Using 2X lumber for boxes? - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
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    94

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    I cut a little lip in mine that is 3/16 high. They telescope over the lower box. They won't slide. Also the same size boxes i made out of 3/4 stuff for light honey supers will fit that groove perfectly. The 2x super will fit perfectly over them.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    At the retail level 2x lumber is better quality (not to include 2x4s), 2x lumber is made for construction and it must meet industrial standards. 1x lumber is made for interior shelves or the hobby wood workers. There is always stacks of the 2x lumber which you can pick even better pieces. And only a few pieces 1x and 1/2 of those are junk. (unless you get the select pine 1x almost knot free but itís going to cost you)

    I buy the 16 foot lengths and have Lowes cut them smaller so I can easily cut them on my table saw. About 6" per board goes to waste.
    It cost me about $6 buck to make a deep with rabbit joints and about $4 for the super. I use wood screw (2.99 lb) and tite bond III. I then apply a 25 year latex caulk to the end grain and knots (5 min per box). And top it off with a 25 year opps paint.

    And there is more 2x lumber available so you can pick the best boards, and a knot in a 2x is nothing to worry about,

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    From the bees point of view 2 inch is likely better, getting closer to the insulation qualities of a tree.
    I completely agree, and also believe bees will winter/summer better and use less honey to heat and cool their hive. Winter survival percentages will increase at least a little. 2 inch wood also absorb more moisture.

    A down side is the is hive very heavy. And you will have to make them they are not available for sale.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Monkton, MD
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    122

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    I made a couple 2x deeps, because I had some free lumber, and found that if I made them for 8 frames, they stack and sit nicely with the ten frame 1x deeps. They are a pain to lift, though, so I only use them as a bottom brood box. It might be my imagination, but I think that with the 2x wood, the bees are more likely to draw out comb and lay eggs on the outside frames with the thicker wood. Of co ruse, maybe they just run out of room faster with only 8 frames.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,768

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    >Why is the "standard" for boxes 1X lumber?

    One by boxes are much lighter. They used to be cheaper... don't know if that's still true or not (I haven't compared prices lately). I would prefer lighter boxes to heavier boxes...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
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    557

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    I'm thinking of building a couple nucs with 2" lumber. It's usually cheaper and better grade here. I think a simple butt joint would work fine for a nuc. The extra weight wouldn't be as much of a problem, and the extra insulation would be more important. Has anyone tried this?

    I'm all mediums. I'm thinking a 6 or 7 frame nuc with 2" lumber could probably work in western MO? Maybe I should do a double 5 frame? I thought I'd wait until fall and see how many frames of bees and honey I have to put in them.

  7. #26
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,768

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Butt joints work fine if you screw them together. Otherwise they are not very trustworthy. A rabbet joint would be easy enough to do even with a regular blade, and two cuts on a table saw. A 45 screwed together in a jig so they stay in position would have a lot less exposed grain...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
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    557

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Thanks! I'll probably try to 45.

    Do you think the 2" would be worthwhile? How small of a nuc do you think would be likely to survive here? I'm thinking of a 6- 7 frame medium. I'm 90 miles south of Kansas City. I may have done one split too many. I couldn't get a Foley queen I wanted until this week. They kept making more brood earlier this year.

    If we keep getting rain, I think they'll build up enough. I can borrow from the earlier splits, but they're all new so can't borrow lot.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
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    891

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenww View Post
    I'm thinking of a 6- 7 frame medium.
    I strongly suggest you stick with a standard size box that the beeks in your area are useing. If they like useing 8's go with 8 if they are useing 10's go that way.

    Within our beekeeping club in our area there is people willing to lend equipment back and forth as need be. IT could be an impromptu swarm catch or unexpected splits due to swarm cells. you dont want to be the odd man out that cant make use of the extra super you needed at the right time.

  10. #29
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,768

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    >Do you think the 2" would be worthwhile?

    It probably helps the bees some. I cluster all my hives together for winter, so 10 hives are touching on three sides and 4 hives are touching on two sides. I think that probably pays better than the 2" lumber and I don't have to lift so much. Weight is a big issue in beekeeping.

    > How small of a nuc do you think would be likely to survive here? I'm thinking of a 6- 7 frame medium.

    I have overwintered single eight frame boxes but if I get some really cold weather, they sometimes don't make it. Two eight frame mediums is a much better bet. That is, of course, assuming I have the bees and honey to fill those boxes. Adding a box to a small cluster is counterproductive. But growing it to fill another box is very helpful. You may have to feed to get them to grow that big if the flow is slow, but two boxes would be my goal.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    134

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    after multiple splits getting chilled brood this year I am going to build a 2x nuc with a heating pad. this will be my nurse hive for making queens as early as i can in the PNW area.

  12. #31
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    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,092

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Several of my boxes were made from 2x that I resawed and planed to 3/4"

    The r-value of 3/4" wood is ~1. A 2x will have an r value of ~2. That isn't going to make a practical difference to be a factor in the choice.
    Zone 5B

  13. #32
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    Several of my boxes were made from 2x that I resawed and planed to 3/4"

    The r-value of 3/4" wood is ~1. A 2x will have an r value of ~2. That isn't going to make a practical difference to be a factor in the choice.
    Whilst discussing the so-called "insulation" characteristics of some material, do not forget - this is not about simple R-values.

    Need to consider at least the combination of R-value AND also the material's thermal mass.
    Twice more wood provides twice the R-value and twice the thermal mass in combination (both help to shave off the external temp swings during the critical early spring build-up time).

    Since during the active brood times, bees actively depend on maintaining constant optimal temp dis-balance from the external conditions (by heating and cooling) - every little helps the energy expenditures. Better for the bees.

    Yes, the structure will be more heavy too - not so good for the keeper.

    Added: if you are like me (a scavenger for free stuff) 2X lumber is much easier to find, being a standard construction material in dumpsters and streets (free 1X is harder to scavenge); this is one reason I started looking into those "small, 90-degree oriented frame hives" - small frame boxes from 2X are both light enough for me and still provide better cavity for the bees (R-value/thermal mass)
    Last edited by GregV; 06-20-2018 at 08:09 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #33
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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Richmond, VA, USA
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    321

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    I want to chime in on using 2x lumber. There is no getting around the added weight. If you are using all mediums, it is bit easier to deal with. GregV has already pointed out the benefits of improved R-value and thermal mass. I am finding it cheaper to acquire as well.

    In my experience last winter while observing two colonies of similar size, the bees in the 2x hive were still moving around on the comb down into the high 30s F. Not a lot, but they were moving. The other 3/4" hive was tightly clustered. No wandering whatsover.

  15. #34
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    ....In my experience last winter while observing two colonies of similar size, the bees in the 2x hive were still moving around on the comb down into the high 30s F. Not a lot, but they were moving. The other 3/4" hive was tightly clustered. No wandering whatsover.
    Which makes sense.
    This is all about slowing down the temp swings, either up or down, NOT completely stopping them (which is impossible using wood material).

    Thicker wood slows the rapid cooling down and allows for extra time for bees to (re)arrange as they need.
    Thicker wood also slows the fast warming up - good in many ways, both in cold and warm season.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY, USA
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    29

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    A bump to this thread. As a thought exercise, a deep trough hive such as a Lazutin not intended to be migratory, formed with concrete 3"-4" thick with Polystyrene insulation attached to the outside would seem to provide a stable temperature and humidity environment for the colony. The concrete would provide thermal capacitance in order to buffer temperature swings inside the cavity and preserve the heat generated by the bees. The insulation on the outside would slow heat transfer between the concrete mass and ambient conditions. During summer conditions, the same combination should help maintain stable temperature and humidity environment. Net effect would be reducing the amount of energy the colony needs to expend maintaining the cavity environment throughout the year.

    Thoughts?

  17. #36
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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Richmond, VA, USA
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    321

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Lobottomee,

    There is a similar approach to accomplish the same thing, without the concrete. Rigid insulation can be attached to the outside of conventional wooden boxes. It needs to be painted to last. This also allows for a stable environment inside the hive. This is what I will be trying starting in early 2019. See the following link for a description and drawings, and a video on how Bob Stewart insulated his hives.

    http://stewartfarm.org/bees.php

  18. #37
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    I actually have used that approach for the past several years and have had good success with it. I use 2x lumber and during the Winter add a Warre type quilt box. But I'm curious about what impact the addition of some thermal mass would make. At some point I will add some sensors inside a hive and record temperature and humidity readings.

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    2x pine? I've never seen it. So it seems that many are comparing different types of wood. Pine vs fir vs cypress,..........or?
    I'm real confident that most commercial hives are 1x pine, though there may be exceptions. Frames also are pine; however, I have wondered what wood mannlake uses in their nicely cut frames as well as where they are manufactured.
    Lumber grades have definitely changed. A #3 pine board used to be a #2 with a flaw, like a loose knot or flaw on the edge. A#2 was a perfect board, not clear, but with perfect edges and tight knots. #3 as I have defined is definitely the better value. The caveat is: if you can find it.

  20. #39
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Bucks County PA
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    351

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    2x pine? I've never seen it. So it seems that many are comparing different types of wood. Pine vs fir vs cypress,..........or?
    I'm real confident that most commercial hives are 1x pine, though there may be exceptions. Frames also are pine; however, I have wondered what wood mannlake uses in their nicely cut frames as well as where they are manufactured.
    2X pine is typically construction lumber and is nominally 1.5" thick.

    Mann Lake uses pine for their woodenware that is 1x, which is nominally 3/4" thick.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
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    253

    Default

    This site has several hive plans using 2x lumber. I built the horizontal lang last winter.
    http://horizontalhive.com/how-to-bui...arm-trap.shtml

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