Alright I got some spare 3/4" plywood that is left over from another project. Can I make a hive out of it? Of course paint the outside?
If not I guess I am going to make a heavy beevac for cutouts.
I wouldn't use ply. Those Katrina folks that couldn't live in those trailers, remember them? Heard that the ply underlayment was from China and they don't follow industry standards for curing, so the fumes were not good for folks. I suppose if you got it, use it, but I wouldn't go looking for it. Delaminates too.
Sealing the edges is more important than the surface to prevent delamination. I coat the inside and edges with my crock pot old comb concoction of beeswax and propolis. If the moisture can get through that or toxins it would probably kill me putting it together already. I had some fine mahogany plywood when I lived in Japan. Steelply or exterior is better in the US! For covers and solid bottom boards it is unequaled. I changed my edge design to seal and support all four edges.
99% of my supers are made form plywood, I operate 20-30 hives. Some have been in continuous use since 2001. We live three miles form Lake Michigan along with our sometimes brutal winters. Some need a fresh coat of paint but all are in excellent shape. A deep super is three pounds heavier than solid pine. I can get six deeps and three mediums out of a 4X8 sheet of plywood. Present cost in my area is $16.95 per sheet at the local Lowes. For that kind of savings I can put up with the extra weight.
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