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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    Hi all. I found the plans on this site for making 4 nucs from a single 4' x 8' sheet of plywood. I like them and they turned out great. However, I did not build these to sell. I want to raise nucs this spring/summer and possibly overwinter nucs in these boxes. I am in MO and we have fairly short but commonly cold, humid winters. Is it a bad idea to use these nuc boxes with 1/2" thick walls long-term? I didn't realize how much thinner this lumber is than my existing equipment until the nucs were already built.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    You may have to insulate them some in the winter. Put several coats of paint on them to make them last.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    knoxville, tn
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    I have some that I never got around to painting yet, still holding up good. I did put a piece of plastic sign board on the tops of them to shed the rain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    i ran a few of them last season and they did awesome. im actually building more today and repainting the old ones. i did have a few not make it through the winter. not sure if it was my fault or the thin walls. they were fine until the vortex came through. this winter i will probably stack them and push them all side by side. the coates are cheap and easy enough to give out with ur nucs if u sell them which is what im thinking of doing this year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,116

    Default Re: Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by tommysnare View Post
    i will probably stack them and push them all side by side. the coates are cheap and easy enough to give out with ur nucs .
    Use plywood clips when you stack them. I "notched' mine where I put on the clips so that they stack flush..........
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Madisonville,TN
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    I overwintered mine in half inch plywood nucs this winter and they came through great. I did cover them when it got done to 0 those few times.
    16 y, 30 hives ULBN, treat when needed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Granby, MO
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt903 View Post
    I overwintered mine in half inch plywood nucs this winter and they came through great. I did cover them when it got done to 0 those few times.
    How did you cover them?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,346

    Default Re: Thickness of wood -- building nucs with 1/2" lumber okay?

    I've expanded my nuc production, but, instead of building more nucs out of the usual 3/4" thick lumber, I used 15/32" 5-ply plywood. I use my refurbished RAS (radial arm saw), to outrip four foot wide strips of the 4' x 8' plywood sheets, to 19-1/8" wide, then reset the blade to cut the nuc side pieces, either 6-5/8" for mediiums, or 9-5/8" for deeps. I don't use wood for bottoms or covers - instead I use a combination of wax coated cardboard (for some bottoms - stapled on), or #8 hardware cloth and foamboard, and black poly / small towels / thin foamboard sheets for covers. I just slide the covers back a crack for entrances.

    This way, I can grow nucs in one set of these boxes, and build another set, to transfer them into, so the customers can transport their nucs in and permanently keep another set - they're very economical. They can also bring back their used plywood nuc boxes for refills. For the transport plywood nuc boxes, I staple a double layer of cardboard for the bottom, capture and cage the queen (to help keep her safe during transport), and staple a piece of #8 hardware cloth, about two inches wide, to each top end of the nucs, for ventilation, and staple through it and into the nuc edge and the two outer frames - to help hold them from slapping/shifting during transport. On the top of the nuc, I then staple a clean white shop towel/rag, between the two sections of wire mesh. It helps reflect any sunlight off of the combs/bees, keeping them cooler, and if the trip is long or the nucs need to wait much for the customer to arrive, it can be wet to provide moisture to the bees, and they can be stacked, cris-cross without interfering with their ventilation.

    I haven't painted any, yet, though I'm thinking about doing so - I would probably paint the more permanent ones, to make it easier to sort them.

    I don't really have cold weather, so I can't address that issue, of course. But perhaps a 1/2" thick piece of foamboard, or thicker, could be firmly attached to the outside surface, using construction contact cement (like Liquid Nails), or other appropriate adhesive. I do use nucs composed of thick foamboard, with an inner layer of aluminum, for queen cell builder colonies. Apparently the insulation helps the bees to keep it warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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