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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Crawford County, Ohio
    Posts
    18

    Default Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    I just came across an old stash of unused beekeeping equipment. Very lucky find I am thinking, but a lot of the shallow supers and hive bodies are a molded polyurethane. They seem pretty sturdy and well build but I notice Walter Kelly does not carry them anymore. Anybody have any experience or insight on them? Wondering why they are not around anymore and if they would provide good enough insulation to be suitable for use in winter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    996

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    MOisture, Moisture and more Moisture. Regardless of maker if you have any plastic inner covers or tops throw them in the garbage....a plastic inner cover will cause it to "rain" on the bees inthe winter time...moisture is the biggest problemin cold weather .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Crawford County, Ohio
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    What about supers and hive bodies. Have used plastic on all three of my hives for inner covers and telescoping covers and all three hives have survived winter so far. Have others had the same experience as you?

    Any idea why plastic would lead to more moisture problems than propolis and wax covered wood inner covers would? Does the wood absorb that much water to keep it from raining or breathe better or something?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    My take is that the plastic doesn't breathe...
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,883

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    I've got a few of these brood boxes and probably a hundred med's and shallow's. I'm not particularly fond of them, but they seem to work great for me. They have little nubs on the bottom side that help lock the supers into place. There has been some warping problems on the lower corners pulling away from the other pieces. I pounded them back into place, cracking the plastic, but then I secured it with course-threaded deck screws.

    I have quite a few Kelley bottoms, and some of them are warping. I have four or five dozen of the plastic inner covers and they'll warp coming out of the box. I used some strips of wood around the edge, held on with course-threaded deck screws to bring them back into "compliance."

    I wish I had more of the plastic outer covers. They are practically indestructible.

    As for moisture, I can't say that's been a problem with me. I notice that the plastic covers allow warm air up above the inner cover and the moisture condenses on the bottom of the outer cover. Then if it drips, the drips fall back on the inner cover.

    And you would be surprised how much moisture those hives can create...and it doesn't have to be that cold.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Madison, Alabama
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    I use the Plastic Outer covers on all of my hives. They work great. I also use them for trays in my honey house to catch honey while the supers are stacked awaiting extracting.
    Rohe Bee Ranch "Free Range Bees"
    http://www.rohebeeranch.com

  7. #7

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rohe Bee Ranch View Post
    I also use them for trays in my honey house to catch honey while the supers are stacked awaiting extracting.
    This is what I use my plastic Kelley t-covers for. I don't put them on hives any longer. They actually sit on a ridge that allows for ventilation. Unfortunately that gap is big enough for bees to get through. I put my supers on bee escapes to harvest. I lost a load of honey to robbing because of those covers.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,243

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    mine are crumbling as if they were rotton wood.
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Madison, Alabama
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: Plastic Walter Kelly Hive bodies and supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    mine are crumbling as if they were rotton wood.
    I would contact Kelly about that. Mine have been looking good for 10 years now. I also prop my outer covers up on a small piece of 1x2 for extra ventilation. So far I havent had any problems with robbing via the hive cover.
    Rohe Bee Ranch "Free Range Bees"
    http://www.rohebeeranch.com

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