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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Franklin co, IN. USA
    Posts
    17

    Question Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Has anyone tried polystyrene hive equipment? Or is wood the best hive type?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    After watching a lot of German videos, I ordered 20 Dadant deep hive bodies in 2011 to make into quads, to overwinter mating nucs in. Probably the most worthless piece of equipment I've ever purchased. Don't fit standard frames, very small and inadequate shelf for frames to sit on, Condensation issues. Lots of other comments if you search Dadant here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    First hive was polystyrene. I was happy to give it away - bottom, deeps, supers, feeder, top and healthy bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    I've been using BeeMax hives for the past five years or so. Painted some, left some natural. I suggest painting. I do have them in partial shade under pine trees.

    Ants love them, those nasty big black ones.

    I don't move these hives and they have held up well. A normal wood hive body/super will fit on top but it looks weird. The inside dimensions are the same, but the BeeMax is wider so the outer edge sticks out.

    I'm not so impressed, but they've worked. I have not noticed better bees than other wood hives.

    No plans to order more, nor do I have somebody I don't like to give them to.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive



    If you want to put a standard box on top a Dadant type, just staple a 1x2 on the top and bottom. It will fit the outside perfectly without a ledge to catch rain.



    I still have about ten of these unassembled. If someone local is still determined to try them I would sell them at my cost..Which three years ago was less that retail today.



    If you live in a very cold climate they might be worth it. But the increased ventilation you have to give them to offset the condensation issues would probably eliminate the additional insulation benefits.

    Someone else might love them. I was totally expecting to and was a little disappointed, mainly with the very poorly designed frame shelf feature.. My deep frames also hung down about 1/2" below the hive body.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    I have about 50 of the bee max nucs. They are not holding up well, bees are chewing the frame rests. I have pretty much switched to wood nucs. Much more compatible with each other, stackable and no water in the bottom - had to drill holes in the bottom to keep from filling with water once a wood nuc was stacked on it. Cut the bottoms out of a few and put #8 wire there. that works ok. Even took a few singles through the winter up here with them. You really need to run a upper entrance with them in the winter to fight the condensation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Franklin co, IN. USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Great advice, thank you every one

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, PA, USA
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Has anyone tried the Finnish made Bee Box from Modern Beekeeping? Their ads and web site look interesting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Quote Originally Posted by clgs View Post
    Has anyone tried the Finnish made Bee Box from Modern Beekeeping? Their ads and web site look interesting.
    I have one of these setups. Two deeps, two mediums, bottom board, top feeeder,and clear plastic inner cover. I have used it for one year now and have not made up my mind. One of the two hives I've lost so far this winter was in this setup. I suspect a queen issue, so I'm not blaming the Modern Beekeeping setup. There are a couple of things I don't like about. The first thing was that they recommend you paint the inside of the feeder with 4 (FOUR) coats of paint. In this day and age anything that needs that much paint should be factory sealed. The other issue is they don't sell a shim. The tolerances are so tight when you stack the boxes that you can't fit a pollen patty between the top deep and the inner cover. They do sell a shallow, but it is overkill if all you want is a little space to feed patties. The stuff is well made, so I can see how it might be very popular across the pond where wood may be expensive.
    Dan Boylan, At it since 2007 in Pa Zone 6B, 13 hives, 7 nucs, treat when needed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    My best queen cell builders are housed in homemade boxes, made with pieces of 1-1/2" thick foamboard. I cut the foamboard pieces so they fit together like this ->

    With deeper dimensions providing more space inside than a regular medium depth super, and less than a typical deep super (extra cluster space). I assemble them with polyurethane glue, it practically welds the component panels together. I also poly-glue 1x2 wooden trim on the top and bottom edges, with the frame rest rabbet, cut into the top end trim pieces. I then line the entire inside surface with aluminum foil tape, though I'm thinking of just gluing a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil (the aluminum seems to be the easiest way to prevent the bees from chewing the foam into oblivion. As with most of my other nucs, I use a similar piece of foamboard for tops and bottoms, but protect the foamboard bottoms with a piece of #8 hardware cloth. I slide back the top foam cover to create a top entrance on my chosen side.

    For many years now, these foam supers have been my best quarters for queen cell builder colonies.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,649

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    I have never used the product but I received samples of StyroSpray brushed onto EPS and 1/4" plywood. It would certainly stiffen up the frame rests of EPS boxes.

    I wish I had a project that I could use the material on. There are a several videos on YouTube and on the manufacturer’s website.

    http://www.industrialpolymers.com/ca...-product-list/

    I would give the material a decent amount of time to cure when using it inside a box.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Years ago, I remember Richard Taylor writing "Plastic beekeeping equipment is the work of the devil." I have never forgotten it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Joseph,
    Have you tried the aluminum coated foams? Local Lowes is now carrying celotex (R-tech) in 1 side plastic, one side aluminum foil instead of 2 foil sides.
    What do you think of 1 inch r-5?
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Yes, I've tried some that are aluminum coated foams. Apparently it is a thick enough coating that it slows down the bees from chewing through the foam, but doesn't stop them like a layer of foil tape lining.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Glad I asked.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Well, I wouldn't keep my bees in a beer cooler either.

    Just had an old friend stop by for a chat. He had a holding yard in the south…polystyrene nucs and production hives. Lots of pallets of bees. The grass was dry, the wind up, and a fire got started from smoker ashes. The fire raced across the field igniting styrofoam. The bees and the beekeeper never had a chance. The entire apiary was lost.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Manhattan, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Well, I wouldn't keep my bees in a beer cooler either.
    Oh, come on, where's your sense of adventure?...

    cooler hive.jpg

    Everything was fine till they found an unpainted spot and proceeded to take out the bottom one grain at a time,, but it was fun while it lasted!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Heber Springs, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Wood is best.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    Quote Originally Posted by buzz View Post
    Oh, come on, where's your sense of adventure?…

    Cute Buzz.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: Wood hive VS polystyrene hive

    I think there are advantages to polystyrene supers, especially in climates that have regular extremes of temperature. But, like Michael Palmer mentioned, there can be some serious shortcomings, but even wooden hives would have some trouble if they're located in the midst of a grass fire. I recently had a long hive (48 deep frames), exposed to a grass fire. One entire long side was charred to charcoal. Fortunately the hive was unoccupied at the time. If that were polystyrene, it would have quickly melted down and contributed to the fire. Fortunately I've only used foamboard for bottoms and tops of nucs and for a few queen cell builder colonies - so far without any negative issues.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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