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Author Topic: How long do boxes last?  (Read 2277 times)

Offline PeeVee

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How long do boxes last?
« on: January 04, 2011, 03:04:37 AM »
There is always a lot of discussion of boxes and care. A variety of joints. Paint or not. Dip in resin/wax.

I'm sure the longevity is determined by your local climate as well as original preparation and subsequent care.

Just wondering.

For the record - I don't paint. I don't plan on painting. I feel the time spent on refurbishiing a box could be as well spent on building a new box.

Just saying :-D
-Paul VanSlyke - Cheers from Deposit,NY

Offline charmd2

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 10:59:39 AM »
I have some boxes from 1979..  no kidding.  I acquired them used so I don't know how many years they were stored but they have requeening dates of May 7, 1979 written in black marker inside them.
Charla Hinkle

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2011, 11:04:36 AM »
All of my stuff is painted. I thought it was the thing to do when I first got started last spring. But I think I would have to agree with you. I have since acquired more equipment-some of it pretty old without a stitch of paint on it and its still pretty solid. I dont think Michael Bush is painting anymore either.

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Online kathyp

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2011, 11:08:04 AM »
sure it depends on climate, type of wood, and care.  i find oops paint to be cheaper than wood, so i paint.  painting is also faster than building boxes  :-D
i also live in a very wet area.

if you like to build and don't mind the expense, bare wood is fine.

i have some boxes that i think are about 40 years old.  they are pretty much scrap now, but i keep them as frame rests  ;).  as they come undone, they get tossed on the burn pile.
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Offline AllenF

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2011, 01:26:24 PM »
I have boxes older than I am, but there may be 1/8 inch paint on them by now.   They are very rough looking, but very usable.   I find that it is much easier when I run across some old white paint to slap (or mop) it on some boxes than just to replace the boxes.   Around here, wood does not last for than a few years bare to the open.

Offline ronwhite3030

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 08:40:24 AM »
I agree with you on the whole taking more to repair then to replace, I paint mine because they are placed on a highway and I dont want my yard looking more like a junkyard at least painting them white, people know what they are, and second in the summers it gets, 110+ degrees and im sure the light color helps a little although im sure the bees could handle their own anyways, they do in nature, although I,m sure when they are in a tree im sure the wood is thicker then 3/4 of an inch.

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 11:23:57 AM »
I have some boxes that are about 36 years old that I know of because I bought them new.  But they spent a good portion of their time in a very dry climate (Western Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado).  They don't seem to last as long in Eastern Nebraska.  And they are on their last leg.  I'm guess ten years will be doing well in Eastern Nebraska as some I bought about ten years ago here are looking a bit ragged.  But now that I started dipping I hope they will last longer.
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Offline fat/beeman

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 11:29:15 AM »
it depends on how you use them. if commercial use 5-6 yrs is good if your not and your the only one handling them.
box joints or rabbit. I prefer rabbit its faster. I have boxes that I had over 25 yrs.how do I know that's when I stopped branding them. all are rabbit joints painted.
Don

Offline Somerford

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 03:29:28 PM »
Well, I have a brood body that I was given in 1991, that's nearly 20 years ago, and it belonged to a beekeeper who had given up beekeeping 20 years before, and he said it was probably 20 years old.....

It appears to be dark cedar, but had been dipped in a strong preserver many years ago.

The rest of mine are less than 20 years old, but have a WBC that is at least 30 !

Red cedar rules!

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Offline windfall

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 06:45:10 PM »
Something to consider when talking about cedar (red or white) and cypress as more costly rot resistant woods.....Lumber grading has slid over the years to allow sapwood to be considered non-defect. With many of the small er faster growing trees that are harvested today you can see up to 50% sap on a board. Sap wood of any species has no noteworthy rot resistance and often is more rot prone due to stored sugars.
I like and use a lot of cedar (for other projects) and you need to inspect the pile or have a strong understanding from your supplier about sapwood or you are just throwing your money away.

Offline hankdog1

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2011, 01:10:04 AM »
Something to consider when talking about cedar (red or white) and cypress as more costly rot resistant woods.....Lumber grading has slid over the years to allow sapwood to be considered non-defect. With many of the small er faster growing trees that are harvested today you can see up to 50% sap on a board. Sap wood of any species has no noteworthy rot resistance and often is more rot prone due to stored sugars.
I like and use a lot of cedar (for other projects) and you need to inspect the pile or have a strong understanding from your supplier about sapwood or you are just throwing your money away.

Thing to remember never i repeat never use Eastern aromatic red cedar though.  Not a bug alive that will touch the stuff including bees.  Just to let you guys know all red cedars aren't the same. 
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2011, 10:29:02 PM »
I've used aromatic cedar.  The bees didn't mind and neither did the wax moths or the Varroa etc.
Michael Bush
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Offline hankdog1

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2011, 11:28:51 PM »
I've used aromatic cedar.  The bees didn't mind and neither did the wax moths or the Varroa etc.


I wonder if we're talking about the same stuff.  I know the stuff we have around here there isn't a bug alive that can live in it.  Know guys who have tried them for bee boxes and had them abscond.  I like hemlock for my wood of choice light and durable even without paint.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 09:49:24 AM »
This is the bright red stuff they build closets out of... bees abscond for a variety of reasons and scent certainly is one and it may, in that case have been the cause.  I've had bees abscond or start to for no reason I could discern and I put some lemongrass essential oil in the hive and they moved back in.  But I have not had that issue.  I've also used scraps of cedar siding etc. with no issues one way or the other.  I don't recommend spending money on cedar, but if you have scraps I'd use them.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline PeeVee

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 10:42:08 AM »
I use local eastern white pine. I buy rough cut from a small mill. I use some hemlock (I saw this myself - we have hemlock on the farm and I rent a mill from a friend) for tops. I never weighed the hemlock but I'm sure it's heavier than the pine. I've seen both varieties that have been exposed to the weather last for years - 20 plus just laying out behind a shed. Can't count barn siding as the grain runs vertical.
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Offline hankdog1

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 12:29:42 AM »
Yep that sounds like the same stuff.  Always been told it wouldn't work by a number of beekeepers that have tried it.  I never did ask if it was fresh cut that may make a difference. 
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Offline hardwood

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2011, 12:47:10 AM »
I made a couple of boxes from some loblolly pine (southern yellow pine) once and couldn't keep the bees to stay in them. It was pretty newly milled and the sap wasn't really set yet I think. I was thinking that the heat of the sun must've released the turpentine or something that the bees didn't like.

Scott
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Offline Dave360

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2011, 07:33:46 PM »
I have used yellow pine kiln dried though from lumber yard and so far the bees don't seem to mind but it is hard to find that isn't cupped

Dave

Offline PeeVee

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2011, 07:45:53 PM »
I'll weigh a piece of dried hemlock and a same size piece of pine to see what I get.

I better put that on the list for tomorrow or I'll forget :roll:
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Offline PeeVee

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Re: How long do boxes last?
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2011, 12:39:41 AM »
Ok, sorry for the delay - weather issues.

3/4 x 6" x 6" Hemlock was just a tad over 1/2 lb.

same size Eastern White Pine was just a tad under 1/2 lb.

So close but I prefer the pine for boxes and frames. The pine mills easier without splitting. Hemlock I use for bottom boards and covers. I still have a couple hundred frames to assemble that I made from recycled redwood.
-Paul VanSlyke - Cheers from Deposit,NY