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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Napa, CA, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Glass or acrylic/plastic

    I'm building a top bar hive with a large observation window on one side.
    I'm wondering if glass is better or acrylic.

    Thanks
    Eric

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Glass or acrylic/plastic

    What about them are you looking for to be better?

    Both have their pros and cons as materials.

    (+) Acrylic can be cut on a table saw (Don't cut on a SAWSTOP table saw, it will trigger the safety mechanism)
    (+) Some glass doesn't scratch as easily
    (+) Both can be cut to any shape
    (-) Glass can be more brittle
    (-) Acrylic scratches easily and the compound to remove the scratches is very expensive

    If durability it what your after, acrylic might be the more durable material.

    But depending on what your willing to spend dollar wise, you can find glass that has been tempered / treated.

    Think about how your top bar hive will be used. The TBH will sit there, where as lang boxes can get moved around, knocked over, stacked, plopped down, etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Napa, CA, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Glass or acrylic/plastic

    Thank you for your thoughts.
    My concern is if I have to scrap along the glass/acrylic I think the acrylic will scratch easy but the glass is more suseptibe to breakage. Great idea about tempered glass. I don't know how thin it comes but will be looking into it.

    thanks again

    eric

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Amarillo Texas
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Glass or acrylic/plastic

    If you are talking about plexiglas or something like, yes it can be cut on panel saw or table saw. I do it all the time, but after it is exposed to the sun for a while it gives off a terrible odor; even when it has low-e. I think the smell would be bad for bees. I would use double strength glass or tempered. Just go to a wholesale glass company not a big box store and it is just as cheap as plastic

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Glass or acrylic/plastic

    1/4” Laminated Safety Glass is best. We spec. all our hives for it. Indeed it’s heavy and expensive.
    It’s indestructible, easy to clean and the Bees build less comb on it. Buy 3/16” from your glass dealer if they have it, most will have 1/4“.
    Third choice would be tempered or double strength, last is acrylic.

    A swarm in May - is worth a load of hay.
    A swarm in June - is worth a silver spoon.
    A swarm in July - isn't worth a fly.

    Bonterra Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Napa, CA, USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Glass or acrylic/plastic

    Great info.
    Thank you all.

    Eric

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Glass or acrylic/plastic

    mine is real glass. 3ft x 8in. Bought a large picture w/ glass at the thrift store that was marked down to nothing and took it to a glass shop to have them cut it. Cut cost me $5. Frame with glass $15. I couldn't do it any cheaper. I wanted glass anyway so I could easily clean up the wax and other stuff that builds up on the glass.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Glass or acrylic/plastic

    Honey Hive Farms,

    Either would work, we like real glass.

    NOTE:
    If you don't keep it covered when not looking in, they will build over the glass. Keep I covered when not using
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

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