Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives
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  1. #1
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    Default Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    Just reviewed a fresh video from a channel I watch.
    Posted February 9, 2019.
    This is near Nikolaev, Ukraine (about Zone 6 US).

    A very good side-by-side set of wintering in foam hives vs. wintering in wooden hives.
    Single deep Dadants (GV: corrected from Langs - I just visually determined this; the Dadants just seems more reasonable).
    Vented via the bottoms.

    From the start, the author demonstrates a sample of foam hives in a sequence.
    Starting 5.35 - he does a sequence of compatible wooden hives.
    Might as well turn off that non-Engish audio and watch in silence to help you to focus on what is in front of you.
    I will not comment/translate not to spoil the show since it is ALL in front of you.

    Just watch...
    First - a batch of foam hives until 5:35.
    Then - a batch of wooden hives.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cwh3ftH3Pj0
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #2
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    Gloucester County, New Jersey
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    They all looked wooden.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Honey View Post
    It looks like wooden hives first no?
    No.
    Foam first.

    Notice, the very first wooden hive has a supplemental frame added on the top already - that is the mark of the wooden sequence.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
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    Jun 2011
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    Chicago, ILL. USA
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    The clusters seem to be relatively of the same size, but are more active in wooden boxes. Is that the point?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin View Post
    The clusters seem to be relatively of the same size, but are more active in wooden boxes. Is that the point?
    Few points were noted in the audio:
    * no supplemental feeding in foam as the bees consumed very little (wood - several hives already needed feeding - see frames on the top)
    * obviously less active clusters in foam (better wintering - less stress; less poop; less store consumption; less energy used lost to stay afloat);
    * appropriate insulation matters
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    Thanks Greg. When I said more active, I was including everything you mentioned - more food, more waste, more energy, more stress. Derek Mitchell's study of natural honey bee nests ( tree cavities ) is about the benefits of insulation. I think it also goes without saying that the type of bee play a big role in the cluster activity over winter.
    Does the person in the video mention if there's a noticeable difference in the amount of brood upon first real spring inspection between foam and wooden hives? And does that transfer over to later season productivity and health. In other words do the wooden hive colonies "catch up" to foam hive colonies?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin View Post
    Thanks Greg........
    Does the person in the video mention if there's a noticeable difference in the amount of brood upon first real spring inspection between foam and wooden hives? And does that transfer over to later season productivity and health. In other words do the wooden hive colonies "catch up" to foam hive colonies?
    This is the first time this keeper is running the experiment at scale (am pretty sure).
    No longer term conclusions as of yet.
    Will double-check later.

    In general, I brought this video up because of multi-year discussions about "bees do not heat the box"..
    Of course, they don't heat the box by design.
    But with better insulation they loose less energy to stay afloat - and that matters.

    Anyway, this is a good demo.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Anyway, this is a good demo.
    Agreed, thanks for posting it.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    We having been using a few of these "foam" hives on an experimental basis. Our bees winter outside in conditions down to -40C. Our normal way of wintering is to group 4 hives together and use an insulated wrap and cover. Wintering this way our winter losses are about 15 percent. Our first couple of winters with these new hives were as single units and 2 deep boxes. No losses. One real advantage we found was rapid buildup of bee numbers once bees were able to start flying in the spring, far faster than those in wood. This winter we are trying them in single supers. If they will survive in singles it will be a game changer for us. Advantages, no winter wraps and less labour, fewer supers for winter, and faster build up come spring. One issue that is of concern could be wildlife damage as they are more fragile than wood. We still use wood honey supers on top. Our honey production has been 300+pounds from these hives.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Withee WI USA
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    69

    Default Re: Side-by-side comparison - wooden hives vs. foam hives

    Only been keeping bees since May 10th 2018. Purchased 3 nucs and by July had turned them into 18 hives when I found queen cells and I caught the swarms. I have only used these 2 inch thick poly hives from Superior Bee. So far all are looking good, seems like more bees in the boxes now than when I tucked them in last November. I was into them recently to add fondant to the light ones. I have read every thread on here regarding insulation or not...I believe insulation can only help. And the boxes feel rugged and strong. Here is a pic of my apiary. polystyrene bee hives.jpg

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