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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested in trying a poly hive. Ideally, I would like to run 8 frame mediums to match all my existing equipment.
It seems like I have three options:

1. Find a supplier (So far, no luck) Is there a supplier that makes them?
2. Alter an existing poly hive like a Beemax. If I can get either 8-frame, or mediums I would convert them to 8 frame mediums.
3. Find a source for the same type of poly material. I am perfectly willing to build my own. Does anyone know where to get the same kind of material? It seems the material I need is extruded high-density polystyrene. Does anyone know the specs that match the typical poly hive?
 

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I am interested in trying a poly hive. Ideally, I would like to run 8 frame mediums to match all my existing equipment.
It seems like I have three options:

1. Find a supplier (So far, no luck) Is there a supplier that makes them?
2. Alter an existing poly hive like a Beemax. If I can get either 8-frame, or mediums I would convert them to 8 frame mediums.
3. Find a source for the same type of poly material. I am perfectly willing to build my own. Does anyone know where to get the same kind of material? It seems the material I need is extruded high-density polystyrene. Does anyone know the specs that match the typical poly hive?
1. There are suppliers but the problem is that the U.S. distributors don't carry the full line of each manufacturers offerings.
2. You could add inserts to the 10 frame box and only use 8 frames. I run the the 6 frame deep nuc boxes as my standard hive. I have used both Lyson and Paradise. Available from Betterbee and Bluesky. There is a U.S. manufacturer supplier out of ohio that sells 10 frame and 6 frame and their walls are a full two inches thick. Superior Bee is the name. I haven't tried them yet because they are more expensive, especially on shipping. They are a little more difficult to order from too because you cannot order direct from the website.
3. I have looked and looked for a supplier of the high density polystyrene ( What is called high density in the U.S. is no where near as dense as what is used for beehives) with the same idea of building my own but have not found one. Please let me know if you find one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The only thing I can add is that the strength/density of the high-density poly is measured in pounds/cubic foot. If we can find out the specs for Beemax, for instance, we can make an accurate comparison.

I just sent an email to the manufacturer in the link below: Perhaps if enough people contact them, they will market some.

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/EPS.htm
 

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The only thing I can add is that the strength/density of the high-density poly is measured in pounds/cubic foot. If we can find out the specs for Beemax, for instance, we can make an accurate comparison.

I just sent an email to the manufacturer in the link below: Perhaps if enough people contact them, they will market some.

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/articles/EPS.htm
On the Modern Beekeeping USA site they list the density as over 100 kg/cubic meter which works out to 6.24 pounds per cubic foot if you assume 100Kg. The highest density I have found in the US is the type they insulate hot tubs with and it is 3 pounds. You could probably get the higher density stuff specially made from a manufacturer but that is only going to work if you wanted to make hundreds or thousands of hives. Even if you decide to try the 3 pound density (probably won't hold up) the cost from sources I have seen make in really not worth one's while to make them yourself.

I have even considered the Owens Corning Foamular extruded insulation in the 1000 psi density but stores don't carry it. If you want it from Home Depot you have to purchase an entire pallet.

BTW, Modern Beekeeping USA is a U.S website that sells polystyrene hives shipped directly from the UK. You can try checking with them. You have to ask them for a shipping quote and I have never bothered because I figured the cost would be too high but you might be able to 8 frame.

If you want 8 frame mediums for weight reduction I would suggest the 6 frame deeps. They are available and without doing the math I think they may even give you a little more room than an 8 frame medium. I like them.
 

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1. There are suppliers but the problem is that the U.S. distributors don't carry the full line of each manufacturers offerings.
2. You could add inserts to the 10 frame box and only use 8 frames. I run the the 6 frame deep nuc boxes as my standard hive. I have used both Lyson and Paradise. Available from Betterbee and Bluesky. There is a U.S. manufacturer supplier out of ohio that sells 10 frame and 6 frame and their walls are a full two inches thick. Superior Bee is the name. I haven't tried them yet because they are more expensive, especially on shipping. They are a little more difficult to order from too because you cannot order direct from the website.
3. I have looked and looked for a supplier of the high density polystyrene ( What is called high density in the U.S. is no where near as dense as what is used for beehives) with the same idea of building my own but have not found one. Please let me know if you find one.
After reading your op again I realize that you are just wanting to try them and I can see why you would want to stick with mediums so all your frames work. For your initial test you could buy the 10 frame mediums and use them in the brood area. You can still use your wooden boxes above them for honey supers. Just lay a narrow strip of wood alongside the wood box to cover the gap left.

If you decide you like them and get more you can gradually convert your wood boxes to honey supers and eventually they will rot. If weight is an issue you will be adding two more frames but losing some weight in the box itself.
 

