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"Open Source Beehives" Indiegogo project

 
Tony Flint
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Location: Maple Valley, WA, USA - Zone 8a, 500 ft elevation
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This project which has already reached its funding goal, is offering crazy high tech beehives (including sensors, and 'printable' plans for hives).

Anyone heard of this?
 
Tim Sullivan
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I made a $15 donation and will supposedly be emailed the plans soon. I've located several printers in the area who have the machine necessary to print the hive. If I get the plans and manage to get it printed out and assembled I'll give you a total cost on the hive.

Here is the video in youtube format that explains the project. Whether or not you believe CCD is a problem, it looks like a really cool way to obtain a hive.

 
Kelly Smith
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i also donated to this project.

the file for the hives should be sent out about april 14th (if i remember right)
i plan to try to find some eco plywood and "print" a bunch of these, as we have a few leads on folks with CNC machines.

last i heard they printed 11 hives in 7 hours.
depending on the minimum order of plywood i may have a lot of extra hives


edit:
after calling around to a few places looking for "CARB2" plywood, i was told all plywood (sans pressure treated and OSB) is CARB2. does this mean any non OSB/PT plywood can be used to make these boxes?
i ASSumed that since CARB2 was called out it wasnt something that was readily available in the standard big box home stores.... and a quick search of CARB2 paired with lowes/hope depot doesnt show many results.
the "normal" plywood on the site shows it is CARB compliant, but not CARB2 compliant

any help is appreciated.
 
Tim Sullivan
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I found this attached document on Home Depot's site. It looks like Columbia products are carb 2 complaint.

Looks like Purebond is also carb phase 2 compliant http://homedepotpurebond.com/
Filename: Home depot carb 2.pdf
Description:
File size: 198 Kbytes
[Download Home depot carb 2.pdf] Download Attachment
 
Kelly Smith
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Thanks Tim.
I called my local HD and at first they say they cant get it, then i tell them about the website and they say they have maple 3/4in CARB2 in stock
on the website you posted, i see this at the bottom:
At this time, PureBond® plywood is not stocked or offered through special order in The Home Depot stores in AK, AZ, CO, ID, NM, NV, OR, UT, or WA.

most wood is CARB compliant as of '09 so i am not sure if that is what is being referenced.

maybe its just because i sorta live in the boonies. i know this project is based in [part] denver, so worse case i can make a trip up there to find non toxic wood.


hope others have an easier time finding non toxic plywood.
 
Tim Sullivan
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Hey Kelly,
Looks like Lowe's is also an option. Hopefully they have it in your area. http://www.lowes.com/pd_118486-99899-118486_0__?productId=3602706

Keep us updated on your progress.
 
tel jetson
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apart from feeling like they swooped my idea, I think this project is pretty neat. plywood is weird, though. Denver and Barcelona are pretty dry places, but I sort of figured Brussels might be kind of wet. at any rate, any plywood I've ever had in beehives started molding in short order. I don't know exactly why, but plywood just doesn't breathe like solid wood does. it doesn't seem to be vapor permeable at all.

all the same, I'm interested to see how this project plays out. the API in particular seems like an excellent idea.
 
Kelly Smith
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interesting, not something i had thought of, as i live in a dryland environment.

i did receive the files today, and sent them off to a local shop for a quote.

a "CNC Router" is the type of machine that is needed, not a CNC Machine, as i originally thought.
 
Tony Flint
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Location: Maple Valley, WA, USA - Zone 8a, 500 ft elevation
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I'm talking to several fabrication shops around Seattle and seeing if other folks want to join in on this thread.

So far the OSB folks haven't released the Warre hive models for the router, but it sounds like they will this week. Kelly, how goes your fabrication quest?
 
Kelly Smith
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Tony Flint wrote:Kelly, how goes your fabrication quest?


ehh so so.
i called a few places looking for CNC Routers and most dont have a 4x8 table, only a 4x4 table.
i did find someone with a large enough table, but he was only able to open up the .dxf file, but none of the other files. so he said he couldnt help me, but i didnt get the feeling like they wanted to help me anyway.

i have almost exhausted my local cnc router sources, so i may have to look at places in denver.

i did find someone local with a water jet that was willing to help/try, but i thinking this could be a last option. does anyone think a water jet could do the same job as a cnc router?

edit:
i saw your thread. ~$200 for just the cutting is higher than i thought it would be. i was hoping it would be under $100 + the cost of wood (~$50 per sheet is a good estimate).
do you know if the place you contacted had to tweak the file at all? as i understood it, i would give someone this file and a 4x8 sheet of plywood and off we go.... doesnt seem like its that easy, unless i missed something.
 
