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I burn the inside of my boxes. Both when new, and when putting back into service after storage.

And I mean BURN them! The bees fill in any cracks with propolis.
I have some boxes made from wood from a burnt barn. The bees certainly don't seem to mind at all. The first swarm I caught was in a burnt box.
 

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Good to see bat houses mentioned several times up thread a bit. Bat house builders have tried all sorts of things to roughen up wood. One of the simplest and cheapest is a scrap of wood with 3 or 4 drywall screws just barely sticking through. Would not want to roughen hundreds of boards with this technique but works great for just a few.

A bit more 'industrial' is my own modification of a jointer to put grooves in baffles. Closer spaced smaller grooves might work on the inside of hive bodies. http://alt-config.net/modifiedjointer.html
 

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This is a typical box in my apiary. Propolis flowing down the insides and even out holes on the outside. Who needs rough boxes?

 

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Michael Simone-Finstrom did most of the research on the " propolis envelope" when he was in grad school at Marla Spivac's lab

http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=XnQfM3YAAAAJ&hl=en

To the OP's original question.
The main reason rough lumber is planed (and jointed) is to make all the boards the same size.Of course making it smooth is an added bonus,but,after milling and drying, rough cut wood is not very square,or flat,or even the same size,depending on the moisture content at the time of milling.
So imagine trying to make tight joints and an attractive product with every board slightly different.
There was a guy in our local club who made and sold rough cut boxes.He said people liked the rustic look.Looking closer,I noticed that the inside surface had been planed.Having just heard Michael S-F speak on the benefits of propolis etc,I asked why he didn't keep the insides rough.
He replied that added time and hassle of planing one side was more than made up when cutting and fitting the joints and assembling the boxes.

And as little john states,keep bees long enough in the same box you will get all the propolis you need.
 

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Does anyone make boxes out of rough cut lumber?
Cheers, Phil
We use rough cut cedar. Plentiful here in southern Missouri.

I do think there's a difference, but we've used planed pine at times, too. I would use what you have access to at a good price.

Matthew
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Thanks all for the comments and food for thought. I know it's not the complete cure to anything, but if I can get the bees to put more propolis down on the walls, then it's better than not. Less stress is less stress.

I tried window screen stapled to the inside of boxes. Not much accumulation after 2 years. A little bit around the staples. I am having planer blades notched to make rough insides quickly. Stay tuned. I do like the quilted sides of the box, although it does take up some room, but I wouldn't be the first to run 9 frames in 10 frame boxes. I'll also try some burlap stapled to the sides and see what they do with that. Hmmmm, maybe a follower board of some sorts. Lots of ways to go with that. There was one company that made some boxes that were roughed up on the inside, and sold them at Bio Fuel Oasis in Berkeley. The reports are that the bees did a good job of coating the walls. Of course some bees do, and some don't, so your mileage may vary. Need a reasonable sample size to prove anything, and it will be a year or two to see if they put any propolis on the walls. I have no way to tell if helps, but it surely can't hurt.

Phil in Fremont
 

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LJ.'s quote "They are a barbaric tool". I absolutely agree. I have spent many hundreds of hours with an angle grinder in my hands and have done first aid on others who found out the hard way. I have been fortunate and only minor encounters.

Roughing up the unassembled hive body and components would be easy but working inside an assembled hive body would really up the ante. Angle grinder or rotary tools are too eager for the amount of material removal needed.

There is a power tool out in the last five years or so that I have not personally had my hands on but have watched. The vibratory / oscillating action is applied to many different shaped accessory attachments and the unit is somewhat smaller than an angle grinder. Nearly fool proof safety wise and little danger of fragmented wheels or kick back.

Cant think of the common name for them.
In Australia we call them a "Multi-Tool", they just oscillate back and forth with a range of cutting or grinding attachments, none of which are very sharp, so not lethal like the angle grinder.
 

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In Australia we call them a "Multi-Tool", they just oscillate back and forth with a range of cutting or grinding attachments, none of which are very sharp, so not lethal like the angle grinder.
Does anyone make boxes out of rough cut lumber? The bees do a great job of packing the walls with propolis of rough wood. I have been trying to find a way to make smooth boxes rough inside. I was hoping that we could save planing and sanding steps on lumber stock and just make boxes from rough sawn lumber. Are there any small (or large) manufacturers of boxes that are willing take a stab at it? Anyone doing it?

Cheers, Phil
Hi Phil,

2 things, I use rough sawn, due to that is what I have, works fine, i do not really see more propolis.
Second, I take the propolis scrapings and add an equal volume of 151 PGA, then "paint" the inside of the hives with this.
Be the easy way to coat the inside with Propolis, I somewhat agree with Greg roughing up smooth wood is not worth the time investment.
I would either google "rough sawn lumber near me" or buy a 2X8 and saw it in half to make the mediums and a 2x10 for the deeps, use a rip saw blade and the desired surface will likely result.
Ironing in scraps of wax and propolis also seems interesting, I use an Iron for waxing skis in the day and it does work well once you get the hang of it.

GG
 

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Shortly before Brushy Mountain went under that were offering boxes with rough inside surfaces along with the standard boxes. I saw them on display at EAS a couple of years ago. If there are any former Brushy Mountain employees here maybe they could enlighten us.
 

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A rough cut box is hard to get the finger joints all lined up. Found it creates issues with the squareness for the box. Reading very old bee books, it once was a common practice to scorch the inside of the box. We lightly scorch the inside of them with a map gas hand held, takes @ a minute per box. Bees seem to propolis them quicker.
 

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A rough cut box is hard to get the finger joints all lined up. Found it creates issues with the squareness for the box. Reading very old bee books, it once was a common practice to scorch the inside of the box. We lightly scorch the inside of them with a map gas hand held, takes @ a minute per box. Bees seem to propolis them quicker.
Does anyone make boxes out of rough cut lumber? The bees do a great job of packing the walls with propolis of rough wood. I have been trying to find a way to make smooth boxes rough inside. I was hoping that we could save planing and sanding steps on lumber stock and just make boxes from rough sawn lumber. Are there any small (or large) manufacturers of boxes that are willing take a stab at it? Anyone doing it?

Cheers, Phil
I didn't read all of the posts, so this might be a repeat. I bought some 1×6 boards from home depot that had a rough bandsaw surface on one side. I put them together with about half the number of box joints that commercial builders would use so I could do it quicker (saw that in a bee culture magazine). Did that last spring but do not remember the propolis results. Did not save much money either, just a small sense of accomplishment.
 
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