Print version ISSN 0103-9016
LORENZON, Maria Cristina Affonso et al. Langstroth hive construction with cement-vermiculite. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2004, vol.61, n.6, pp. 573-578. ISSN 0103-9016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-90162004000600002.
Exfoliated vermiculite is a light-weight and cheap product that, because of its thermal resistance, has become a valuable insulating material. With regard to its use in beekeeping, this research tested whether the box for honey bees constructed with cement-vermiculite mortar (CVM) presents physical characteristics similar to those of wood. The experiment was carried out at Seropédica, RJ, Brazil, for eight months. The cement-vermiculite mortar was compared with a control material (pinewood), in the construction of Langstroth boxes and boards, in a completely randomized design, with respect to thermal control, thermal conductivity and its capacity to absorb and lose water. The production cost for a CVM box was estimated. There were no internal temperature differences between CVM and wooden boxes. Thermal conductivity values for CVM and pinewood were similar. CVM absorbed more water and lost water faster than pinewood. Since CVM boxes can be easily constructed, at a low cost and with similar characteristics as traditional boxes, made of wood, the material can be recommended for use in non-migratory beekeeping.
Keywords : Apis mellifera; mineral; beekeeping; insulating material.