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Thread: Styrofoam hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Branson, MO
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    577

    Default Styrofoam hives

    Anyone using styrofoam hives, I just bought 1 complete hive with bees 2 deeps and 1 med. super that weighed every bit of 150 lbs 8 other hives with frames 3 smokers, 2 hive tools, 3 or 4 boxes of foundation, roll of wire box of frames that need to be put together, 10-15 queen excluders, somthing for making frames, and a bunch of other stuff for 500.00.
    A complete styrofoam hive was part of the mix it has 2 deeps. 2 med, 2 smalls all with plastic frames tops and bottoms but don't know if they are worth using. I don't think the lady I bought them from ever used this hive.
    Any ideas on this hive?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
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    788

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    I think it would pose a moisture problem in the winter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,371

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    I know a couple of guys that use them and like them just fine. Keep in mind that our winters here are practically non-existent so humidity where you are may be a factor come winter time.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
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    1,300

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    You've already got them. If I was in your shoes I'd try them to see how they do. I've seen full size hives in old automobile gas tanks and tractor tires that were doing just fine so I'd bet they'd do fine in styrofoam hives as well. Experience will tell and you're in the catbirds seat for that.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
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    577

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    Yep I am going to give it a try. For 2 years I have only had top bars and these are the first Langstroths I will be using. There is plenty of info on the normal ones but I have not seen much on the styrofoam. If nothing else I have a complete hive I can sell to someone that wants it if I don't like it. The whole deal has been pretty good I think I can make half my money back just from the honey in the one hive so it won't hurt for me to try this hive, if the bees don't like it out it goes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    671

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    No reason I can think of as to why they won't work. I know a local beekeeper who has styrofoam covers he has assembled that he slips over his hives for winter. Bees chew on the styrofoam around the round entrance openings.

    May??? be a condensation problem on the under side of the top, and inner cover if they are styrofoam and may drip on the cluster. Be sure to have adequate ventilation so the moisture is exhausted. A traditional wood inner cover also prevents dripping on the cluster and absorbs any excess moisture if it drips onto the top side.

    Will ultra violet light from the sun break the styrofoam down over time???????
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,551

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    Quote Originally Posted by mgolden View Post
    Will ultra violet light from the sun break the styrofoam down over time???????
    Yeah, thousands of years.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Montgomery,M.N.
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    Give them a try. What do you have to lose. If not send them to me.

    I don't have any styrofoam hives but I do run hive covers made out of foil face insulation. These covers are tall enough to cover the complete hive from the bottom entrance up. They also have a vent hole half way up on the front side,

    After two winters I have had very few moisture problems so far.

    John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rowley, MA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    If this is a beemax hive I had one for a year and it was fine. Got my bees through a very cold winter with lots of snow with no condensation issues at all.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    P1050528.jpgP1050528.jpgP1050528.jpgrtoney,

    Last week while in Denmark a local beekeeper dropped off 25 coloies on heather which was just starting to bloom. Unfortunantly I missed the delivery operation but all of his hiver were styrofoam (high density) which is pretty much common in Denmark. This was beside the North Sea where the humidity is high but there were no provisions for upper entrance ventilation. See the picture. In Colorado (very low humidity) I cover my colonies in the winter with 2 inch styrofoam and tarpaper and provide upper and lower entrances in addition to a SSB. Winter losses last year were 16% but likely due to a combination of VM and starvation.

    Regards,
    Bear Creek Steve

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
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    1,066

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    I have two of them. They work fine. I do use an inner cover with a notch for a bit of ventilation. The have screened bottoms that can't be closed. They don't match all my other stuff so I use them for experiments etc.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    I've had one for 2 seasons now, and I can't see that it makes any observable difference to the bees. I won't go out of my way to get more because they are more expensive, and less durable. And they don't match my other stuff - but you can super them with whatever you have so it's not a big deal. If I came into more I would use it if I needed the equipment.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Branson, MO
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    Thanks for the info.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Easton, NY
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Styrofoam hives

    I started out with the BeeMax hives 12 years ago and they have good and bad features. They are light and I think they may have slightly more insulating power. I had no problems the first three years I had them, then I put them in my outyard where ants discovered them and bored the hell out of them. Once ants have put holes in them, they become more attractive to other ants in the future, even if you plug and paint over the holes. Once your local ants learn that the Beemax is easy digging, they will just keep at em. I have had them decimate tops,bases and medium supers, though for some reason they have never penetrated a deep body. The big problem from this is that if they get into your honey supers or cover, the poly "saw dust" the ants make is not something you want in your honey supers. I have put ant infested BeeMax outer covers in the freezer and when I take them out the next day and shake them it is like they are filed with BBs because of the frozen ants. I have never had any ants dig into my wooden ware at all, though they are now starting to get into a couple of older 10+ year old hive stands.
    I still have a few BeeMax deeps in use and some supers that have not been tunneled into yet, but I am phasing the mediums out and building wooden screened bottom boards for the Hive bodies. You can put wooden supers on the Beemax deeps even though the outside dimensions don't match, the inside does.

    I also have 4 Bee Max Nuc Boxes and I really like them for their lightness and insulation advantage, but they are also riddled with holes.

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