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concrete beehives.

 
pollinator
Posts: 312
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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Has anyone tried using aircrete to build bee hives?  The equipment to make the foamed concrete is easily doable.  It is light weight, insulating, fire proof, rot proof.  Below is one of many possible link on doing foamed concrete on a small scale.



My current thinking is walls about 2 inches thick.  Do the outside so the boxes stacked look like lap siding to help shed moisture and also act as handles.  If the outer mold had a skim coat and fiber mesh troweled in as the form was assemble the outer skin would be a thin layer of real concrete.

There are a couple of online articles on doing hives in concrete using light weight filler/aggregate such as vermiculite or polystyrene beads but I can find anything on anyone suggesting aircrete instead.  Since supposedly its insulating value is nearly that of foam it should be ideal for helping overwintering hives survive.
 
gardener
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Would this material be breathable?
Do hives need breathable walls?
 
pollinator
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Wouldn't clay be better, or some kind of rammed earth?

I mean, it's breatheable, non-toxic, won't offgas anything inside or out, and an outside layer could be modified to include an insulating aggregate.

Both would be considerably heavier than one would want to lift, even empty, though, so I think perhaps neither would be my first choice.

-CK
 
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Bees do not need breathable walls in the hives.
BUT, the boxes need to be lifted for maintenance of the hive, would your boxes weigh more than the usual boxes?
 
gardener
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I would be most concerned about toxicity with any sort of man made material. Bees are sensitive creatures.
 
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