A few of you asked to see the TBH I built from T-111 scraps left over from one of my customer's projects.
It took me a while to find the pic...
Using a 55 gal. plastic food grade barrel that hold syrup before cut in less than half can be economical as bee hive holding 22 standard langs med. bee frames in a barrel on a sturdy hive stand made out of 2x4's. The blue one is preferred over the white color barrel. The plastic is non-toxic and will not leach or fume any toxic material out. Food grade films or plastic materials have their EPA standard to meet. Latex paint will not do because the plastic will not stick to them and will peel off under the heat over time. Maybe a spray paint can will do on the outside painted in black. Screened ventilation holes are needed to prevent suffocation when the hive entrance is reduced to only 1" wide.
Plastic 55 gal barrel non-food grade w/ 1" entrance:
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That is SA-WEET !!!!
www.savebeesflorida.com (Honeybee removals and top bar hives)
I expect this video to go VIRAL !!!!
I believe it will be a hit in Norway.
Do these barrels have enough insulating and ventilation ability to over winter in a cold damp climate?
Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06
In any type of hive I am sure the bees will do their best to regulate within the hive. So to insulate or not is up to the individual beekeeper according to your environment. I would say if you insulate then the bees will have a better chance at winter survival in a cold and damp climate. The only way you will know is to test them out in your locality. Raising the type of bees to your climate will help tremendously too.
I do provide the proper ventilation holes for them here in the winter time. Plastic and wood hive is not the same material. So if using plastic the inside hive temp will swing more compare to the wooden wares because of the difference in thickness. But I think with a strong colony they can regulate the temp inside the hive without any problem. Seeing so many dead hives every year if the hive is too cold for an extended time then they can die does not matter if plastic or wood. Insulating the hive will help keep them warm and cozy for sure agaist the outside elements.
If the temp is below freezing then I don't think the plastic barrel will keep them warm enough. I still think even the wooden hive will not give them enough warmth in a freezing climate. Regarding to the damp you can put wood shaving on the bottom of the barrel that act as insulation too. At the same time put tarps or attic insulation around the barrel to tie everything around. A used old sleeping bag rated below freezing will help too for insulation.