Results 1 to 20 of 51

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,862

    Default plywood nuc boxes

    I'm getting ready to build a large number of 4 frame deep nuc boxes, and obviously want to do it as cheaply as possible but also want them to hold up to the weather. I'm thinking of going with exterior plywood instead of 1x pine wood, I figure it will be less expensive. I do plan on painting the plywood with a couple coats of good quality paint. Those that have used plywood nucs for many years, how do you like them? What thickness did you use, and how did you secure the joints? Thanks. John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    I have built hive bodies made from 3/4" marine grade plywood. They lasted about 4 years.

    Just a suggestion, I scan Craigslist for pallets. Some pallets have decent 1x6 that make very good hives. Last fall I bought 96 8'x10' pallets with 11 8' 1x6's on each for $750. I have built almost 100 5 frame deep nuc boxes so far and should get 400 more. It is more work but the price is right.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,862

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Don, never thought of using pallet wood, looks like that was a really great deal for you. Even if the wood is a little scuffed up, so what, its still better than plywood and will last. John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    There is a lot of waste John, but the end result is solid wood boxes for under $2.

    It is a given that most pallet wood is junk not suitable for hives. There are specialty pallets not designed for reuse that have better wood. Tile shops are another good source. They get heavy wood single use crates. Those are generally free as well.
    I would search other threads here before going with plywood. An exception is sign grade plywood. I made some parts out of used signage plywood last year and they are doing well so far.

    I'll build a hive out of anything.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,066

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by DonShackelford View Post
    It is a given that most pallet wood is junk not suitable for hives. There are specialty pallets not designed for reuse that have better wood.
    I agree. Standard re-usable pallets typically get repaired when damaged, and have way too many "twist" nails to be usable lumber. But I find that one-time use pallets/frames used for shipping machinery work well for me. Locally I reuse log-splitter crates from Tractor Supply, and large one-time pallets from a local mower shop.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,862

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Don, so you are joining two 1x6's together to get the depth needed for deep nucs? I really hesitate to go with plywood unless others have used them and say they hold up well for many years, but my gut tells me it ain't so. I build all my equipment except frames to save money, and would like to save even more on wood, so I'm starting to look for cheaper ways to do it, as long as it holds up well, heck, the bees don't really care. I would rather spend the money on things that do matter. John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Don, so you are joining two 1x6's together to get the depth needed for deep nucs?
    Yes. I run all edges through the tablesaw, cut for length on the miter saw, then clamp two together and join them with a 1" long x 1/2" tall corrugated fastener with this air gun. No glue required.

    http://www.nailgundepot.com/prodView.asp?idproduct=1963

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    I strongly suggest adavantech instead of plywood if you are going to buy sheet stock.
    I made some last year after talking to Keth Comollo, who had left a test piece in the weather ofr a year or two unpainted and reported it still sound.

    Unlike OSB (which it looks like) it is impregnated with a waxy substance making it water resistant (so far, apparently more so than CDX ply).

    It's very easy to work with..cuts like butter and slides easily across the saw table.

    The painted boxes and untinned tops look as good now as they did when made...and the lids were constantly wet under the top bricks all winter.

    Bees in these boxes have done very well in them after a very difficult year of weather stress...and the bees in them are only 4 frame nucs (in an upstate NY winter).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    I made a bunch of Nuc boxes last year using pressure treated plywood. I used 3/4" for the top, bottom, and ends. 1/2" was used for the sides. Only problem encountered was some slight warping of the 1/2" sides. I used 1/4" crown staples to assemble the pieces. I did paint the exterior of all the boxes. These are all stored outside on a special pallet. Bottoms have a cleat that aligns with an opening on the pallet. 8 Nuc boxes to a pallet. These were 5 frame Nucs.

    Wisnewbee
    Bill

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,821

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    I strongly suggest adavantech instead of plywood if you are going to buy sheet stock.
    I agree. I'm using it exclusively for tops and bottoms. Most not painted and holding up well with very little warping. Made some of CDX plywood that warped and separated. I like the advantech.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    How do the 1/2" D. Coates boxes or the Advantech (1/2"??) boxes fare in the cold of winter? I am planning to make 30 to 40 of them for overwintering and am curious how the bees will do in them? Do you use any insulation? I'm in the middle of Connecticut & am curious what % of success I'm might expect??

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBeeGood View Post
    How do the 1/2" D. Coates boxes or the Advantech (1/2"??) boxes fare in the cold of winter? I am planning to make 30 to 40 of them for overwintering and am curious how the bees will do in them? Do you use any insulation? I'm in the middle of Connecticut & am curious what % of success I'm might expect??
    I have used the dcoates boxes to over winter here in Missouri. We don't get as cold here as you do there, but the thing to remember is it's not normally the cold that kills the bees it's moisture or getting caught covering brood and not able to cluster properly. I got 2 nucs thru our winter that were so weak they had no business making it, but they did, and one of those is one of my most productive queens right now. Going into this next winter my plan is to overwinter multiple nucs and to have 5 frame supers for them as well. I make the supers the same way as the regular dcoates except that I leave off the bottom of course, don't drill an entrance in it, and I add cleats to both sides on the bottom (this covers up the crack that there would be on the bottom one without a lid). Good luck

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Plantsville, Ct.
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Thanks! I appreciate the info. When do you start your Nucs that you are planning to overwinter?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBeeGood View Post
    Thanks! I appreciate the info. When do you start your Nucs that you are planning to overwinter?
    Both nucs that went thru winter last year were mid year splits that never took off (DROUGHT) that I put back into nucs in the fall. I don't think they would have survived if they had been in a 10 frame box. As for timing the nucs for when to start them to over winter I don't think that even if I had a good idea on that for my area that you would want to follow the same timing up there. I think for you, that you'd be better off following what Michael Palmer does because he is in Maine (I think, somewhere up northeast), and that would more match your climate. My plan this year is to make multiple batches of grafted queens until the drought(if only it wouldn't)kicks in, and then manage the nucs in a double nuc (10 frames) arrangement, stealing brood or stores or giving stores to keep them a good size. Then over winter them, come spring assuming that they survived (and why wouldn't they my bees are awesome LOL), basically split it in 2, 1/2 will have the queen and 1/2 won't, the 1/2 without a queen will get a queen cell from grafts I would have started about 10 days before the split. So I get to sell an over wintered nuc, and then I have a 2nd nuc ready for sale hopefully 4 weeks later.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: plywood nuc boxes

    Those Northeast states are all the same anyway. Palmer= Vermont
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads