Alternatives to Wooden Beehives? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    What size corplast is being used?
    If you can't find it as used, it does not look cheap at all to me.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

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  3. #22
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    Sep 2016
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    Murphy, TX
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    I have two words for you: Don't waste your time!

    I made all kinds of weird hives out of repurposed materials. They all starting to fall apart 2-3 years down the road. I make all new hives using standard Langstroth boxes made from solid pine (with two coats of paints). The labor that went in making hives from recycled material was too much for the life I got from them. On the other hand, I can have "commercial" Langstroth boxes for around $9 during sales from standard beekeeping outlets. I would save my time and get a box that will last.

  4. #23
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    6,959

    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Agreed. I have said it before also. I tried wine boxes, Styrofoam fish boxes etc. Also stay away from old bee boxes, the wood has already started to rot inside. An on sale new commercial box is your best bet. These 1974 Strausser boxes made it a few decades with good care but the original lumber was not as good as other from that era.




    Quote Originally Posted by pjigar View Post
    I have two words for you: Don't waste your time!

    I made all kinds of weird hives out of repurposed materials. They all starting to fall apart 2-3 years down the road. I make all new hives using standard Langstroth boxes made from solid pine (with two coats of paints). The labor that went in making hives from recycled material was too much for the life I got from them. On the other hand, I can have "commercial" Langstroth boxes for around $9 during sales from standard beekeeping outlets. I would save my time and get a box that will last.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  5. #24
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    I can't seem to get the idea of a beewall out of my mind ever since gregv posted some links. Has anyone ever played with terra cotta chimney flue liners like this as a hive? Looks like it would hold about 7 deep frames.

    https://www.menards.com/main/buildin...4441456439.htm
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #25
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    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    msl - Thanks for answering my questions. When top bar combs are used, I make a top bar that fits inside a standard frame. 2 drywall screws and the combs don't even need rubber bands.

    AR1 - I make swarm traps out of the rectangular kitty litter buckets. The inside bucket gets cut along the bottom about 3/8 to 1/2 inch inside the bottom rim. The ledges hold the top bars, which I later screw into the standard frames as they go into the nuc's. I put a plywood plate over the top bars so they don't get glued to the outside bucket, which is uncut. a plywood base and a plywood "rectangle washer" (that gets fitted over the outside bucket) is attached with 4 pieces of all thread and jam nuts.

    Little John - See you next time my Concorde is headed to your island BTW, Thank you!

    William B - THANK YOU! You may have suggested the best anti-theft strategy yet to date! I WILL TRY some concrete beehives.

    Gray Goose - Wow! Now there's a good one! plastic barrels with hive partitions could even go 3-way and be fitted for standard-length frames. THANK YOU!!!

    Crofter - I love the table saw idea, but I have a 10" craftsman cast iron saw - just no shop to put it in. Foam and OSB make up a good hive - I've started others off with those before, plus I can make both standard and Brother Adam beehives out of that combination. The clay is just a "no shop" idea that gets bees going.

    Salty - #me too!! I was even a guest in a shop what had an even nicer panel saw similar to that - cost about $9,000. One sweet cutter and your back never got hurt. I hope Sawstop makes one soon.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    What size corplast is being used?
    If you can't find it as used, it does not look cheap at all to me.
    Political signs obtained after the polls close on election night. All sizes are used for various projects.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Quote Originally Posted by pjigar View Post
    I have two words for you: Don't waste your time!
    I counted 4 words, but you are dead right. It's just not possible without a shop to make hives in, and I have a good year ahead, it's raining as I type. So a few kooky beehives, especially if I can screw a stick with comb on it into a standard frame later, it's all good. Thank you, though, and I agree that you are correct. I am a strong proponent of finger box joint beehives made out of Sugar Pine and or Douglas Fir.

  9. #28
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    Sep 2016
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    What size corplast is being used?
    If you can't find it as used, it does not look cheap at all to me.
    the link I posted is all I have on the subject, going to guess 4MM by the look of it... last time I bought it was 15 years or so a go to make goose decoys...maby payed $12 a sheet (wholesale account) at a plastic supply warehouse I was getting my vacuum form plastic from..
    home depto has it for $23 a 4x8 https://www.homedepot.com/p/Coroplas...896S/205351385


    So a few kooky beehives, especially if I can screw a stick with comb on it into a standard frame later, it's all good. Thank you, though, and I agree that you are correct. I am a strong proponent of finger box joint beehives made out of Sugar Pine and or Douglas Fir.
    yep
    next year fly back split in to langs to draw comb(witch they do amazingly) and use as brood factorys to feed lang nuc production, use the kooks for mating nucs/cellbuilders
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  10. #29
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    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Australia
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Horizontal hives are fairly cheap and easy to make. You can make them as long as you want and have multiple colonies in them using division or follower boards.

    If you haven't got equipment to cut the frame rest, you can just attach another board on the outside that is 5/8" higher than the board used for the frame rest. Like those used in the UK, (it also doubles as a hand hold.)

    For cheap frames, you could also make top bars that will fit into a standard Lang. (I would use 3/4" x 1/2" pine.) I use large round map pins in each side of the top bar for spacing the bars.

    Ice cream sticks or bamboo skewers can also be used as a comb guide.

    I can get wood pallets for free. You may find somewhere that receives a lot of deliveries that may be willing to give you some. The wood from these could be used for boxes, but would require attaching multiple boards together. Just use a wood decking oil on the outside of the boxes to help preserve the wood.

  11. #30
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    Sep 2019
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    Jasper, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    JWPalmer - Horizontal or vertical? Since you mentioned beewall it makes it hard to picture which way your thinking.

    Possible better use for a flue liner is a swarm trap. Looks like it has the volume with a bit to spare. A bit pricey but only about twice what a hive body or card board cement form runs. And should out last either baring accidents.

    kilocharlie - Your welcome! Looking forward to your build progress thread
    Want one myself just for the coolness factor. Was very very low on my priority list however things have changed in the past few weeks. Have decided thermal will be my only (back up plan) treatment so anything non standard just got bumped down. OB, horizontal, etc. Alternate materials which can be bought or built to standard 10 frame dimensions rose.

  12. #31
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    Sep 2016
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    JW I would go with a "modern" set up..
    Like yemen
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TmzOAVhkVc
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  13. #32
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    JW I would go with a "modern" set up..
    Like yemen
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TmzOAVhkVc
    Now that is primitive beekeeping...
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  14. #33
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    Feb 2012
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    I use these for spare frames and to haul honey frames around. Keeps the bees out if set on a relatively flat surface. ;https://www.lowes.com/pd/COMMANDER-2...der=null&gclid

    If all that paste does not work Lowes item # 44066. at $8, a lot of space. Rugged enough to stand up. I've thought about making a taller divider template and screwing frame rests at a lower height with individual plywood inner covers. With a good template tight dividers would be quick. You would probably need to keep in the shade or paint not black.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  15. #34
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    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Oliver - Point well taken. My mentor dipped his beehives in 50% boiled linseed oil and 50% mineral spirit back in 1973. I don't know why he retired them 40 years later - most of them still had better than half their original weight. I'l be building my bee Caddilacs again soon - this is just a few quickies to get a some bees going until the work area happens.

    Matt Davey - yes <-> hives work, but there is the possibility that they'll overwinter in them, so I'll go with a vertical stacking arrangement. I've ruled out bamboo skewers as they are difficult to screw into a standard frame. I'll likely dedicate any cash to buying standard frames and modifying some into narrow MSJD- / Brother Adam-sized frames and 5.1 foundation wax. A few kooky hives are one thing, kooky combs....no thanks

    JW Palmer and William Bagwell - the flue liner does look like an option for honey boxes when used with an adapter board, but I like the size matching of honey boxes to brood boxes for thermal efficiency in over-wintering.

    msl - GROOVY!!!! Let's all move to Yemen!!!

    OK, so I'll perhaps start by making a mold block the inside dimensions of the beehive, which will probably be useful for many options. From that I can lacquer it up and make hives of molded materials, pieced-together combinations, and as a clamping/ gluing/ stapling jig for wood if some shop time opens up.

    I'll have to finish my bee vacuum project - that design works most excellently and won't be changed. I consider it essential equipment, as do most everyone who has ever done a cutout with one. FWIW, I run a 1.5 hp to 2 hp shop vacuum into the bottom of a 5 gallon pail or a 5 gallon water jug and a 2.5 inch hose out the top for the bees to fly in backwards without getting too beat up. Inside there is a round cage that is made up of 3 plywood disks, 3 upright studs, the top of a coffee can, and #8 hardware cloth. I make about 6 of these bee cages in case it gets busy. The plastic coffee can lids seal the bees into the cages. It has served beyond my wildest dreams in the past.

    I anticipate making from 10 to 25 hives and working a few swarms or queens into a very small scale queen rearing project, supported by the few Brother Adam hives I have going now. That should give me 10 to 25 colonies for next year, enough to import some top-notch genetics, build an apiary, and get the queen rearing business going again in 3 to 5 years.

    To All of you who have given suggestions - a big heartfelt THANK YOU!!! Great brainstorming session, great ideas, lots of possibilities. Perhaps just the feeling that, "Oh yeah, duh! I can get started with nothing, can't I?" is now thoroughly burning under my caboose. I'm gonna do it. And again, no need to stop the good ideas - keep 'em coming if you feel inclined

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    JW I would go with a "modern" set up..
    Like yemen
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TmzOAVhkVc
    LOL!
    This is some advanced furniture.
    Heading to the dormitory dumpsters tomorrow to get some.
    Well, we are snowed in.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #36
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    May 2017
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    oak harbor washington USA
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    85

    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    If you need to make up cheap and easy boxes just take the dcoats (5 frame nuc plans)design and make it as wide as you want to. All straight cuts. I have made over 40 nuc boxes for just the cost of the staples and glue. If you go to construction sites and construction wholesalers you can get a lot of free wood. Most of the plywood is the size of a pallet as they use it for topers.

  18. #37
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    Sep 2019
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    Jasper, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Saltybee - Thanks for the suggestion on the tote! Picked up three today. Not going to make a hive out of one... Stronger than the cheap gray totes with a tighter fitting lid. Plus a way to tie them in the back of a truck. Well worth the extra $3 each.

    Found the link to the concrete hives in Africa.
    https://www.africanfarming.com/concr...s-smallholder/

  19. #38
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Bear resistant!
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  20. #39
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: Alternatives to Wooden Beehives?

    Thanks again to all.

    I have a winning idea - I'll be going down to get it financed and have a manufacturer interested in helping to produce it. I'm actually considering a patent application because the idea has an appeal somewhat wider than just beekeeping. I'll post a thread when the info is to be made public.

    Thank you all so much for the help! Cheers and Huzzah!

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