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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was thinking about the cost of the paper or coraplast nuc boxes for the small time beekeeper while getting some nucs ready for their new home.
D Coates came up with a nice plan for osb or plywood nucs that at the time were relatively cheap and I have used and like. While in lowes the other day I looked at a sheet of 1/2” foam and thought why not.
Below are the results if you just get one sheet you can get 4 for about $6.25 each, if you get two sheets and get 9 they are $5.60 each.
No power tools needed, I even made one using duct tape just to see how strong it would be.
Wood Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive tire Gas

Gas Wood Engineering Machine tool Machine

Automotive tire Wood Bumper Automotive exterior Gas


Would I keep bees in them forever, no but I would cut some ventilation holes and staple some screen over them to send bees home with someone, or to start a small swarm/split if equipment was tight.
 

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It appears from the last photo that you used screws in the foam to hold them together? Drywall screws, perhaps? Are they glued as well?

Will be interesting to see how those joints last. :)
 

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8 Frame mediums throughout
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And painted inside and out, that will keep the bees from chewing them up. I'm guessing the insulation R factor is higher than the pine boxes? Just guessing here.
Nice idea, thanks for showing it off to us all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes one of the boxes is screwed and glued together and will get painted. The other is just taped to show that nothing fancy is needed to get something thrown together to hold bees for a short time. I will glue and screw it after demonstrating it to my club. Kinda does away with the I don’t have a saw, drill etc excuses. A sharp kitchen knife and some kind of ruler is all you need.
 

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IMO a new beekeeper needs a good usable nuc box and it is also something they are not likely to have in their equipment inventory, so I sell my nucs in a good box. But it is nice to show that something is available to everyone with a kitchen knife and a roll of duct tape.
 

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2-10 frame double deep Langstroth, 1-5 frame deep nuc
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IMO a new beekeeper needs a good usable nuc box and it is also something they are not likely to have in their equipment inventory, so I sell my nucs in a good box. But it is nice to show that something is available to everyone with a kitchen knife and a roll of duct tape.
First thing I bought after the hive and basics.
 

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First thing I bought after the hive and basics.
When I'd sell a nuc I'd offer the purchaser $20 back if they brought the nuc box back. No one was taking me up on it. They all wanted to add the nuc box to their tools. I was making nuc boxes with an attached bottom and a migratory cover, all made from Advantech for less than they could buy one. I could get Advantech for $28/sheet at that time and I could make four and a half nucs from a sheet, they were costing me about seven bucks each. Advantech is $90 a sheet now. Now I use Pro Nucs instead, still a great deal for the customer, and no time on my part.
 

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2-10 frame double deep Langstroth, 1-5 frame deep nuc
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When I'd sell a nuc I'd offer the purchaser $20 back if they brought the nuc box back. No one was taking me up on it. They all wanted to add the nuc box to their tools. I was making nuc boxes with an attached bottom and a migratory cover, all made from Advantech for less than they could buy one. I could get Advantech for $28/sheet at that time and I could make four and a half nucs from a sheet, they were costing me about seven bucks each. Advantech is $90 a sheet now. Now I use Pro Nucs instead, still a great deal for the customer, and no time on my part.
That could make a good thread.
What can you do with a nuc box?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That could make a good thread.
What can you do with a nuc box?
Lots of things.
Pull a small queen right split in the spring
Use it to finish/mate a queen cell
Small scale cell builder
House a swarm catch
Overwinter a small colony
House a extra queen in your yard while pulling extra brood from it (resource hive)
 

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Lots of things.
Pull a small queen right split in the spring
Use it to finish/mate a queen cell
Small scale cell builder
House a swarm catch
Overwinter a small colony
House a extra queen in your yard while pulling extra brood from it (resource hive)
bumping this to see how they did over this past year?
 

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I was thinking of wood ends, ...... something to grip.
Great idea.

Two end walls made of x2 wood should add extra rigidity and resolve the issue with the frame rests.
Thicker wood in combination with the frame side walls - the ends should be still plenty insulated.

The migratory-style lid could be made of the thinnest possible plywood with wooden ends.
With a thick replaceable foam insert.

