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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default plywood for hive bodies ?

    ive heard mixed views about using plywood to make hive bodies and supers. can anyone give me the real answer of whether or not to use plywood instead of solid boards ? and why/why not ?
    the cost of lumber is getting out of hand and being a new beek... its kind of scary hahaha.
    where does everyone find the best prices for lumber ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    I may be e new to beekeeping but know a little about woodworking and from my experience the plywood would be great for a short term solution,warpage, delaminating, all the other troubles with plywood but for a year or two + should not bee a problem, solid wood should last for 10-20yrs if kept painted. plywood 2-5 max I would think. If you are building for yourself then might want to look at the long term investment, I.E. do I want to remake these boxes in couple years? Unless you can get plywood free from someplace then may be worth it?

    just my two cents
    Rick Kumer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    571

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    Plywood is glued together with all kinds of crap that would pollute the natural essence of the hive. Just use real wood.

    As far as lumber goes, look for a local mill or wait until prices drop in the spring. When building season starts, the lumber prices will drop unless there is some disaster or shortage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    The two primary materials used all across Europe for hives is Plywood and Polystyrene. There are a lot of Naysayers in regards to plywood, but most of their claims are completely unfounded. If treated correctly plywood has the same and sometimes better longevity as conventional pine construction. I would not recommend you use chip boards though except for Advantec specifically.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Martin, Tn
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    I've built a few D.Coates nucs out of 1/2" plywood and a couple out of 3/4" and of course ive had solid wood hives. Solid wood is proven and will last for years if kept painted even longer if its hot dipped. So far, the 3/4" plywood is holding up pretty well, the 1/2" is looking a little rough. I build the nucs dec of 2011 so they are just over a year old. A tip for the nucs is to paint all the exposed ends with Titebond III. I'll say it does make a difference but its kind of messy and tedious to do. jdmidwest makes a good point about finding a local sawmill. today I priced some 1" roughcut lumber for building more nucs and it was actually cheaper than using 1/2" plywood. If you want to keep bees for more than a few years, my opionion would be to get the solid stuff, take care of it, and it will last a lifetime.
    Jason Young

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    Care should be taken when buying locally sawn rough cut lumber. If it isn't kiln dried plan on spending a year or more properly air drying it before using it to build wooden ware. If not properly dried you will end up building boxes that will shrink and be useless in the very near future. When I had my mill I had a solar kiln and still had some issues with boxes shrinking and frames no longer fitting. The other issue in some woods are very unstable when drying out and will twist your joints apart.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    [QUOTE=Edward Greene;901010]Is advantech bee safe?

    We live in houses made from it, so the more important question might be "is it people safe?".

    I personally wouldn't worry about it much. I'd just use it if I wanted to.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    im ovr the Mannlake situation. when they were mentioned...i had literally (within the hour of reading it) had opened up that order. hahaha soo u can imagine my 'homer simpson' like impulse to blurt out. "DOH"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,489

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    Before you complain about Mann Lake, you should be aware that they will tell you that shipping foundation in the winter is at your risk. Beeswax becomes very brittle when it's cold, and will shatter like glass at 15F. If you had it shipped when it was cold, you were warned it wouldn't likely make it to you intact. Nothing Mann Lake or anyone else could do about it.

    I need a pile of foundation, but will either drive down to Kelley's to get it or wait until the night temps are well above freezing to order it, it will arrive shattered otherwise.

    Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: plywood for hive bodies ?

    yeah i read and understood that no worries. i took the risk and knew it. BUT...it wasnt the cold weather (if we want to continue to talk about something im really past) it was the fact that it was scattered in the box along with my other items. it seriously looked like they used it for packing material. pretty weird frankly. but like i said...im over it. remember...never sweat the small stuff...also remember...everything is small stuff.
    im really just excited to have a new passion with these little buggers and im jumping all in with both feet.

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