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Author Topic: material for boxes  (Read 1808 times)
Rabbitdog
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« on: March 23, 2007, 06:56:35 AM »

Does anyone know if it is okay to use treated pine (like decking boards) for nuc boxes?  I'm sure it has been discussed before but a search for this yielded no relevant link.
Thanks
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2007, 07:49:43 PM »

some treated wood has cyanide in it.  we don't use it where the horses can chew it.  i know they have stopped using it in playgrounds around here.

i wouldn't' think that it would be the best thing to use in a hive, but i don't know.  maybe one of our construction experts has more info?
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 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2007, 08:32:08 PM »

[...some treated wood has cyanide in it. ]

Some old treated wood does, but since that time much of it has been out-lawed.

You may want to check to see if your lumber has any tags on the ends -they would disclose if it contains cyanide of if it uses the newer copper nap. compound.

Copper Nap can be bought as a surface treatment for your boxes (used to surface treat plain pine).

Generally, I don't like the idea of it being where my bees can traffic it into the hive.

This has been discussed in pallet making. 
In these situations, the bottom board is treated plywood/dimensional lumber.
State inspectors have told some people as long as it has been weathered, it is ok.
I'm not entirely comfortable with this idea because I have seen treated lumber swell in good rains.
This means that the chemicals (though assumed safe) could leach out into this surface water.
If you paint the bottom board, it eliminates the absorption of excess water (and probably the chem transfer).

One has to consider why treated is used.
Three things: INSECTS, MOLD, and ROT.

INSECTS aren't a big worry in our application - the bees police the area.
MOLD - Many good paints have an anti-mildew addative - paint and keep painted and now worries.
ROT - Elevate your hives and keep them in good air circulation and sunlight and most this problem will be prevented.

So if you look at it from this stand point, there really isn't a significant NEED to use treated.
I'd still say it would be a good CHOICE for hive legs if you use them (as they do make ground contact).

-JEFF







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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2007, 11:43:21 AM »

The green treated lumber at the lumber yard has insecticide in it.  Needless to say that does not work well with bees.  You can buy Copper Naphthanate from Mann Lake, but I wouldn't use it in a hive.

I'm wax dipping mine now.  Boiling them in a big vat of 2 parts beeswax and 1 part gum rosin at about 230 F.  Paraffin can be used instead of beeswax.  The gum rosin and paraffin are available at Mann Lake.  You can probably buy the paraffin at the local hobby shop for the same price and save the cost of shipping.

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Michael Bush
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2007, 10:08:38 PM »

Hello all,  You shall be seeing more of me. What a great site. I am making hives soon. I have a large pile of dry pine which was sawn to 1 1/2 in thick. Now I can take it all the way down to 3/4 in. but would prefer to leave it thicker if it is of any advantage. Can anyone please advise on this. It seems like long term the boxes would be much more rugged if built out at about 1 1/8 in thick.
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2007, 07:53:51 PM »

Charliepotato,
The longevity would be longer but weight would be a consideration.The insulating  value of thicker wood could be beneficial in cold weather.
Rabbit dog
I'm still on the fence on treated wood since it's supposed to be safer chemicals.
You may keep it out of your hives but whats to keep the bees off treated decks in a 2 mile radius?
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shakerbeeman
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2007, 08:30:43 PM »

My thought is to make them 1 in. thick and dovetail the corners. That is maximum size the dovetail jig holds. My compromise in weight is to go with all medium supers. It might be nice to have the extra insulation here in northwest CT. Thanks for your reply buzzbee.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 03:11:56 PM »

You can build them out of any thickness as long as you make the inside space what you need for a frame to fit correctly.  Weight would be why I would not do it.
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Michael Bush
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doak
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2007, 07:00:55 PM »

I prefer 1x--- plain untreated pine lumber. Why? Standard size thickness.
Why not treated lumber? because if you're trying to go chemical free  route, You are defeating the purpose if you use treated lumber. JMO
doak
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2007, 09:11:45 AM »

>because if you're trying to go chemical free  route, You are defeating the purpose if you use treated lumber. JMO

That and the bees will all die... Wink
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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