Going to try and winter over some Nuc's next year, just made a styrofoam nuc out of 1 inch styro board from home depot. I'm sure its been done before so its not earth changing. I'm thinking I need to paint it for weather protection. My biggest fear is propolis on the inside, I put down little walnut strips for my frames to rest on but pulling them out may pull apart my styro.
Would painting the inside with something help slow propolis or will the bees just hate it ? I know you dont normaly paint the inside of a hive .
P.S. spray paint will melt styrofoam..:eek:
I don't think you really need to paint styrofoam
if you want to just for looks use water based latex
try googling "paint styrofoam"
FYI: Parrafin has a melting point of 140 to 160 degrees depending on your source.
Try heating some in a small container and measure the MP with a candy thermometer.
The melted parafin may work with a quick dip in and a 2nd dip into cold water.
Try it on a small scale first.
The best management would be to feed pollen paties to an over-wintered strong hive buy an early mated queen, divide, and not worry about a dink.
I was hopeing to try wintering Nucs because I want to make my own queens. We are to wet and cold for them to mate till around June, thats the start of my only flow, Blackberry. I extract my blackberry around the 4th of July. I was going to make my own queens, make splits into Nucs about august . Then have my own stock to replace any dead outs in the spring.
If I tried 20 Nucs and 15 lived I could have 5 -10 for sale. I've got 1 hive now I could split 3 ways and all would make honey. (but no queens for a while )
I need to move to the tropics:cool:
I use 1-1/4" foam-board for making my nucs. They have a thin film of polyethylene on their broad sides. I paint the outsides of mine with exterior latex paint or the sun quickly causes them to disintegrate here in the Desert Southwest. I have also found that paint is necessary to coat the surfaces that are not covered with a polyethylene where the bees may gain access, otherwise the bees quickly begin chewing holes in it like they do with paper that they find inside their hives.
A year ago I did the same thing, with the same ideal of overwintering nucs for replacements and resale.
I made extruded polystyrene nucs out of 2" material. It was pink and I got the highest density I could find which was 60 psi (don't ask me how they measure this). Dow Corning made it and I bought it at a contractors supply house, not Lowe's or Home Depot where they will give you a vacant stare when you start asking questions.
I put a vent hole in the back and an entrance in the front. I patterned my design after Betterbee's styro nucs. I also made a hole in the top with a common hole-saw to feed them. I made mine to fit six frames as my wood nucs and swarm traps are all six frames.
Problems: They stayed warm but there was quite a bit of frozen condensation on the back vent. I want to rethink my ventilation. The bees were quite happy to drill and gnaw away from the inside. Not sure how I'm going to fix this. I was thinking of lining the inside with 1/4 luan plywood that has exterior glue. The sun did degrade the material slightly. The exterior had a faded, grainy feel to it, but this was hardly a problem after one year.
Biggest problem: Skunks and possums. They mercilessly turned over these nucs, easily chewed the entrances and shredded the polystyrene, pulled frames from the nuc and chewed the wax comb.
I think the concept is there, but I'm still working out the design flaws. If I get a minute I'll post some pictures.
Jackson, MO http://www.25hives.homestead.com
What about turning the foil side inward and using corrugated plastic to cover the outside? I've been looking at an insulator for my plastic sign nucs. Corrugated plastic works suprisingly well if you seal the ends of the cells (duct tape, yes) but I had almost settled on a setup where the exterior included 1/2 inch HD foam and the political signs were just a barrier to keep the bees from chewing it up. Now your post has me wondering.
How about using standard wooden nucs, and put 3 or 4, or so, INSIDE a foam "container"????
I have used 1 1/2 polystrene to make a couple of hives. It worked well. The outside has to be painted or UV will be a problem. I did not do anything to the inside and have had no problems with bees chewing it or propolis, skunks, yes. I used metal corner bead used for drywalling to make the frame rest stonger. Everything was glued together. I would not want to stack 3 or 4 supers of honey on it. I use it when making splits and it works great for that. It seems to be able to keep a better temperature and it will be busting when the wooden box splits seem to be a week or so behind.
I knew It wasn't a new idea, I just painted the outside tonight. I cut a piece of 1 inch steel emt and smashed it a little to use as an entrance hoping it will keep mice from chewing the opening . I wouldn't think there would be much problem with condensation inside the styrofoam, but with vent holes there would be a spot where warm and cold air would mix.:confused:
Wow, transporting honey in a nuc. What a great idea. It would be a whole lot lighter than those ten frame brood boxes full of deep frames loaded with honey.