Please support Friends of the Bees to keep this forum free to use.

Natural Beekeeping International Forum
low-cost, low-impact, balanced beekeeping for everyone

 Forum FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileYour Profile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Please Read The Rules before posting.



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)
contructing top bar hive - thickness of wood

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Horizontal top bar hives
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
tiidus
New Bee


Joined: 21 Feb 2015
Posts: 1
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 5:55 pm    Post subject: contructing top bar hive - thickness of wood Reply with quote

Hi!

I live in Italy in hardiness zone 8 or 9. I want to build a HTBH. I've been looking for the material and I found natural non-treated wooded panels that are large enough for just cutting out the right size pieces needed for the construction. BUT these panels are only 20mm thick. Would it still be OK for the bees? The manual recommends thickness of 22-25mm.

The reason for choosing these panels is that I am not very good (not good at all) at working with boards and gluing them or constructing some odd shaped pieces from boards.. But with the material that I found I would be able to build the hive on my own.

Thank you for the advice!
Mari
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1564
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mari and welcome to the forum.

I don't know what sort of climate zone 8 or 9 would be but I have bees thriving in a hive that is probably just 15mm thick and another in an old apple crate that is 8mm at most and I'm in the North East of the UK. Make sure you find a sheltered spot for it when it is finished, and you can always wrap it with insulation on the outside at a later date if you feel they need it, but I would say definitely go for the timber that is available and makes the job more simple. The thicker wood is preferable but not by any means, essential.

Best wishes

Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
R Payne
Foraging Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 123
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming your zones are the same range as mine (in the U.S.), I'm in zone 6 (temp range from 10 F./-12 C. to 105 F./40 C, occasionally outside of that). My hive is 3/4 inch/19 mm thick wood and that works for my bees, haven't used any additional insulation.

ron
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
emmapedia
New Bee


Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 7:40 pm    Post subject: Query about the thickness of a hTBH Reply with quote

Hello all! I've just been on one of Phil Chandler's excellent natural beekeeping courses and am excited to build my own hTBH!

I have downloaded Phil's building guide and am now in the process of sourcing construction materials. Ideally, I would prefer to use 12" wide pieces of timber as listed in the dimensions, but I am also considering using wood pallets to reduce costs.

Would it be feasible to use construct a hive with an outer casing of pallet wood, lined with thin plywood to provide a smooth interior for the bees? If so, is it vital to maintain a thickness of 1" or would it not matter if the pallet + ply thickness was a little more than this once put together?

Also, if lining with ply is a suitable idea, would it also need to be marine/exterior grade and could it be finished with shellac as per Phil's suggestions?

Can anyone see any disadvantages of "sandwiching" these woods together to construct a hive that I have overlooked?

Thanks to anyone who can offer me some advice here!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
obcarskas
Guard Bee


Joined: 27 Mar 2015
Posts: 54
Location: chester, england, uk

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

strewth ! bits of pallet wood lined with plywood ? that would be enormously thick no ?

you are in warrington ! my birthtown ! and about to build a tbh ! eeek ! well i am at that stage right now ! and in horror at prospect of circular saw i think bench saw safer and i am flumoxed about what wood to get and where ! but pallet wood ? well that is for sure reclaimed hey ! can find some of those easily seems all this reclaimed wood suppliers are thin on the ground ! went to beeston today reclaimables site and found only stone huge statues of dogs etc ! and railway sleepers but they looked rather rotten and big
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Adam Rose
Silver Bee


Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emmapedia wrote:
Would it be feasible to use construct a hive with an outer casing of pallet wood, lined with thin plywood to provide a smooth interior for the bees? If so, is it vital to maintain a thickness of 1" or would it not matter if the pallet + ply thickness was a little more than this once put together?


Feasible I imagine, but bees don't care about a smooth interior as such. They may propolise to improve the thermal and reflective properties of the wood, and shellac mimics propolis, but smoothness itself is not important. Also plywood has glue in it, so while this is a light and cheap material for the roof it isn't a good material for the interior of the hive.

There's nothing magic about one inch. Thickness is good because it insulates and bad because it makes the hive heavier to lift, and of course thicker wood costs more. Less than one inch and I would start to worry that the hive is not properly insulated. We have seen pictures on this forum of double glazed Scandanavian hives that use two planks of "one inch" ( ie 2cm ) wood separated by a layer of air.

People have successfully used pallets to make hives. You might have to be careful about any treatments, but if they've been outside for a long time you should be OK. I vaguely remember someone on this forum saying how to look at a pallet and see how it has been treated.

Adam.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If pallets are marked with something like

(the "HT" is the important bit) the wood was heat treated. As Adam suggests caution still needed as anything could have been stored on, or leaked onto, the pallet.

Rather than add ply to the pallet wood for the hive body, why not double up on the pallet wood, one set of planks horizontal, the other vertical. Cheaper and risk of vapours from ply is eliminated.

IF you still go for ply, marine is essential. The hive atmosphere is is humid.

John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
emmapedia
New Bee


Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 2
Location: Warrington, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice everyone!

I am thinking that using pallets will actually cause more work and hassle in the construction and the money saved will be expended in time instead.

I've asked my dad for help with the build, but (as he is an accountant), he's taken it on board himself to insist on the cheapest way of doing things, even though I have made it quite clear I am willing to invest in wood cut to size for the job!

Good to hear your advice, it gives me a little more ammo in my argument against lining with ply... I have a feeling I might end up building this on my own!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used red cedar for the body and marine ply for the roof ( which I covered ). Not cheap, but should last. I sourced the cedar planks from a local timber merchant, but red cedar is also available to order over the net. I used wood glue and wooden dowling to join the planks to get to correct width, and cut with a hand saw. My carpentry skills are basic. You could also source wood cut to exact size from a local sawmill.
Good luck with your construction.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Horizontal top bar hives All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

SPECIAL OFFER FOR UK FORUM MEMBERS - Buy your protective clothing here and get a special 15% discount! (use the code BAREFOOTBEEKEEPER at checkout and be sure to 'update basket')



Are the big energy companies bleeding you dry?


Is way too much of your hard-earned family income going up in smoke?

Are you worried about what could happen if the ageing grid system fails?

You need to watch this short video NOW to find out how YOU can cut your energy bills TO THE BONE within 30 days!

WATCH THE VIDEO NOW



(country selected automatically - UK/USA/CA/AU)

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

Barefoot Beekeeper Podcast



Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


Now available from Lulu.com


4th Edition paperback now available from Lulu.com

See beekeeping books for details and links to ebook versions.
site map
php. BB © 2001, 2005 php. BB Group

View topic - contructing top bar hive - thickness of wood - Natural Beekeeping Network Forum