Re: Plastic hives vs wooden hives
From my perspective, polystyrene hives may have a benefit with helping the bees maintain the proper temps inside the hive, but they are not necessary for them to do so. A healthy hive will overwinter just fine in traditional boxes in Ohio. Thousands of hives already do. I also do not think the poly ones hold up as well. I use poly feeders and every year I have to use Elmer's wood putty to repair the dents, dings, and channels that get chewed into them. I would suggest just using the standard wood equipment to start your adventure and picking up a poly hive or two in a few years to experiment with.
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.