Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Plastic barrel?  (Read 4031 times)

Offline Beekissed

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Gender: Female
Plastic barrel?
« on: October 31, 2009, 07:38:10 PM »
Curious about building a top bar hive from recycled materials and was wondering if one could utilize half of a plastic barrel for the body of the hive?  If so, any considerations for ventilation and such when doing this? 
"...he maketh me to lie down in green pastures..."

Offline asprince

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1719
  • Gender: Male
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2009, 07:44:04 PM »
One of our administrators Robo has built one. Here is a link to his site.

http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/barrel-top-bar-hive/


Enjoy, Steve
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

Offline Sparky

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 804
  • Gender: Male
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2009, 09:58:55 PM »
That Robo is a slick cat now!!!  :-D That is so cool to see how the comb mimics the shape of the barrel.

Offline Beekissed

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2009, 08:46:42 PM »
Exactly the info I needed!  I knew I could count on y'all!  I love this place! 
"...he maketh me to lie down in green pastures..."

Offline luvin honey

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1540
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 11:12:11 AM »
Hey, beekissed! Welcome! Yes, when I see that enormous comb in Robo's avatar, I have fantasies of grabbing that hunk of comb and just chomping into it! Can you imagine a honeycomb that enormous?!?
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline Cindi

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 9825
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 11:20:28 AM »
That Robo is a slick cat now!!!  :-D

Indeed, I think Robo is a slick cat too, great guy!!!  Have that most incredible and awesome day, beautiful health.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline Robo

  • Technical
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 6468
  • Gender: Male
  • Beekeep On!
    • Robo's World
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2009, 07:27:14 PM »
OK, enough about me, I'm blushing  :oops:

Back to barrel hives.   I am aware of at least one other person that was interested in a barrel hive but had ideology issues using plastic so was going to use a cardboard barrel.   I had concerns with the cardboard swelling because of moisture, even if they did seal it.  Never heard back on how they made out. :?
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 12:29:58 AM by Robo »
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline luvin honey

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1540
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 12:26:23 AM »
Here he is! Here he is!! Let's do "the wave" (or is this on a WI Brewer's thing) or standing ovation!!  :-*
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline melliphile

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Gender: Male
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2009, 11:52:13 PM »
Robo,
    Are you still using the barrel hives?   I have the half barrels framed with 2x4, but I haven't used them yet.  I thought it would be good to have around for when a swarm comes along and I need a place to put them.  How are they working out for you?  Do they winter well?  Any idiosyncrasies?
"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -Plato

Offline Robo

  • Technical
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 6468
  • Gender: Male
  • Beekeep On!
    • Robo's World
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 09:20:39 AM »
A bear got to mine after the first winter.   I don't get a lot of swarms, and the last few I have put into Warre hives.  Someday I'll start them again.

Only thing I found was you need a small drainage hole in the bottom to let the condensation out.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline Beekissed

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 04:30:21 AM »
Robo, I was reading a book called The §¤«£¿æ and, in his TBHs, he had about 4 entrances.  How many do you recommend on the barrel hives?  Do you think your hive was more accessible to bears because it was TB construction?  Is this why you have moved to Warre type hives? 

I really love that perfect half moon comb construction in the pic also.....lovely!  Did most of your comb construction look like that or was that one an exceptional bar?  Would it be too hard to uncap that comb with a hot knife and use gravity to remove the honey and would it then be okay to replace the comb, or would this not be wise as the bees build natural comb to suit their current needs? 
"...he maketh me to lie down in green pastures..."

Offline Robo

  • Technical
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 6468
  • Gender: Male
  • Beekeep On!
    • Robo's World
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 07:57:12 AM »
How many do you recommend on the barrel hives?
The single bung hole entrance works fine and they can better protect themselves from robbing by only having to defend one entrance.  For the winter I screwed in a bung, that had a 1" diameter hole in it, as an entrance reducer.

Quote
Do you think your hive was more accessible to bears because it was TB construction? 
I don't think a TBH is any more accessible to bears than a Langstroth,  but by nature of the design, the TBH combs are much more fragile and are destroyed by even a minor invasion.  I had a Langstroth hive knocked of the roof of the garage by a bear,  and other than a couple frame bars cracked and a deep supper coming about at the seams the hive was completely salvageable and survived.


Quote
Is this why you have moved to Warre type hives?
I have moved to Warres because I think the vertical TBH is easier for the bees to move across the combs, which is especially important up here with our long winters.  The Warre layout more closely resembles that of a feral tree colony. 

Quote
I really love that perfect half moon comb construction in the pic also.....lovely!  Did most of your comb construction look like that or was that one an exceptional bar?
It was not a freak,  all the fully drawn frames had a similar shape.  For some reason,  there was very little to no comb attaching to the barrel.

