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I'm not even a new beek. I am in the research phase of bee keeping for spring 2014. My wife is interested the hobby, but she hasn't sanctioned the expense on lumber for the project. This is why I am scrounging up old ceder fence panels from around town for the project. I want to make sure that this isn't a futile effort. I am also considering using old pallets for lumber as well. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I also want to scrounge up material for the hives instead of throwing money at the project to increase the likelihood of me sticking with the hobby.
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

I have made hives out of recycled lumber. But the normal/reusable pallets that I find locally are difficult to deconstruct and reuse. I find that "one-time" shipping frames for oversize items such as commercial mowers or log splitters offer a better source of usable lumber.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the tip Rader! I didn't even think about shipping frames.
 

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Try your local glaziers/glass suppliers, the crates the glass is delivered in is great stuff (1 1/4" by 6" by 10' often) and is usually pretty free of excess nails. I've found them to be (compared to pallets) quite easy to deconstruct. Look for HT in the treatment panel as this will mean only heat was used and no chemicals.

Oh yeah my TBH hives are both (as are my langs) made from recycled timber, one from pallets the other from oregon house siding planks.....

Cheers, Thomas.
 

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Built one out of pallet lumber and the top bars are grade stakes from Lowe's. I made a special prybar at work that let's me pop off most boards on a pallett without splitting the wood before that I had great success with a saws all with a demo blade and just cutting the nails if you are only making a few hives that will serve you well, the only reason I made the prybar was I was disassembling 20+ pallets a week I build all kinds of stuff out of pallet lumber
 

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I made a nuc from old fence pickets just to try it. It is OK, but you have a lot of glue up. I intended to put it at a friends house in the spring, but the wood seems to almost absorb water. I may just use it for a swarm trap.

I can put together a box really quick from 1x material, and the money saved. On the other hand, if I get board this winter (after football!) I may makeup a few more just for swarm traps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have noticed that the pickets that I have picked up more closely resemble sponges. I think that I will use the pickets as a liner for all of the treated lumber that was donated to me by family. Once I keep the bees for about 6 months, I should acquire a carte blanche with my wife.
 

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Treated lumber could be an issue with the chemicals in it. I have been warned away from it. I am currently building one out of recycled 2x4's from nearby construction. Nice looking, but this hive is gonna be heavy! I use 1 1/2 x 1 inch furring strips from Lowe's. they actually measure 1 3/8" x 7/8". just attach a comb guide and done.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Treated lumber could be an issue with the chemicals in it.
That is why I am lining the hive with old cedar pickets. I should have it set up so that the bees don't come in contact with any of the treated lumber. I will have to spring for new wood for the top bars and dividers. Or, at the least, I will have to raid the trash bins at the construction sites.
 

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Use a sawzall type saw with a 6" metal cutting blade, and just slice thru the nails. A small flatbar will aid in getting clearance. A whole pallet can be disassembled without splitting any wood. I make all my small parts out of milled down pallet lumber. Tap out the small nail heads before sawing up! They're hard on a sawblade!
 

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Well, resurrecting an old post, but yes, I make "top bar" swarm traps out of rectangular plastic kitty litter buckets (one is cut out for the top bars, then a wooden plate, then another rectangular bucket as a cover).

After the bees build small, white honeycombs on the short "top bars", I place them under the top bar of a standard frame and attach them, combs and all, to the bottom side of the top bar of the frame with 2 drywall screws. Once hived, the bees continue to build out the comb, and the short top bar becomes a "permanent" part of the frame.

This saves risking expensive bee equipment left out as swarm traps - I'm only risking two buckets, one top (used as the swarm trap's bottom), and 7 notched sticks of wood and a few small strips of foundation wax for bee thieves, vandals, and drunks with BB guns to work their voodoo upon.

Being inexpensive, I put out a lot of them, and usually have at least some swarms to hive each Spring.
 

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I made one out of fence pickets, but more as something to do. I figured if push came to shove I could use it as a nuc, but I have a bunch of them. The fence was old, and it looks neat due to the weathering, we call it the rustic nuc.
 
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