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Author Topic: Terra cotta clay flower box for top bar hive  (Read 308 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 1

Location: Hopelessly Lost

« on: March 16, 2014, 01:33:06 PM »

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with terra cotta clay flower boxes used for top bar hives?
I am looking for a woodless option since I live in tropical Mexico... Non treated wood rots very easily, becomes termite infested, and hardwoods are extremely expensive.
I was thinking that clay would maintain temps very good in the summer heat and breath well in the high humidity but I cannot find anyone using this as a building material in a top bar construction...
Also, interested in the future possiblity of glazing the inside to avoid them attaching combs to the sides.
I found some that are within the acceptable range of dimensions for a tbh but am hoping for some advise before I move forward.
Field Bee
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Posts: 595

Location: Stone City, Iowa

« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 02:46:29 PM »

There is no reason why terra cotta would not work just fine, clay pots and tiles traditionally were used to house hives in the Mediterranean.  The down side would be the possibility of breakage, and weight if you needed to move it.  If you glazed the interior, I would avoid glazes that include any toxic materials like heavy metals.  Bees propolize frames to the hive body, especially the "ears" that support the frames, you would have to be extra careful there so you wouldn't chip out the ledge and edge of your hive body.  Maybe glue in a piece of angle iron so you are not prying directly on the clay hive body?


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