. Have to work quickly.

    So far I have learned this. The material works well. Saws and planes well. It makes good box joints, and the rabbet for the side rail of bottom board works well. Only problem so far is, If you use nails, and you get the least bit off center, the material will bust out a chunk of the plastic. So I started using 1 1/2 staples and the glue. And, working time for the glue to set. If you were making supers I don't suppose you would have to glue them if you are using box joints and 1 1/2 staples. I haven't tried that yet.

    I don't think I would want to use it for hive bodies as I believe moisture would be a problem, same as total plastic tops . I think it would be fine for honey supers and I am trying to get some now to try it. My experimental pieces were given to me from cutoffs from a contracting company in Elizabethtown. I hope i can get some more for tests. They said they had lots of small pieces.

    Maybe others can chime in with what they have tried.

    If you can get small pieces free it certainly would be worth a good test.

    cchoganjr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Cellular PVC Hives?

    Cleo, thanks for the reply.

    Versatec is a brand name. There are many brands. I was thinking about making hive boxes with it. I know there are special adhesives for it, and was thinking that gluing it would save a lot of time and effort. I don't plan to use it for tops, I think condensation would be really bad with this material on top, but I think the insulating capabilities might be useful in the bodies, and I use top entrances, so perhaps it wouldn't be a problem for hive bodies and supers. For tops I am thinking about using ready backer board, which is weather proof, but permeable to water. Ready Backer board is 5 feet by 3 feet, so it cuts to exactly the right size for 6 tops of 8 frame hives.

    The big problem with the pvc is the cost. I can't find any locally yet, and it costs about 70 dollars per plank. Pretty steep. I have ordered a free sample, but I am not aware of any source of scraps. The cost is high, but if the hives lasted forever....

    Ted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,742

    Default Re: Cellular PVC Hives?

    taydeko...Check some building construction companies, the one that gave me the boards i got, said they had a mountain of it. Problem is they are also bee keepers, and they are starting to build their own bee supplies too. I sold them 14 nucs last year and they gave me the pieces I have.

    It does really work up well. Very easy to work with in making box joints, rabbets, etc.

    Would be interesting to see how they would work as hive bodies.

    If I learn anything more, I will reply here.

    cchoganjr

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