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Author Topic: Does the glue in plywood or chip board hurt bees? And, scout question.  (Read 1719 times)
rubeehaven2
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« on: May 16, 2013, 05:40:01 PM »

Just wondering if regular plyboard or compressed chip board has anything in it harmful to bees.  I Made a swarm trap out of chip board and there are like a dozen dead bees in the bottom of it.  Seems the scouts are coming in and dropping dead.  Maybe the thought of such a nice new home is overwhelming to them!

Speaking of scouts.  Does anyone know if a hive will send out scouts BEFORE swarming out of the hive?

Thanks, Rich
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 12:15:23 PM »

Glue does outgas, but in recent years huge improvements have been made in that regard.  Treated lumber (green stuff or the old black creosote stuff) is poisonous to bees.  It has insecticide in it...

> Does anyone know if a hive will send out scouts BEFORE swarming out of the hive?

Sometimes they have it all picked out before they even leave.  I've seen swarms like this.  The land on a branch for only a minute or two and they are gone.  I'm sure they already knew where they were going.
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Michael Bush
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BAH
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 06:57:36 PM »

During the swarm preparation, scout bees will simply find a nearby location for the swarm to cluster. This intermediate stop is not for permanent habitation and will normally leave within three days to a suitable location. It is from this temporary location that the cluster will determine the final nest site based on the level of excitement of the dances of the scout bees.

When a honey bee swarm emerges from a hive they do not fly far at first. They may gather in a tree or on a branch only a few meters from the hive. There, they cluster about the queen and send 20 - 50 scout bees out to find a suitable new nest locations. The scout bees are the most experienced foragers in the cluster. An individual scout returning to the cluster promotes a location she found. She uses a dance similar to the waggle dance to indicate direction and distance to others in the cluster. The more excited she is about her findings the more excitedly she dances. If she can convince other scouts to check out the location she found, they may take off, check out the proposed site and promote the site further upon their return. Several different sites may be promoted by different scouts at first. After several hours and sometimes days, slowly a favorite location emerges from this decision making process. When all scouts agree on a final location the whole cluster takes off and flies to it. A swarm may fly a kilometer or more to the scouted location. This collective decision making process is remarkably successful in identifying the most suitable new nest site and keeping the swarm intact. A good nest site has to be large enough to accommodate the swarm (about 15 liters in volume), has to be well protected from the elements, receive a certain amount of warmth from the sun and be not infested with ants.[6][7][8][9][10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarming_(honey_bee)
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don2
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 07:29:22 PM »

I have had more than one swarm hover around for several minutes, then take off with out ever gathering on any thing nearby as far as I could see. even followed one for about 2000 ft once. Gone.

Those words are still in my vocabulary, ( never say never). Smiley d2
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ozebee
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 01:19:33 AM »

  Treated lumber (green stuff or the old black creosote stuff) is poisonous to bees.  It has insecticide in it...

Michael,  does that mean that "green" treated pine would not be good for a hive stand or being outside of the hive it would not have  much effect on the bees??
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 01:44:06 AM »

I have built hives with plywood and OSB and never noticed any problems.  The OSB is nice because it doesn't warp in 3 different directions like plywood.  Yes, you can smell the out gassing of the OSB glue, but the bees did rather well in those hives.

I was out checking the bees today and when I pulled the outer cover off one of the hives, I could see the bees inside were SUPER active.  (I had a screened inner cover on that hive).  I was thinking, oh no, they're going to come at me like crazy. shocked  I didn’t have my smoker with me either. Sad  

So I crack the inner cover and the bees POUR out the top of the hive like a volcano going off.  Bees everywhere.  However they weren’t coming after me; they were swarming.  They swarmed the moment I took that inner cover off.  What are the odds. Sad  Evidently I caught them just as the act was about to start.  As BAH reports, they typically head to a nearby tree (but not always).  Mine landed about 25’ up in a tree.  I tried to shake them into a bucket on a stick, but didn’t get the queen this time.  Lost that swarm. Sad

So I gave back to mother nature today.  Smiley
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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 01:55:21 AM »

Most of my deep brood supers are untreated plywood.  I haven't had any problem and don't think the bees have either.  Good luck




Joe
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 09:29:39 AM »

>They may gather in a tree or on a branch only a few meters from the hive. There, they cluster about the queen and send 20 - 50 scout bees out to find a suitable new nest locations.

That would be typical, but not all swarms are typical.  I've seen them gather on the branch for about 2 minutes and they were off.  There was no time for any scout bees to find anything.  I can only assume they had already found it before they gathered.  They were off to the wild blue yonder...

>does that mean that "green" treated pine would not be good for a hive stand or being outside of the hive it would not have  much effect on the bees??

I use green treated pine for my stands.  It's cheap and stands up well.  The bees don't live there.  I only use it for stands as they are in contact with the ground.

I make all my lids from plywood and have never seen an issue with outgassing.  But, as I said, they have improved the glues a lot over the last few decades...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Jeanette
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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2013, 11:48:44 PM »

I had a look into plywood formaldehyde glues versus bee hives last year and wrote a blog post about it (http://hivetasks.com.au/blog/113/formaldehyde-in-plywood-bee-hives).

Basically, the highest rate of gas emissions occur within about 6 weeks of the plywood being manufactured (25% of the gas emitted). After that time the emissions rate drops dramatically. Combined with the short half-life of the gas and recent improvement to glue safety standards, I had to conclude that plywood was surprisingly safe for bees.
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Jeanette
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capt44
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 12:22:13 AM »

I build a hive out of 3/4 inch plywood.
It is 19 7/8 inches long by 11 1/4 inches wide with a bottom glued and nailed to the sides.
I drilled a 1 1/4 inch hole in the front 1/2 inch up from the bottom.
I have built around 25 of these so far.
The bees are doing fine.
For ventilation I put 1/4 inch thick pieces of wood 2 inches long at the end of each long board.
That way the top won't sit flush but will leave a space for air to circulate.
I have had no trouble with glue in the plywood affecting my bees.
I made these hives trying to cut down on hive beetles.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
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