Tony Flint
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Location: Maple Valley, WA, USA - Zone 8a, 500 ft elevation
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Kelly Smith wrote:
i saw your thread. ~$200 for just the cutting is higher than i thought it would be. i was hoping it would be under $100 + the cost of wood (~$50 per sheet is a good estimate).
do you know if the place you contacted had to tweak the file at all? as i understood it, i would give someone this file and a 4x8 sheet of plywood and off we go.... doesnt seem like its that easy, unless i missed something.


The one quote I've received was $280+tax for the first hive and $200+tax/ea after that (plywood included). I'm imagining (hoping?) that the Seattle shops are pretty much as expensive as it gets. They reviewed the files and didn't comment on them one way or another - I've asked them for some feedback on them. Did you find the shops you got in touch with on the maker map? The OSBH people seem like they might be able to find somewhere too. Good luck!
 
Kelly Smith
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$200 including the price of wood isnt top bad, hell at least you found someone that can do it...

i looked at the makers map (http://themakermap.com/) but there isnt anything within ~2 hours of my area.
i may send the project creator a quick email and see where he thinks i could go, or see if he has any other suggestions.

i did notice that some of the 3/4in plywood at home depot had a "CARB2" label on the edge. i saw the 3/4in 4x8ft maple hardwood as well as a oak sheet with the CARB2 label.
both sheets were ~$50 each.
 
Kelly Smith
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so i finally found someone that could cut these out for me.
turned out the CNC router in the video is actually a CNC Laser router. Not the same thing as a standard router controlled via CNC.

the biggest difference is the plywood doesnt need to be held down with a laser, but it does with a standard router. There must also be some pieces that keep everything connected until the very end (anything that is totally cut out will fly away).
the guy that is gonna cut a few for me seems to think we should be able to get it completed in 2 hours for the first one, then an hour for each one after that. i hope to do the first run next week.

the guy mentioned painting the top bar hive, and mentioned that leaving plywood exposed like that will eventually cause it to de-laminate/swell.
He also mentioned the high altitude UV rays not being good for it either.

anyone have any input on this? i know on pauls bee podcast its mentioned to keep the hives raw, but i think that was mainly referring to hives built out of solid wood, not plywood.
i do plan a bee hut of some sort, but that wont keep it completely out of the UV/weather.

any feedback appreciated.
 
tel jetson
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depends on the plywood. some is designed to handle moisture, most is not. plywood is already unlikely to breath very well, so sealing it isn't likely to make things much worse.

have you looked into any local maker spaces or hacker spaces? I think they usually have CNC routers and occasionally CNC lasers.
 
allen lumley
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Tel jetson : I am in agreement that Local maker/hacker spaces should be an early place to check for CNC routers/lasers and 3-d printers, 4' X 4' is Large for a CNC
Router anywhere !

Anyone : The only CNC router capable of taking a full 4X8 sheet I know of in a hacker space is at the Geek Group in Grand Rapids Michigan, could not the sheet be
cut down smaller with a panel saw and then put in a smaller CNC ? Big AL
 
Emily Cressey
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Their idea of the "Smart Citizen Kit" as a computer device to monitor the hives - does that run like a SMART METER in your house? According to treatment-free bee expert, Valerie, at http://www.healingbees.org/, bees are EMF sensitive. It seems like this measuring device could be effecting/skewing the data just by its usage... Caution on that component. Also the plywood seems sketchy... I want to like this, but it seems like a problematic solution. I think you can get solid wood built hives for $200 or less online....

Emily
 
David Livingston
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Whilst I think these guys have wonderful intentions there choice of material - plywood and method and cost of production I feel are in the wrong direction . Warré and Top Bar hives are very simple to make . If you have no skill ( like me ) the simple plans are available free on many sites ( any one who cannot find one PM me ) if you contact a local carpenter I am sure they could make you one in a morning for 100$ . If you log on to Biobees.com there are people making them from scrap wood and pallets for free !
As for the monitoring I sit and watch the bees it free relaxing and as the poster above says involves no EMP.

