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Author Topic: Styrene bee barrier  (Read 2209 times)

Offline SEEYA

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Styrene bee barrier
« on: March 24, 2012, 06:24:12 PM »
I am putting 3/4 inch styrene under the top cover of my long hives; what can I use as a barrier to stop the bees from tearing it out?
Aluminum foil - what kind of glue could I use?
plastic wrap - would it last?
Paint?  Stucco (just joking)
 :?
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 06:51:12 PM »
Ray, I assume you’re talking about the pink or blue extruded polystyrene and not to flakey expanded white stuff?

I have done a little of experimenting with foam and bees :)  I believe a prime coat + 2 coats of top coat will keep the bees from chewing the foam.  However, there is a problem.  Paint (latex paint in particular) has a tackiness to it that really doesn’t subside for months (maybe years?).  This presents a real problem if you have something in contact with a painted piece of foam.  The paint will generally prefer to stick to the other object rather than the foam.  Hence if you used the paint as a barrier, it would eventually stick to the top bar wood body and pull away from the foam.  Where it pulls away, the bees will most definitely chew!

I have been laminating 5mm low cost luan to my foam to keep the bees from it.  However Windfall pointed out that luan is basically made from junk wood and hardboard might be more immune to winter humidity and mold growth.  Hence I have switched over to using 1/8” hardboard laminated to foam to keep the bees at bay.  In your application that might be a good solution too.  It would give you something to pry on when removing the foam.  ¾” foam all by itself is relatively flimsy.  

I’ve tried gluing foil and polyethylene to foam using water based contact cement.  It works OK, but it really isn’t a great bond.  I suspect over time (maybe a year or two) the contact cement would delaminate in the humid environment.  

I have tried foam adhesive as well.  I think the stuff was called PL-300, comes in a caulking tube.  It requires one surface to be porous and hence won’t work for many materials.  Gorilla glue bonds well to foam, but not at all to some other materials like polyethylene.

You might try contact paper for a quick cheap barrier.  Less work than gluing on hardboard.  The ¾ pink foam sheets actually come with a thin (maybe a mil or two) polyethylene film over them.  That seems unique to the ¾” stuff for some reason.  It is not on the 2”, 1.5”, or 1” foam.  Provided you don’t rip that polyethylene sheet off the foam, I would give you good odds that the bees would not chew through that.  

Welcome to the wonderful world of foam and bees :-D

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 07:12:43 PM »
Have you tried using plastic cardboard, the stuff they use for political signs. It is cheap, after an election. :) you can find it in sign stores. Works well.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline derekm

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 07:45:02 PM »
you can get thin correx corodex used to protect floors. 2mm thick v cheap £4 for 8ft by 4ft
If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?

Offline rbinhood

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 07:47:47 PM »
Try using 6 mil plastic they will not eat the stuff and it will lay on top of the frames and they will not glue it to your frames.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 11:32:16 PM »
If you put them on TOP of the cover you'll have the cover to protect 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 BlueBee

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 12:15:09 AM »
Michael does raise a good point!  Why not put the foam on the top of the hive?

Painted foam weathers better than wood.  The only big problems that come to mind are wood peckers and large hail.  Neither of these have been a problem for me.

Offline SEEYA

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2012, 08:23:57 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions!

The stuff I am using is called 'Green Guard', extruded polystyrene. You can probably guess the color :-D.

>>Michael does raise a good point!
Yes, he does.
My problem is; I started building a simple, top bar, medium- no frills - easy - cheap bee hive. I now have a monster; a full deep- 4ft- modified 1 1/4-Hoffman framed- minimally rabbeted- with telescoping covers.
    K.I.S.S. - not me baby. 'They are coming to take me away ha, ha- ho, ho-he, he to the funny farm.......'
*minimally - I messed up on the rabbets; they aren't deep enough for the frames and the bee-space. The fix; I made some shims, 5/16" to match the covers (for length). The insulation barrier was supposed to keep the bees from propolzing (?) the shims to the cover.
Covers - one section designed for an 8 frame super, one section designed for a 10 frame super and the center section to make up the difference. I also designed the cover to slide back to close the entrance, there is a 3/4" air gap between the fascia board and the hive body.

How about urethane paint?  issues?
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Offline PeeVee

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 09:30:50 PM »
I've been making extra deep covers to accommodate 1" foam. I use old paneling for a barrier. The last glue I tried was Titebond II applied with a cheep paint brush. 
-Paul VanSlyke - Cheers from Deposit,NY

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 10:20:29 PM »
Ray, you need to post us a photo of this Frankenhive you’re building  :-D

Polyurethane does stick to foam and it solves a lot of the tackiness/sticky problems of Latex paint.  Rather the bees will chew through it or not, I don’t know.  I have just started to experiment with polyurethane this spring.  It does dry hard which would bode well for bee protection, but it doesn’t seem as thick bodied as latex paint.  Bottom line, I don’t know. 

You could give it a try and let us know.  The worst that can happen is you’ll have to buy another sheet of foam.  I’ve never seen green extruded polystyrene.  Where did you buy it?  Why the green stuff rather than the pink (Home Depot) or the blue (Lowes) stuff?

Offline SEEYA

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2012, 11:22:09 PM »
PeeVee: I thought about paneling, but I am worried about it delaminating.

Bluebee: I got the green stuff at the local lumber yard. It is the ONLY choice, at least in 3/4".
             Not A (as in single) hive, 3 hives.
             I'll try to post some pictures of the completed project, or of the bonfire or maybe of the guys in the white coats! :-D
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Offline Robo

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2012, 09:41:07 PM »
I use plain old aluminum foil on my pink/blue insulation board and it works fine.   I usually buy the foil backed 2" styrofoam for my winter covers, but inevitably I always find myself in a pinch and end up making a few out of 1" pieces of the blue or pink,  in which case I just glue a sheet or two of aluminum foil to the underside to prevent the bees from chewing through it.
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Offline SEEYA

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 07:04:04 PM »
Thanks Robo. What kind of glue do you use?
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Offline PeeVee

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2012, 08:47:10 PM »
Ray,
So far I haven't had a problem with delamination of the paneling. But some of those covers are only a couple seasons old. Possibly with the insulation and top entrance, the moisture gets out before it's a problem. So far the only problem I've had is not applying enough PL400 and the panel didn't stick completely to the foam.
-Paul VanSlyke - Cheers from Deposit,NY

Offline PeeVee

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2012, 08:49:15 PM »
Robo, good idea on the foil backed foam. Something to try on the next run of covers.
-Paul VanSlyke - Cheers from Deposit,NY

Offline BrentX

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2012, 12:05:22 PM »
Go hang around your local liquor store.  The signs they hang out doors are made from a PVC corregated material.  One particular liquor store I drive by has poor housekeeping standards, and I can usually find some of their signs blowing around un attached, often littering the nearby woods.   These are fair game.  A sharp knife cuts the corregate to a tight fit to isolate  the 2" foam covers from the bees.   One sheet made three inner covers and three sticky boards with much left over.

Offline SEEYA

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2012, 07:37:28 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions!

I went with contact paper over the foam and Titebond II to hold the foam up.
I have decided to call this model SNAFU 1-A.
10 days to bees!
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Styrene bee barrier
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2012, 09:39:34 PM »
Sounds more like a Frankenstein 1 to me  :-D

Just kidding!  It’s gotta be exciting to finally get those bees.  I’m not aware of too many beeks in Michigan keeping bees in long hives so you might be breaking new ground for the rest of us too.  I’ve thought about building a long hive, but still haven’t tried one yet.

 

anything