Entire unit will be marginally heavier - but not a showstopper, even beneficial in terms of the wind flip-ability.

Entrances in the wood will be resistant to the rodents (my current concern).
Also, the bees will not randomly widen/reshape the entrances, while you can add a standard entrance disk, if so desired.

As a unit, this wood/foam hybrid is a great idea IMO - especially because the reclaimed wood cuts (to me) are much easier to find. The foam panels are replaceable/repairable as needed.


Rectangle Violet Font Magenta Parallel
 

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I think using wood defeats the purpose of using the Foam board... Might as well use the 1/2" OSB D Coats box- cost $11 here per sheet so $2.75 each... make it $3 for glue/staples (or brad nails).

I'm just more curious how the foam held up to a frame of Honey in it.
Also I would think it would be hard to move but maybe if you made some kind of harness to wrap around just for moving.
Like this maybe

And of course now that I hit that rabbit hole, I was easy straps with these clasps for wrapping a hive.
This will make it so I dont' have to put a rock or brick on top of the hive to make sure the top doesn't fly off in higher wind ;)
 

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I think using wood defeats the purpose of using the Foam board...
You only have about 20-30% of wood - the nucleus ends.
If this defeats the foam - then very marginally at that.

And immediately you are no longer concerned with questions like:
I'm just more curious how the foam held up to a frame of Honey in it.
The frame rests are solid wood easily cut into the end walls.
Problem solved.
Think of more important problems.

Looking for some kind of 100% perfect hive is short-sighted.
It is always a compromise - you gain here but loose there.
I do like the idea of hybrid wood/foam 6F hive.
 

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You only have about 20-30% of wood - the nucleus ends.
If this defeats the foam - then very marginally at that.

And immediately you are no longer concerned with questions like:

The frame rests are solid wood easily cut into the end walls.
Problem solved.
Think of more important problems.

Looking for some kind of 100% perfect hive is short-sighted.
It is always a compromise - you gain here but loose there.
I do like the idea of hybrid wood/foam 6F hive.
I only wanted to know how the FOAM held up to the honey frame.... which is what this thread is about. They didn't ask how to do change it or re-invent it.
I am trying to stay On Topic to the OP original post.

Not sure WHERE I said that I was looking for the 100% perfect hive. But if that is what you want to think, go ahead.
 

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As a unit, this wood/foam hybrid is a great idea IMO - especially because the reclaimed wood cuts (to me) are much easier to find. The foam panels are replaceable/repairable as needed.
my exact thoughts, best of both worlds, wood where it may be needed , good R value and ligness on the long sides.

GG
 

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2 then 4, now 11 hives- all doing well, thanks to a lot of help and resilient bees!
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Interesting topic. How about this:
You could just slide a sheet of thin luan or hardboard down inside the ends. That would give strength to rest frames on while maintaining the full insulation value of the foam.

It might be worth it long-term if strength or chewy bees is a problem.

I also am very curious of how the foam nucs worked out. Coalsmok???
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I haven’t used one yet. I made them up last summer after selling nucs and running out of jester boxes. They are not meant for holding bees forever. I meant them as a cheaper alternative to jester and cardboard nucs when lumber prices were sky high and lead times were ridiculously long on shipping.
These will be what nucs leave my yard in this year. I don’t produce enough nucs to get a price break on the folding nuc boxes and I don’t want to build any more nuc boxes.
 

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I haven’t used one yet. I made them up last summer after selling nucs and running out of jester boxes. They are not meant for holding bees forever. I meant them as a cheaper alternative to jester and cardboard nucs when lumber prices were sky high and lead times were ridiculously long on shipping.
These will be what nucs leave my yard in this year. I don’t produce enough nucs to get a price break on the folding nuc boxes and I don’t want to build any more nuc boxes.
Did you even test them to see if they would hold weight? I would try putting 3 full honey frames and 2 comb frames and see how it does........... that would be your answer to if they are worth it.

To combat high priced wood, since you know how to make boxes... just get used pallets and go from there- cheap easy FREE wood ;)
 
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