David

 
Kelly Smith
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tel jetson wrote:depends on the plywood. some is designed to handle moisture, most is not. plywood is already unlikely to breath very well, so sealing it isn't likely to make things much worse.

i will be using 3/4in maple plywood, carb2 rated.

tel jetson wrote:have you looked into any local maker spaces or hacker spaces? I think they usually have CNC routers and occasionally CNC lasers.

i have looked. the closest to me is ~2.5 hrs away, and those people arent returning phone calls. its almost as if people dont want to take the time to work on such a small project.


i think the guy i found is going to work out nicely though. he seems interested in the project, not just making his money on the work. he is gonna let me use his shop to sand down the tabs so we can make sure it all fits together nicely.
i will try to get the file that has all the tabs on it and post it in case others want to give it a try.
 
Kelly Smith
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allen lumley wrote:
Anyone : The only CNC router capable of taking a full 4X8 sheet I know of in a hacker space is at the Geek Group in Grand Rapids Michigan, could not the sheet be
cut down smaller with a panel saw and then put in a smaller CNC ? Big AL


its possible, but you would have to rework the file used to cut the wood as it is setup for a 4x8 sheet.

also, a CNC router will require the wood be held down to the table while cutting. tabs/land bridges will also be needed to keep the parts from flying out when fully cut out. youll have to go back and cut/sand these pieces out once all of the cutting is done.
remember a CNC router is an upcut device so if its not held down, it will get pull up and thrown across the shop. (the cnc router is upcut so the sawdust has somewhere to go)
 
Kelly Smith
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Emily Cressey wrote:Their idea of the "Smart Citizen Kit" as a computer device to monitor the hives - does that run like a SMART METER in your house? According to treatment-free bee expert, Valerie, at http://www.healingbees.org/, bees are EMF sensitive. It seems like this measuring device could be effecting/skewing the data just by its usage... Caution on that component. Also the plywood seems sketchy... I want to like this, but it seems like a problematic solution. I think you can get solid wood built hives for $200 or less online....

Emily


i agree on the sensor. it is not something i plan to add to any of my hives.

what about the plywood is sketchy? they spec out non [less] toxic (CARB2) plywood so there arent issues with the bees.

can you send me a link to a solid wood, top bar hive for $200 or so? most i have see have been way above that, although i havent done a ton of searching recently.

thanks,
 
Kelly Smith
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David Livingston wrote:Whilst I think these guys have wonderful intentions there choice of material - plywood and method and cost of production I feel are in the wrong direction . Warré and Top Bar hives are very simple to make . If you have no skill ( like me ) the simple plans are available free on many sites ( any one who cannot find one PM me ) if you contact a local carpenter I am sure they could make you one in a morning for 100$ . If you log on to Biobees.com there are people making them from scrap wood and pallets for free !
As for the monitoring I sit and watch the bees it free relaxing and as the poster above says involves no EMP.

David



please pm me any top bar hive plans you have, i would be interested in trying to build a hive also

i dont think i would use old pallet wood. that wood is sometimes sprayed with chemicals to help keep the critters out of the wood. they also get any over sprayed when the pallet contents is sprayed.
 
Emily Cressey
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I have seen some good deals on hives on craigslist, ebay, etc.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/grd/4513635217.html

This guy seems to be selling a hive and bees for $175. Can't tell what the wood is, might be plywood, and the roof ain't the best, but just a point of reference.



These warre's are like $219 - i saw this guy at a trade show recently, they may have been discounted at the trade show. http://www.beethinking.com/collections/warre-hives


I just meant plywood was sketchy due to wear and tear outside, breathability (as per Tel's comment) and/or chemicals. It sounds like they've found a non-tox type of wood, at least.

I found this wood preservative at the Garden Coop Site. http://www.timberprocoatings.com/wood-finishes/wood-stabilizer.html

Has anyone heard of a non-tox wood preservative like this for treating wood for outside use (rainy Seattle, WA). Do you think it would work for bees? ( Just sent them a ticket to ask about it...)

Emily
 
David Livingston
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I sent a PM to Kelly but realize this is too good to keep secret . Its a 44 page free PDF on how to build a Top Bar Hive from Phil Chandler

http://www.biobees.com/build-a-beehive-free-plans.php

David
 
Cj Sloane
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Emily Cressey wrote:I have seen some good deals on hives on craigslist, ebay, etc. ...