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its the only way the little guy will mimic single piece construction or get to the requested dentistry and has prescient of use in beehives
http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/honeyhome.html
http://www.masterbeehive.eu/engphoto.html

The long and short is EPS is a cheaper materiel, but it requires of tons of pressure in machines costing hunders of thousands of dollars. Thats fine when you makeing a run of 100k parts, and why it took over the poly hive market, no good for a garage shop
do to the clamp forces need to make parts in the 100kg/m3 range you not going to find sheet stock easly avabul at that denstiny
 

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do to the clamp forces need to make parts in the 100kg/m3 range you not going to find sheet stock easly avabul at that denstiny
It is available at those densities in Europe. Just cannot find it in the U.S. And its not because the equipment to make it isn't available its that no one has made it available because their is no recognized market for it in the U.S. I keep hoping I am wrong and someone will discover a source but I have been looking for almost two years. Polyurethane is not appropriate unless you build a double wall wood hive and fill in between.
 

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It is available at those densities in Europe.
do you have a link for a UK source?
Polyurethane is not appropriate unless you build a double wall wood hive and fill in between.
the 2 sorces I linked say outher wize, what is your reasoning
"They certainly last a lot longer than wood or polystyrene"
"they didn't deteriorate when left in the open, as plastic and polystyrene does, they do not rot and don't get attacked by wax moth or woodworm. Only on one occasion have I seen the start of woodpecker damage, but that was only slight. "
"the boxes can be scraped with a hive tool and aren't damaged in use, unlike polystyrene"
 

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do you have a link for a UK source?
One of them was eBay but do a search and you will find them easily. And actually I said Europe, not UK but some of them I believe were UK.
the 2 sorces I linked say outher wize, what is your reasoning
"They certainly last a lot longer than wood or polystyrene"
"they didn't deteriorate when left in the open, as plastic and polystyrene does, they do not rot and don't get attacked by wax moth or woodworm. Only on one occasion have I seen the start of woodpecker damage, but that was only slight. "
"the boxes can be scraped with a hive tool and aren't damaged in use, unlike polystyrene"
Your quotes come from the Dave Cushman site and you left off the quote "the Honey Home soon disappeared, as many of the new introductions or inventions often do." Unless I missed it I didn't see anything about what the "Honey Home" was made of. I also don't know what the polystyrene hives were like many years ago. They are certainly very durable and can be scraped and today unlike the "Honey Home" they dominate the non-wood hive market. But how a link to a hive that isn't very well described and disappeared decades ago contributes to the discussion escapes me.

The second link you provided is to a polyurethane manufactured beehive from Slovakia. Not exactly helpful to our discussion. I know that these hives exist. There are also a number of HDPE hives out there and at least they are available here. But we were talking about sourcing materials for a DIY beehive and my comment was made in that context. The polyurethane I can buy at home depot or somewhere else is no better for making a beehive than the polystyrene I can buy there.

I won't respond further unless your comments get back on topic.
 

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The polyurethane I can buy at home depot or somewhere else is no better for making a beehive than the polystyrene I can buy there.
very true, witch is why i provided a link for something 26x as dence as the HD stuff, but it dosn't need to be that strong
form deaitles in the links I provided
Working with ICI Chemicals and a plastics fabrication company based in South Yorkshire, Neville applied for what is believed to be the first patent for a “plastic” hive
– soon to be named the “Honey Home”. At that time the material used, “integral skinned polyurethane foam

Honey Homes can be successfully painted and several are known to be still in use after 40 years!
 

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Buy ten frame boxes and cut them in half to 8 frame width and glue back together. Its been done with wood. Polyurethane glue and a handle cleat across and they are as strong as new.
 

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I apoligize publically to Charlie to whom I failed to credit the idea of cutting down boxes from 10 frame width to 8 frame width. His carpentry was so impeccable that the only evidence was a very short handle slot. He did that after he concluded that smaller boxes would be better for 15 hives on the roof of a four story apartment with no elevator!
 

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Msl, I'm not sure about buying made products like your saying. But I worked in a eps factory for years. Simple process of mfg them. Yes molds would cost about 7000.00 each u.s. most eps plants have lots of molds on their racks, and may have a limited number of molds that would work for you. I've got some large eps /Styrofoam coolers from there. They would make great self contained boxes. For home use, not resale. I'll be making some 5-6 frame deep boxes from them this spring. Lots.of hot glue, and they will last several years of general use. More if painted with a good latex paint. Like a semi gloss. The more complex the mold, the more they cost. I've sewn em cost more than 20,000.00 each. Not for a garage project to manufacture. They use high steam, and lots of air pressure to mold eps beads, and u would have to have lots of mtg experience, and lots of boiler and air compressor power . So no wood moulds would work in the garage. I know the process from the ground up, if you need more info. But you just couldn't do it at home. Lots of work in the process. I'd do it over the phone, not on forum, as it would require to much time and space . You can email me, and I could pass my contact info to You.
 

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I apoligize publically to Charlie to whom I failed to credit the idea of cutting down boxes from 10 frame width to 8 frame width.
And I apologize on behalf of Ollie for misspelling apology.
 
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