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concrete beehives.

 
pollinator
Posts: 385
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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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Would this material be breathable?
Do hives need breathable walls?
 
pollinator
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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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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Location: Bendigo , Australia
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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 & hugelmaster
Posts: 1778
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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I would be most concerned about toxicity with any sort of man made material. Bees are sensitive creatures.
 
eco-innovator & pollinator
Posts: 116
Location: Los Gatos, California Zone 10a (30°F to 35°F) Steep South Facing Slope, Rocky Soil, Ph 7.1
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C.,
Did you ever try this?  Concrete can be alkaline, but fairly inert, just don't add fly ash which usually contains heavy metals.


These people make molds and claim better pest resistance and production due to better thermals than a wooden box.
https://www.africanfarming.com/concrete-beehives-smallholder/
http://www.beegin.co.za/

Curious what type of hive you were thinking of.



 
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The use of concrete for hives in that country was to combat theft ---of the whole hive---not just the honey alone---and the culprits are bipedal hominoids---the inventor was aiming to purposely make them too heavy and cumbersome for their casual removal ---the other benifits are secondary i think
 
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