Has anyone heard of a non-tox wood preservative like this for treating wood for outside use (rainy Seattle, WA).


I wouldn't buy a used hive in case of disease.

I built my own Perone & Warre and it wasn't hard. My woodworking skills are mediocre but good tools and good plans help.

Perone hives are charred the outside with a blow torch as a wood preservative. I can't say yet if it works but the surface does have a bit of a protective sheen to it. I also have mine under a roof (bee hut).
 
Cj Sloane
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Kelly Smith wrote:
i dont think i would use old pallet wood. that wood is sometimes sprayed with chemicals to help keep the critters out of the wood. they also get any over sprayed when the pallet contents is sprayed.


Here's a site that tells you how to determine if pallets are safe for use (not treated).
 
Martin Miljkovic
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Love the project It is a start of a great improvement within the beekeeping - CNC. If it continues to have purpose it may lead to great things over time.

I saw many concerns about the plywood. Will it get swollen and so on. As I recall there is a special type of it that is water resistant. Someone talked about getting it last year. I will have to ask him on how it all went down.

Some suggestions: bees tend to propolize every foreign object within hive or eat it and carry it out. That may cause some problems with equipment.
Also, I did not hear that they will measure amount of pollen taken in since it plays a nice role within hive. Taking samples of it to see if it is polluted would be a nice thing. The quality of it (not all plants are equal) plays great role too.
 
Kelly Smith
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bump -
anyone using one of these hives?
how do you like it? anything you would change?

we have our hive together, painted and ready to go.
we plan a small bee hut made out of strawbales to keep the hive out of the weather as much as possible.

fwiw - i ended up finding someone who could cut out the hives for $100 per hive. the plywood is $50 a sheet.
only thing we did was to have more top bars made, as the original didnt come with enough bars for a full hive. in all, i cut 5 sheets of plywood, and made 4 hives with extra keepers (with a feeder cutout) and extra top bars.
ill post some pics once i get it outside - interested to see what others think of this hive.


thanks,
 
Kelly Smith
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bump for a picture of our OSBH.


we plan to build a small bee hut and will post that soon.
 
tel jetson
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Kelly Smith wrote:we plan to build a small bee hut and will post that soon.


what's your objective with the bee hut?
 
Kelly Smith
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tel jetson wrote:
Kelly Smith wrote:we plan to build a small bee hut and will post that soon.


what's your objective with the bee hut?


i would like to keep the hive out of the weather mainly.
we range from ~100*F to ~-20*F. winds a plenty and have had 2 ft of snow overnight.

i plan to build it around a pallet and make the roof removable so we can work the hive.
 
tel jetson
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that sounds reasonable.

I've seen a lot of people get carried away with hive shelters. in many situations, a large roof on the hive will accomplish most or all of what an external shelter would with much less material/environmental impact. if there are several hives involved, the impact per hive would be diminished, but placing hives close together introduces other problems so may work at odds to the goal of a shelter.

none of that is to say that the shelter you propose is a bad idea. this is really directed at others who might read this and think "bee hut! awesome!" without really giving it a lot of thought.

I'm really interested to hear how the hive works out for you. your climate is pretty radically different than mine, and I would guess that your odds of success with a plywood hive are much better than mine would be.
 
Kelly Smith
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my top bar hive made out of carb2 plywood, painted with outdoor paint, is starting to show signs of wear after less than a year.

we are at ~5300+ ft altitude.
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Cj Sloane
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Kelly, did you ever make a roof/hut for it?
 
Kelly Smith
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Cj Sloane wrote:Kelly, did you ever make a roof/hut for it?

nope, never got around to it.

the bales keep the majority of the cold winds off of it - and the bees are certainly active in there. i just wished the box would hold up a bit better.
 
Jean-Jacques Maury
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I am curious - has anyone actually used plywood on hives. It would be my last possible choice given how badly it ages when exposed to the element and it is not cheap, especially if it needs to be milled with a CNC router. Note that similar sensor equipment has been installed in a standard hives (made of wood that will last for years).
 
Jean-Jacques Maury
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Just saw the pictures above - that's pretty much what I was expecting - forget that project.
 
Kelly Smith
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i hear someone is gonna give these a go using CARB2 OSB

there have also been some updates from the plans i used, not sure how much of that helps.
 
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