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Somewhere on this forum there was a discussion about plastic hive bodies but I can't find it again. Can someone tell me anything about them and:
a)where can I find info
b)how much is the cost
c)are they readily available
d) anything-???
Thankx
Tuskahoma
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Dadant sells a plastic/styrofoam hive under the brand name of Beemax
 

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Do you mean polystyrene? Or actual plastic? I have the polystyrene and like it so far.. I got it from Betterbee.com I don't think anyone else sells it (yet).
 

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The BeeMax boxes are polystyrene. Swienty also makes a polystyrene box. These boxes are styrofoam, not plastic.

The only plastic boxes I know of are the Bees Forever Plastics deep boxes. From what I understand this is the same type of plastic as used in milk crates.

The sides of the boxes often slightly bow in.
Propolis and wax is super easy to scrape off the frame rest.
They never need painting.
They will never rot or get eaten by ants.
The boxes are lighter than wood boxes.

If they are in a stack, they often don't have a very good propolis seal between boxes. if you are moving them in cold weather, it is easy to break the propolis seal between boxes and the boxes will want to slide around. These boxes do have 4 holes on the top and bottom lip of the box to allow you to use a nail to hold the boxes together for transport.

http://www.simpsonsbeesupply.com/ sells the plastic deep boxes for $24 each.

I have several (50?) of these boxes. Aside from the price, I like them a lot. The price seems to be the biggest downside to them that I have found.
 

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I read somewhere in this Forum that plastic hivebodies are extremely hot. I have also been told that plastic hive parts are heavier. I have only picked up one super with all plastic frames and foundation, it seemed heavier to me.
 

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From the pictures, I'll say that the ones I have are way, way thicker than motherlode's. I'm not sure if that's beneficial or not, but it sure makes for a sturdy box. I had a bear knock them over and they didn't even dent.

For $17, though, I'm totally going to try another brand. Wait, $17 for the insulation panels, $13 for the hive body. Betterbeee's hive body is $15.95.
 

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I have some of the hive bodies like Motherlode sells. They were my grandfathers, he used them years ago. I mean years ago.....He passed away in like 1982. I didnt think they made them that long ago, but I guess they did. Any way, I found them in the barn. They are kinda grimey from propolis, but I am sure they would clean up nicely. They have nice looking bottom boards, not screened though. Nice tops, too. I was kinda afraid to use them, I didnt know how they would affect the bees in the heat and cold. I already had wooden ware, so I just set them aside.....

Rob
 

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Shamrock s out of cali sells a HDPE Not polystyrene hive also. I have several of both the shamrocks, and the beemax hives. Bemaxes are light, and well insulated, bases are kinda weak, and covers blow off, but they have been good hives.... The shamrocks hive are heavy, but I see no heat problems. biggest issue is the need for dedicated equipment, and water intrusion into the lid (stays inside not on bees but if it froze).....

Either are decent, shamroks are expensive, but seal nice. Beemax a great, but don't handle moving around, and as far as I know don't come with solid bottoms.
 
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