Lyson Polystyrene Hives
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Alabama, USA
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    212

    Default Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    Has anyone used Lyson polystyrene hives and if so how well did they work ?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    2,661

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    I've never used them, but the general report from people using plastic hive boxes seems to be that they are somewhat fragile, there is more moisture buildup due to the non-absorptive nature of the material, and the equipment is not compatible with standard woodenware, with no real benefit over wood.

    Though, the extra insulative value of the polystyrene may have some benefit in the extreme north for wintering. But, that benefit doesn't come without the aforementioned price.

    Basically a solution looking for a problem.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    Thanks shinbone

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    I was wondering if it might be more worthwhile for a nuc box and if anyplace makes one?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    Lyson makes nuc boxs

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ardnamurchan and Fife, Scotland
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    In the UK Lyson are sold by Abelo. Their poly hives are well made. Pre-painted (yellow, blue or green) and with hard plastic interfaces to the boxes. They have upper entrances and ventilation slots which we're unused to here. I can't comment on Langstroth boxes as here they only now sell National hives. The National boxes they sell are compatible with other hives of similar dimensions.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Murfreesboro Tn
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    I use these and I like them, though it is my first year. They will work with woodenware if you want to mix and match. Figure the insulation will be good in winter, though I do worry about moisture buildup, it has not been an is so far. They are built tough. I was surprised how solid they are. They will ding up, but they are dense and strong. I am particularly fond of the clips that hold the levels together. The bees seem happy and healthy, other than my ongoing battle with shb.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    There is a honeybee colony inside a polystyrene bee hive on the rooftop of Bacarro Restaurant in downtown Champaign.
    If you want to manage that hive by all means volunteer. The arrangement is that you do all the work and they get all the honey.
    They will pay you $4 a pound for the honey in gift certificates to the restaurant.
    I have not looked into that hive for at least 18 months.
    It swarmed last spring.

    There is a ladder locked to the rail on the rear entrance in the old alley. PM me for the combination.
    By the way...you WILL get parking tickets if you try and park anywhere near that place without paying the meter.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I've never used them, but the general report from people using plastic hive boxes seems to be that they are somewhat fragile, there is more moisture buildup due to the non-absorptive nature of the material, and the equipment is not compatible with standard woodenware, with no real benefit over wood.

    Though, the extra insulative value of the polystyrene may have some benefit in the extreme north for wintering. But, that benefit doesn't come without the aforementioned price.

    Basically a solution looking for a problem.
    Do not nock them until you try them. We have been testing them for a couple of years using. Our bees are in two deeps. We have had up to 4 wooden hives on top of them for honey. They work fine for that. Not sure where you get that they are not compatible with wooden supers. Moisture has not been a problem with them. Wintering in a cold climate like ours creates a lot of moisture in a hive and is a big reason for wintering losses here. Their excellent insulating value reduces the amount of moisture we get in a hive. Wintering in them has been excellent and up here it saves wrapping hives. Being non-absorptive is a big plus as they will not decay like wood.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Dixon, MO, USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    I'm putting my 2 hives together now. All of you who have replied, and hopefully are still active on this site, how are your hives doing? Do you recommend, against what they claim, to paint the inside as well? As in, have the bees been chewing at it?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    We have been using another brand of hive but very similar to Lyson. Our bees live in a climate of extremes. The change of temperature is conducive to moisture in a hive. I have not seen this with this type of hive. Bees seem to be able to keep it at a more even temperature thus reducing the condensation issue. We have been using a few hives to see if they will work in our system. Our oldest is four years now. We only use them for brood chambers. We still use the wood for honey supers on top of them. Using wood on top has not been an issue. We have had good success wintering in two deeps here with them. This winter we have some in singles to see how that works. A big plus here is the insulating value. We normally use winter wraps which means extra expense and work. These have to potential to alleviate that. The type we use must be painted inside and out. A few years ago I made a few from Styrofoam boards to try. Yes, bees will chew threw unpainted Styrofoam.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Richmond Hill, GA
    Posts
    1

    Default

    This is my first year using them. I have seen comments about moisture and winter use. I live in South Georgia and in the early Jan-feb time my Lyson hives were very warm. They have vents that can be closed or opened with inserts. I used a canvas cover as a top cover. While my Wooden Ware was fighting some mold issues the Poly hives were clear. During the spring my poly hives have been successful in keeping out pests. Moths, hive beetles and other bugs are low. The biggest difference is in the 103 heat we have had over the past 3 weeks. In my woodenware the bees beard heavy and are agitated. The poly hives are cooler! And while there are some light “congregating” on the face of the broodbox in the evening the bees are all inside the poly box when I see them first thing in the morning and the bearding is still on the woodenware. My two strongest hives, one of each, both have the same amount of bees and bumper crops of honey in full deep supers. The bees in the poly box just seem “happier”, not as agitated in the heat and they certainly don’t drink as much water as each have water feeders. I will be harvesting honey soon so I will be anxious to note any difference in the product. Right now the woodenware cappings are crinkled so I can assume a higher sweetness. I like the thinner lighter honey anyway unless it’s really dark and pollen tasting which is great on toast. Then again I love dark molasses too. My vote is they are cleaner and not as propolis laden in the cracks and frame ears because they fit so tightly together. One last thing is I started using them late last year and without the canvas innercover the moths came in and ruined some honey stores for the winter that I had to freeze. The larvae bored into the styrofoam and made a mess of the covers. With the canvas when you take the top off and have all the vents open there will be moths there drawn to the smell of the propolis. There is nothing they can do and they are easily brushed away with no place to lay eggs they disappear. Canvas is the trick. I am going to try lighter curtain sheers to see if they provide more circulation but for now the poly hives seem cooler and healthier. Oh, and lighter. Especially if you run all deeps like me.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Tomball, Tx.
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    I am considering buying 1 of these hives to test out. For those that have been using them since the last post on this thread, what are your continued thoughts of them? How are y'all treating for mites, etc?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Ardnamurchan and Fife, Scotland
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    Here in the temperate north I'd say they are perfectly good boxes, but over-engineered. We don't need all the ventilated doo dahs. I've got a dozen or so in use and will happily buy more. The floors and the crownboards are overly fussy, the boxes themselves are very good and the roof is OK (but needs strapping down). I usually mix the boxes with homemade or alternate floors and crownboards. The poly appears hard, but I've had bees chew holes around the sides of the entrance block in the floor. Mite treatment is Amitraz late summer and trickled OA midwinter.
    The Apiarist - beekeeping in Fife, Scotland

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    New Paltz, New York, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Lyson Polystyrene Hives

    I've been having pretty good luck with my Apimaye hives, which is another insulated brand, also compatible with standard wooden Langstroth. They're polystyrene on the inside but covered in plastic for a little extra toughness, like one of those Igloo or Coleman coolers. I wrote a more in-depth review elsewhere on this site, but in brief everything is awesome, except that bees do fine in standard wooden boxes, which are much cheaper. So, you know, it's a luxury purchase, not a practical purchase.

    From the papers I've read, maybe insulation helps the bees a little, but it's nowhere close to varroa treatments or nutrition. That's why most commercials treat for varroa and feed syrup and pollen sub as needed and requeen every year or two but do not bother with insulated hives. Maybe in Scandinavia a few commercials use poly, but it's not the norm in the US or even Canada.

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