Quote
  Would it be too hard to uncap that comb with a hot knife and use gravity to remove the honey and would it then be okay to replace the comb, or would this not be wise as the bees build natural comb to suit their current needs? 
I can't answer that, never tried.   I know most people with TBHs use the crush and strain method.  But in his book,  Warre mentions a wire cage that can be used when putting the Warre combs in an extractor.   If you can salvage the combs and give them back to the bees,  that is less resources they have to use to build comb.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline Natalie

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1478
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 03:35:43 PM »
Oh Rob you love all this attention  :-*
Just out of curiosity and not in anyway to sound critical because I honestly do not know the answer to this but I always pay attention to Thalates and Bisphenol A in various products and I was wondering if using a plastic barrel that will be out in some high temps during the summer could be somewhat hazardous, probably not short term usage but maybe long term .
I do not know if BPA has to come into direct contact with the food but I know thalates do not, those particles can be breathed in.
Now, I have no idea what the plastic barrels are even made of, I know they are considered food safe but so is alot of our regular food containers that contain thalates and BPA.
PVC has DEHA and polycarbonate has BPA and so on and that stuff is in tupperware type containers.
I tried to check on food safe barrels myself but couldn't find any answers so just wondering if you know.
I know that the UK has some new plastic top bar type hives but I don't know where I saw them now, there is a thread here somewhere but I don't know if it says what the material is in them.
It could mean nothing at all, but its something I have wondered about for a while.
What do you think?



Offline BoBn

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 195
  • Gender: Male
    • h
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2009, 09:19:45 AM »
Most of the plastic pails, barrels and buckets are HDPE (High-density polyethylene).  Polyethylene doesn't have the same issues that  some of the other plastics have.  But polyethylene can act like a sponge and absorb volatile compounds.  So if you are using a used barrel, make sure that only food safe materials were stored in it in it's past life.     

Most of the clear hard plastic containers are polycarbonate or styrene. What about comb honey containers? 
"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites."
--Thomas Jefferson

Offline mjdtexan

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 66
  • Gender: Male
  • BBQ MASTER
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 07:18:22 PM »
So, is it really as easy as all that? I've been lurking for a while now. This will be my second year to garden and my garden size will be two acres this spring. I took the plunge and bought a CASE 1140 tractor and a 4ft tiller for the back of it. I would like to have bees to aid my garden. I am a wine maker so the honey they produce would be a welcome addition. The price of honey is crazy.

There are a couple of you who I have been following on yalls websites. I guess what I need to know is where I can buy those feral bees I hear yall talk about.

Plus, where do you put the feeding jar in a TBH when you first get your bees?
Wine Maker
Gardener
BBQ Competition Enthusiast
Interested in Hot Peppers
Texas Apiary Inspection Service

Offline Robo

  • Technical
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 6468
  • Gender: Male
  • Beekeep On!
    • Robo's World
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010, 08:23:27 AM »
Plus, where do you put the feeding jar in a TBH when you first get your bees?

One option is to build a hanging feeder that puts the syrup close to the cluster.

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,21940.msg168645.html#msg168645
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline luvin honey

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1540
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2010, 07:54:23 PM »
Plus, where do you put the feeding jar in a TBH when you first get your bees?
In case you are still lurking :), I have a follower board with a tab cut out on the bottom, where I slide in a Mason jar feeder.
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline trentfysty

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Gender: Male
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2010, 01:24:06 PM »
This is a really interesting idea. My concern, living in Colorado, would be if the barrels would provide enough insulation. I have some ideas on how to overcome that such as nesting each half together with insulation between the halves.

But the real reason for my response is that in the U.S. you can get food safe barrels from any coca cola or pepsi bottleing factory. Here in Denver they sell them for $10 each. You will have to clean them, or just enjoy the smell of mountain dew. Just call ahead and ask to speak to someone about it. I have purchased 4 from our local bottler and they are in nice shape. You can usually get white or blue. The white may cause problems with too much light getting into the hive?

Offline Beekissed

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 61
  • Gender: Female
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2010, 02:37:59 AM »
Robo, what size should the entrance hole be?  Mine is the size of a nickel...would that suffice?  Or should it be larger and just be reduced for the winter months? 
"...he maketh me to lie down in green pastures..."

Offline Robo

  • Technical
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 6468
  • Gender: Male
  • Beekeep On!
    • Robo's World
Re: Plastic barrel?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2010, 07:53:56 AM »
You will have a lot of congestion at the entrance with only a nickel size opening.  I would suggest larger and then reduce it for the winter if you want.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



 

anything