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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Morrow, Ohio, US
    Posts
    51

    Post

    Anybody have any experience with polystyrene hive bodies? I've got a source of free woodenware, so that's what I use. However, I have been itching to try one of Betterbee's polystyrene hives to see if makes any difference.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mebane, NC, USA
    Posts
    115

    Post

    I haven't tried a poly hive body, but I do have 2 poly hive top feeders. I was very impressed with the sturdiness of them, and they are much lighter than the wooden top feeders. The bees did seem to like them. A friend who I bought my 2 wooden hives from tried the poly hive bodies and he was pleased. I don't think you can go wrong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA USA
    Posts
    119

    Post

    I'm just trying them out for the first time this year. I already have two wooden hives so I'll let you know what I think after we get through the winter.

    Here's an interesting web page by a Dutch beekeeper who was using styrofoam hives back in 96/97. Apparently a woodpecker found them easy pickings.
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~jtemp/specht.html

    ------------------
    First Year Beekeeping Journal: http://www.blackcatnetworkhelp.net/beeblog.aspx

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Easton, NY
    Posts
    58
    My first hive last year was a Bee Max and the Bees wintered very well through a very cold winter. The model I had last year had the screened bottom board but no tray. I bought a few of the new Bee Max models with the trays this year, but have the trays out right now for improved ventilation.

    The BeeMax hives are polystryene and not styrofoam so while the feel is similar, the BeeMax is much sturdier than actual styrofoam.
    As far as being able to take a beating from hive tool prying, dropping etc. though, the Bee Max can't compare to wood in that department. I think the big selling point is they offer better insulation than wood for overwintering, and in my limited experience they have proven winter worthy. I have one of my hives in wood right now, but will be putting the frames in a Bee Max before winter.

    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001783.html
    http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000233.html




    [This message has been edited by Let_it _Bee (edited June 12, 2004).]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Schoharie County, NY
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    I'm a Newbee But have done allot of research on these hives it seams to me that they are big in europe but not here I did find one site in the us that sells them
    http://www.beneficbee.com/BeeBox.html there also another site http://www.modernbeekeeping.co.uk/ I know when I start beekeeping I will purchase these hives
    Hoped this helped you
    Michele

  6. #6

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    I over winter my hives in poly nucs and hives. Bees love it as they are warmer and the consume less feed. One downside you get a lot of condensation on the roof and sides of poly hive.!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    Here are European style EPS boxes for sale
    http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/EPS.htm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Guilford, CT
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    I started with 2 wooden and one poly hive from Betterbee. Not too easy to add wooden supers if you're having a large flow as the dimensions are a little different. Also they do need to be painted, as the sun will cause the polystyrene to break down.
    That hive was my best one last summer and I am hoping they are wintering well in it. Recently bought Betterbee polystyrene nuc boxes, so I will keep you posted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    My first hive was polystyrene. I hated it. I was always leery of busting it with the hive tool. It had a screened bottom with no cover. Idea was for mites to drop out of the hive, but since I regularly saw a big ball of bees under the screened bottom, I'm thinking any that fell came back in on the back of another. My tool dug into the body when prying frames, scraping propolis and removing burr. They don't mix with wood gear.

    The only benefit I can see is added insulation during the winter, but since the other 99.999% of colonies live in wood, I can't be convinced that makes the difference worth the lack of strength.

    I gave all supers, feeder, top, bottom and bees away because I couldn't in good conscience allow another to pay for it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,268

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    I'm contemplating making a couple of nuc bodies from Owens Corning Foamular 250. It can be glued together with foamboard adhesive, is light, and the 2 inch I use for nuc lids has an R10 value.
    http://s1110.beta.photobucket.com/us...ml?sort=6&o=44
    However, bees will chew on it and so I'll have to puzzle on that.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    Poly Nucs is the way forward if there is easy way to clean

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    I am not happy with the EPS nucs I got from Betterbee. they are not holding up well. Bees are chewing them, particularly around the top bar rests. Outsides are deteriorating in the sun. I've cut large holes in the bottom [and screened the holes] of around 20 of them due to the excessive bearding in the summer. All-in-all I like the wooden boxes better.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Gypsum, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Polystyrene Hive Bodies

    Search Beemax Hives and you'll find a thread titled " Beemax Hives? " by Jason G in Tennessee. Go to "Mabe" in central Wisconsin in the thread. If your going to use Beemax follow her advice, she knows what she's talking about. I did, and I haven't had any moisture or mold problems like everyone seems to complain about. I think Beemax hives work great. Never had trouble with chewing either.

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