polystyrene hives

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does any use or have any experience with polystyrene hives.  our local bee supply store, BetterBee, seems to push them a lot.

Archie    :D


This one I can't help you with, hoping someone can. Seems like they would hold humidity and that could be an issue for mold, chilled brood, excess work to condense nectar to honey - I just am guessing though, I'd like to see replies on this myself.


Hey Archie,

Guess I'm not the only one that feels they are pushing them 8)

I don't know,  I have no experience,  but I'm not convinced they are worth it.  I know they are used a lot in Europe,  but I have a feeling that is because lumber is so darn expensive.  

I also question there statement "that they will last just as long as a wood hive if reasonable care is taken, not thrown around or dropped the way beekeepers do with their wooden ones".  I don't know about you, but I don't intentional throw or drop my supers,  but things do happen and they get dropped or stuff dropped on them.  

And then they still want you to paint them too.  And the fact that they don't fit nicely with wooden supers.

I have heard horror stories of styrofoam nucs overheating, even with screened evtrances, when being transported.

The fact that they are more expensive than the wood ones, I just don't get it :?:

I did just purchase a couple styrofoam queen mating nuc,  so I'll see how they work out.

click image for more details

 I think I am interested in raising queens for myself and a few friends.  What words of advice and wisdom do you have for me.     :?


Archie      :D


First of all,  I am not an expert at this, but can share with you what I have learned.

There are many methods out there for rearing your own queen,  from simply removing a queen and letting the colony raise and emergency queen to hand grafting.

I personally don't like any method that allows the bees to choose which egg to use.  The age of an egg used is very important to the quality of the resulting queen.

I have tried hand grafting,  and just didn't have a good success rate.  Part of the problem comes from not enough practice.  If I were doing 100s of queens, I would become proficient at it and would probably use that method,  like most commercial queen rearers.

My latest attempt was with the Nicot no graft system.  I had very limited success with this.  But I can now attribute my low success rate to my doings.

Over the winter I purchased a "Nicot" system demonstation video, and learned where I had been making my mistakes. I'm confident, with what I've learned,  I will have better results this year.

Whatever method you use,  make sure you are meticulous in the execution.  Although queen rearing is not rocket science,  it is easy to drastically reduce your success with a few simple mistakes.

Also make sure that you have strong cell builders, so your queen cells are provided with an abundance of royal jelly.

It's a neat thing to experiment with.

There is also a thread somewhere here talking about a queen exchange among members.  The thought was to exchange virgin queens, since providing mating nucs in quantity is not practical for a hobbyist.  As long as they are shipped quickly after hatching,  there should not be a problem getting them mated within a reasonable window of time.

Beekeep On!


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