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Author Topic: Life of a brood box/ super  (Read 978 times)

Offline Lesgold

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Life of a brood box/ super
« on: September 11, 2023, 08:40:46 pm »
Hi folks,

I was just talking to Max via email in relation to using old brood boxes or supers for other projects ie. recycling them. I?ve always wondered what sort of life expectancy they have. Variables to consider such as climate, type of finish, quality of construction and materials used could impact on how long a box lasts in the field. It would be interesting to hear from people in relation to this. Good stories, successful tips and tricks as well as some of the failures would make for interesting reading.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2023, 09:48:58 pm »
I'm coming to toward the end of my 5th year beekeeping.  In my climate, which is very humid, I am already starting to see wear on the equipment I use year round, mostly rotten spots that the bees have started to chew at.  I did purchase some cypress boxes this year, so we'll see how those hold up over time.  I use either stain or latex paint on my equipment.  My supers are still in very good shape.       
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Offline cao

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2023, 11:35:29 pm »
Tens years into this hobby most of my boxes are still holding up.  I've made most of my boxes from whatever wood that I had laying around(mostly pine).  A few didn't sit tightly with the others on the hive and the bees chewed additional entrances.  A couple others have started to rot where the cleat that is on for the handle.  I think most of my rotting equipment is the bottom boards.  I have had to retire several of them.  When a hive gets slimed badly by shb's, it can take a major toll on the bottom boards.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2023, 12:32:46 am »
Humidity is a real killer of some timbers. Bottom boards also take a bit of a beating with moisture and seem to rot quickly if only pine is used for risers. My brother got me started in the hobby of beekeeping. He was living in a sub tropical climate at the time and only managed to get about two years out of a box.

Offline iddee

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2023, 05:47:49 am »
I have been watching people who use this.

https://ecowoodtreatment.com/

The boxes turn grey like old unpainted houses, but after 10 years, I see no rot. If the color isn't liked, it can be painted over.

"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2023, 05:16:38 pm »
Looks quite interesting. Do you treat the inside of the box?

Online animal

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2023, 07:52:23 pm »
iddee .. Have you ever burned any wood or other material that had been soaked/treated with ecowood? If so, were there any unexpected flame colors ? especially green?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2023, 09:11:45 pm »
Never had reason to burn it. You may ask on the website. They say it is non-toxic.

les, we both dip the boards before assembling, and paint the outside and edges only when we receive the boxes assembled.. Depending on how we receive the boxes.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2023, 10:00:31 pm »
I have also heard the stuff is good, though I have not tried it. When I build new boxes I will give it a try.

Phillip
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14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2023, 10:11:35 pm »
Is there a better way to prepare boxes than hot wax dipping? Les, Max; Is wax dipping popular in your
country?

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2023, 10:23:53 pm »
Phillip, I think a few of the bigger operations wax dip but in my setup, it?s not worth chasing it up. Painting a box well seems to work OK in my situation. Three coats of paint does a reasonable job. Being messy and really applying heaps to end gain surfaces seems to provide reasonable protection.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2023, 10:27:20 pm »
Phillip, I think a few of the bigger operations wax dip but in my setup, it?s not worth chasing it up. Painting a box well seems to work OK in my situation. Three coats of paint does a reasonable job. Being messy and really applying heaps to end gain surfaces seems to provide reasonable protection.

Quote
I think a few of the bigger operations wax dip but in my setup, it?s not worth chasing it up.

You pretty much described the basic way I have been doing things Les... I always smear a generous amount of titebond 3 on the cut edges for a 'sealer', as well and all joints during assembly.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2023, 10:53:23 pm »
Don?t think many beekeepers will be winning prizes for their artistic flair with a paint brush. In saying that, there are a few famous paintings out there that look very similar to the floor of my shed after a painting session.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2023, 11:13:59 pm »
 :grin: :wink:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2023, 11:56:41 pm »
In saying that, there are a few famous paintings out there that look very similar to the floor of my shed after a painting session.
:cheesy:

Don?t think many beekeepers will be winning prizes for their artistic flair with a paint brush.
I certainly don't, but thankfully the rest of my family does.  :happy:
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Offline max2

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2023, 06:40:07 am »
Life of a super...
Very difficult to say.I have supers which lasted only a few years and others which I can date back many, many years.For Bottom Boards I use Weathertex  https://weathertex.com.au/ as the base board and also as the risers. They last a lot longer than the old pine risers.As cleats I use pine or hardwood if available.
For supers I use Hoop Pine. This is all plantation timber. The current timber is not as good as the timber we used to get 40 years ago.I do have some hardwood ( eucalyptus) boxes and they last a lot longer but are now hard to find in the width I need.I don't have cut handles but use pine strips which i find much more comfortable to lift with.
The lids have a pine rim with a weathertex inner cover and a Galvanised outer cover.In the past we used to drill a 25mm hole into the lid for ventilation (covered with a screen).These days I have two slots cut in two sides.Easier to paint and easy to clean if the bes fill the gap.All timber is painted before assembly with "RESENE" paint. This is hospital grade paint and a good product.
All hive parts are assembled, glued with Titebond lll and painted another two times.
On occasions I paint the lids, supers and bottoms again to give them an extra life.

Online Michael Bush

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Re: Life of a brood box/ super
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2023, 07:26:35 am »
I wax dip mine.  I have a lot of them that I wax dipped 20 years ago and they still look pretty good.  They are just getting where I think they would benefit from being dipped again.  I often replace the frame rest rabbet when they get chewed out by the bees.  It takes two cuts on the table saw (and usually pulling some nails/staples/screws first).  One cut is the width of the 1x2 that I will put in (the one by two is only cut for length), and 3/8" in depth.  The other cuts the sides to match that.  The one by two is glued and screwed into that 3/8" x 1-1/2" and sticks out 3/8".  I just have to watch that I don't move the cover too far forward or back because it sticks out further than the cover.

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