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A Bee House In Busso


I’m not sure if marine ply contains formaldehyde, however I had bees living in a super made from marine ply (someone gave me) for about 25 years with no ill effects.


@JeffH I agree Jeff, I have used marine ply over the years and had no issues with it, I guess it doesn’t contain formaldehyde. The use of marine ply would be the only option to stand up to the elements.
But given the life span of a bee I am not sure formaldehyde is going to affect a hive, I have never seen any facts on the subject printed in respect to bees. Just did some research, formaldehyde is not used in the making of plywood in Australia but is used in chip board and compressed particle board, (kitchen cupboards) as well as in hair care products, face creams and nail polish, petroleum and the list goes on.


Hi Jeff, as far as I’m aware, marine ply is bonded with epoxy this is what makes it water proof. I don’t think there’s any risk of effecting the bees with it.


Those caravans were constructed using Chinese plywood. All plywood manufactured in Australia is bonded with epoxy. Seems the US Government opted for the cheapest plywood they could buy and failed miserably to do any research into what they were buying.

But don’t believe for a second that epoxy makes it waterproof, it simply is not. The difference between marine ply and ordinary construction ply is that marine grade ply timber has no knots or flaws (splits, cracks) but the timber is not waterproofed and so in boat construction products like Everdure is used to prevent the timber rotting.
Fortunately, so I have been told, Chinese ply is banned from being imported into
Australia. Of course my comments were based on plywood hives I made in Australia but it is a bit daunting to know that developed countries, and so I am guessing developing countries that don’t know better, import toxic and carcinogen materials into their countries and put their people at risk. It leaves me gob-smacked that it is even in petroleum and we all breath that pollutant from vehicle exhausts. :thinking:


Hi Peter, that formaldehyde substance is in smoke from burning wood or plant matter. It comes out of the smoker when we use it …it doesn’t matter what fuel we put in the smoker. You will see it in the section “Aldehydes” in the linked article.


That is interesting Dan, so anything that has carbon in it, when it is burnt produces formaldehyde as I read it.
Now I am even more gob-smacked. I bet bush fire fighters aren’t aware of that little bit of doom and gloom information. Makes me think it is a part of everyday life.


Hi Peter, to be honest not a day goes past when I don’t breathe it in (smoke). Sometimes I get much more of it depending on who is burning and and how close they are (it is almost always wood heater smoke). Certainly I smell wood smoke every day bar just a couple of warm weeks in mid summer…provided there are no bushfires at that time! It is largely about concentrations and individual sensitivity/susceptibility to the chemical/s.


Guess when you are not smelling wood smoke you are breathing in car exhaust so you still get your daily quota. Makes me wonder why this sort of information is not widely known, or maybe big brother wants it that way. Or am I just cynical…
BTW, did your bees clean up the mud in the hives after your flood?


Yeah, in car exhaust for sure. No, I don’t think you are entirely cynical…:face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I haven’t looked in the hives for a while - must be 3 months now I reckon and not since the flash floods. They are going well, bringing in pollen after the frosts melt, and I caught a slight whiff of ripening honey today coming from the hives which I haven’t noticed in ages.


So they have either cleaned out the mud or working around it, either way glad to hear they survived being flooded.
Thanks for the chat, a bad day, lost a member at the Men’s Shed today. Felling devastated, he is 10 years younger than me.


Hi Peter, really sorry to hear that. Keep up the good work there and take care.


Thanks Dan, appreciate that. He was just walking in the shed and I thought his knee just gave way. 5 members performed CPR, I got to him within a few seconds and no pulse. Ambos in 7 minutes and jolted him a few times but he was gone. I don’t think he was aware of anything so I guess that is a good thing.
Regards mate


Always sad to loose friends.
Your Mens Shed should invest in a Defibrillator. These things are fail safe and one within 2 minutes of my brother meant he lived not died.
I am involved with the local Bowls Club and RSL, both clubs are full of old buggers and both now have Defibrillators. It is not an option not to have one.


Point taken, us old buggers think we are bomb proof, but alas we are still only humans. With Shane 10 years younger than me the point has hit home, and to a lot of us older guys, and I will bring it up at out next meeting. Shane was one of the guys who volunteered for making bee boxes for me, he was always putting his hand up for the Men’s Shed. His wife was a Men’s Shed widow she said, it was an important part of his being.


Well time for an update.
Has been pretty slow going with the windy , wet conditions which have be prevailing for what seems like months and months. Just a reminder that the purpose of the shed was to enable me to continue lifting boxes and hives when I get older.

The roof and walls are on


My crane system has been installed and it works a treat.

I fixed a 20 Kg weight to it (cause it was easy) and could move it to any where in the shed with one hand (two fingers on one hand to be more accurate

Close up of the ends


Overall shot. the X runner is 3.4 m (11 ft)
long and the I beams are 4 m long (13 ft)

Now just needs concrete floor, hive stands, cupboards and benches.
The front will be left open and the hives just backwards of the 2 front posts.

I know everything looks out of level but the eyes are being tricked. It sits on a slope and the roof slopes. That X runner with the block and tackle remains dead level everywhere it goes. It is a bit skewed because the trolley’s on the I beam don’t travel together. I think because the attachments are so flexible. (and easy to fit) Doesn’t make any difference to its working. I just moved those weights to where I wanted them and the trolley’s (all 3) did their own thing.

I am going to attach rings to the hive boxes and use a couple of slings looped into the chains hook.
Oh and I can lower and raise it with 2 fingers one chain click at a time …about 1.5 mm (1/16th ") No more squashed bees.

Edit: It can lift to and lower from, 2.2 metres after the concrete floor is in. (100mm less than now)


A Great looking shed that will more than stand up to winds you get in your neck of the woods Wilfred.
What is the lifting capacity of the chain block mate?


The block and tackle has a 2 tonne lift, that’s for when the hives get really full. :laughing::laughing::laughing:

I planned for an all up lift of 500 Kg which would be a around a 2 brood and flow super full to the gunnels (aprox 120Kg) plus “over” engineering of 380 Kg. The cross beam is a 600 KG rated sliding door track and I don’t know the rating of the I beams but I believe they could support cars, trucks etc


@busso. Love the logic of all that.
Are you married yet?


To quote Zorba, “Wife , kids…the whole catastrophe”


Same here. My husband and you would make a great couple. He’s got an excavator. We call it his Tonka.
Built a few pole structures with help of that.
In normal life, he’s a medical professional, in private life he sits on Tonka.
He flattened some bits of land for my apiaries too. So I’m happy.