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hughjamton 

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Don't know if its been asked before but would upvc be any good for a hive material.
I know it won't breath like real wood, but nor will ply, condensation would be a problem so it would have to be well vented, but it's cheap stable and a good insulator.
What do you think?
 

oliver90owner 

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There are the beehaus and the Apimaye plastic beetainers already (apart from millions(?) of expanded polystyrene hives around the world.

Much more eco-friendly plastics than PVC (dioxins and all that), I would hope.

There should be no condensation issues with plastics if the hive is designed properly and should need no more venting than any OMF hive. I doubt PVC is that good an insulator, it needing aircells or another insulant between layers.

I would not buy one, if you are suggesting starting production. Lots of more user-friendly options available.

Regards, RAB
 

hughjamton 

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No intention of starting production, it's a material that's readily available to me. It comes in various thicknesses and has, a dare I say ''honeycomb'' centre, I'll see if I can check the u value.
I until very recently kept marine fish and corals, very delicate and sensitive to the slightest thing. It was safe for use with them so should be harmless to bees.
It's easy to work with and lightweight.
Just a thought really.
 

oliver90owner 

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Yes, harmless to bees at point of use. Just that when consumed by fire it produces loads of dioxins, which are deadly to most higher life forms and one of our plastic-age (human) by-products. Banned as a building material in Germany, I understand.

Dioxins are the most carcinogenic group of substances known and are nearly all man-made.

Regards, RAB
 

MuswellMetro 

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. Banned as a building material in Germany, I understand.

Regards, RAB
yep, banned and due to fire seperation problems and dioxins may be banned in UK for windows

some of the local authority flats with large panel windows replaced with UPVC windows are getting difficult to insure as the UPVC re inforced with aluminium in fire disorts, breaks fire seperation and gives off dioxin, killing the trapped tenants ....? lambeth fire recently
 

Midland Beek 

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There's a French company that makes hives from plastic: Nicotplast.
 
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Dioxins are also released by wood when it burns, indeed the second largest source of dioxins in North America after industry is the burning of wood in domestic hearths.

The PVC you are referring to is PVC foam board. I have used it for dummy boards and varroa trays. It worked fine for these but I wouldn't use it for a complete hive.
 

hughjamton 

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Don't know about it being banned by local authoritys, we do about 8 million pounds of local authority work a year, mostly in and around London, and have just picked up another very large contract that will run for the next 4 years.
Anyway, I'm talking about the practicalities of building a hive from upvc scrap, if I don't use it it'll go in the skip! And I don't intend to set the bees on fire!
 

Nopants 

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Don't know about it being banned by local authoritys, we do about 8 million pounds of local authority work a year, mostly in and around London, and have just picked up another very large contract that will run for the next 4 years.
Anyway, I'm talking about the practicalities of building a hive from upvc scrap, if I don't use it it'll go in the skip! And I don't intend to set the bees on fire!
Give it a try, they say the same thing about polystyrene. If the bees are happy and its well ventilated what have got to loose. Its worth an experiment over winter/ summer anyway.
 
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Forgot to mention I have a swarm box made of pvc foam board and it is very good. The corners are joined and reinforced with metal thingys and this is perhaps the main issue with building a complete hive - how do you do the corners and edge joints so the resultant structure is strong enough to take say the weight of a full super of honey?
 

hughjamton 

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Forgot to mention I have a swarm box made of pvc foam board and it is very good. The corners are joined and reinforced with metal thingys and this is perhaps the main issue with building a complete hive - how do you do the corners and edge joints so the resultant structure is strong enough to take say the weight of a full super of honey?
I know that would be a problem, still under research and development, lol.
Expansion and contraction may be a problem as well.
At the end of the day it may not be worth the hassle but it'll only cost my time so I think i'll muck about with it and see what I can come up with.
 

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