Marine ply

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WelshPaul 

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I've been given a big sheet of half inch marine ply, I was going to use it to make hives.

I spoke to an old time beek who advised me not to because it will be no good, please discuss.
 

Nic Rhodes 

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very heavy, why not make feeders?
 

dpearce4 

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Good for making commercial brood boxes, only 4 pieces of wood and a bit of routing.
 

rae 

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It'll be fine. Yes, heavier, and it is a crap grade it will warp, but it will work.
 

fatshark 

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My marine ply brood boxes are starting to look pretty tatty after 4 or 5 years use. They delaminate, particularly at the corners, even when liberally smeared with waterproof glue and Cuprinoled. They are all being relegated for bait hives next year and I've bought cedar replacements in the winter sales.

They are also very heavy ... not an issue if you run a single brood box and don't go to the heather.

I suspect it rains in Newport. Perhaps build something that won't stand out all year, like nucs or feeders as suggested.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Good for making commercial brood boxes, only 4 pieces of wood and a bit of routing.
Be a little bit thin at half inch.


WP...... is it definately marine grade plywood,or just exterior wbp,there is a difference.

Marine grade..............

Marine grade plywood is assembled gap and void-free in all layers, and laminated together with special, water-proof glue that holds the various layers together. When immersed, water has absolutely no effect on the glue or the strength of the lamination of marine grade plywood. Marine grade plywood will not commonly delaminate, bubble, buckle, or warp. Upon cutting marine grade plywood, no voids will be discovered on the cut edges. It is also usually constructed of harder woods such as Douglas Fir, or Western Larch.
Marine grade is a superior grade of plywood, and a substantially better product.
 
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Little John 

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I've been making custom boxes all year from plywood, having sourced an obscene quantity of CNC off-cuts - all precisely 29.75" x 13.75" x 11mm. This stuff is 9-ply with paper-thin surface veneers - so could also be described as 11-ply if Afur Daley was flogging it.

But - as Hivemaker described - this stuff ain't marine ply. Far from it. There are visible voids and even overlapping plies which show right through to the surface. But hell - I'm making bee-boxes, not a boat or pieces of furniture.

The first thing I did having produced an offcut, was to boil it up in a kettle for a good 2 hours. The glue held ok, but some overlapping core plies near to the edge became swollen to the point of forcing the laminates apart. That told me in no uncertain terms that any exposed edges would need to be sealed, and sealed well.

I've made bait boxes from this stuff, although they turned out to be a bit heavy for hoisting up into trees, and by screwing 2 planks together to produce a 22 mm wall thickness, I've made a rather useful Long Deep hive which takes 14x12's as well as Top Bars. Currently this houses an August swarm on frames with an overhead feeder (in a National Super) supplying syrup and fondant.

Right now I'm in the process of completing the first prototype of a double (2x5) Top Bar NUC which uses either Top Bars or modified (trapezoid) Hoffman Brood frames, using a single thickness of this plywood. By removing a divider this converts to a 10-frame/10-bar NUC so I've fitted a mesh floor (closeable).

Also on the agenda are some mating NUCs made from the same stuff, using 1/2 width brood frames.

So - with a sheet of good quality ply, I'd suggest making-up some custom stuff, rather than producing copies of 'standard' boxes which can so readily be sourced elsewhere.

Good luck

LJ
 

Hombre 

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So we won't be taking tea at your house then. Cough, splutter!
 

Finman 

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I've been given a big sheet of half inch marine ply, I was going to use it to make hives.

I spoke to an old time beek who advised me not to because it will be no good, please discuss.
Half inch = 12 mm.

Water proof ply is very necessary in many cases in beekeeping. It is not only hives where you need ply.

Ply is the worst hive material what I know. Its insulation value is bad and weight of box is bad too.


The box gives a warm cabinet to the colony. That is the main purpose of nature tree cavity too. Bees do not make nest into rock cavity.
 

m100 

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Bees do not make nest into rock cavity.
A significant number of swarms were reported entering the structures of houses in some areas of the UK this year. Some might be be brick over timber but others will be brick-brick or brick-block construction, the latter two being closer to rock cavities in thermal performance.

A few years ago I removed a feral colony (long established, maybe 2nd time occupied from remains of comb on roof) from a stone church tower, just stone, a metal clock face and a piece of glass held in with lead for the walls of the cavity.

British bees obviously love rock cavities :)
 

VEG 

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That is the main purpose of nature tree cavity too. Bees do not make nest into rock cavity.
Lots of bees make their homes in walls and rocks as long as there is room.
 

The Cumbrian 

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A significant number of swarms were reported entering the structures of houses in some areas of the UK this year. Some might be be brick over timber but others will be brick-brick or brick-block construction, the latter two being closer to rock cavities in thermal performance.
A wild colony survived (or at least the site was continuously occupied) in the sand stone arch over a gateway to the castle in our village. They were there for many years until the arch needed renovated and the void was no longer accessible.
 

oliver90owner 

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Any reasonable cover is adequate for the bees. Have read of upturned JCB bucket and 200 litre steel drum. They must be no better than a rock cavity.

These lasted two winters in only a brick corner, let alone a cavity. Robbed out by bees eventually (so likely varroa related weakening or swarmed with multiple casts).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/esneri/4442448315/in/photostream
 

Little John 

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There is evidence that during the Miocene Period (between 20 and 10 million years ago), hollow trees, caves, crevices, rocks and even holes in the ground were employed by apis mellifera for their nests.

There are still parts of the world where honeybees occupy holes which have been carved out of very soft sandstone rock-faces (more like dried mud, really) by nesting birds.

I also remember reading about somewhere (Greece, Turkey maybe ?) where bees are kept in apiaries which have been built into the side walls of stone houses.
 

Finman 

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There is evidence that during the Miocene Period (between 20 and 10 million years ago),.
where is that evidence? and what kind? ( and in so many places)

The practice of beekeeping began in Egypt in 13,000 BC. You see drawings depicting the woven wicker baskets covered with clay in the Sudan even today. The region of Egypt most known for Beekeeping was Southern Egypt where the symbol for that land was a bee. However, it is thought that even the nomadic Egyptians of the North kept bees as well, they used beeswax in the production of green eye paint for their art ant certain cultural rituals. As a matter of fact, beekeeping is known to be one of the first systems of agriculture. Bees as well as the honey they produced were kept in Temples in order to fulfill the gods' desire for honey. Honey was also used in the production of ointments and medicines. Bees wax was used in the mummification process, boat and ship building, as a adhesive for paints, and in metal castings.

This picture is not a rock.
It is a heap of beehive tubes in Egypt
covered with clay.


You cut pieces of combs from back part of tubes.

 
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Little John 

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In the Miocene Period it is known that there was a marked drop in temperature which resulted in a reduction in forest areas, which in turn resulted in the development of grassy plains. Grassy plains allowed more flowers to evolve, and thus we see conditions develop which were favourable for the evolutionary changes which finally resulted in the honeybee.

But humans hadn't arrived on the scene at that time ... not even the Egyptians. :nono:

How on earth did bees survive until mankind came along with his hives ?
 

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