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BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. => Topic started by: The15thMember on November 22, 2021, 02:15:43 pm

Title: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: The15thMember on November 22, 2021, 02:15:43 pm
I mentioned this on another thread a while back, but I decided to start a new one just for this purpose to see what everyone's experiences are.  I'm thinking about trying out a poly hive or two.  I have trouble in my climate with wooden equipment molding and rotting, and I'm curious to see if the polystyrene will hold up better over time.  On top of that the price of wood is so high right now, the polystyrene isn't really any more expensive.  Those who use poly hives or have in the past, what have your experiences with them been?  What brands do you like and dislike?  In what ways is working with them different from wood hives?   
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: NigelP on November 22, 2021, 02:40:56 pm
All I use are poly hives from Lyson. Lots of varied opinions about them.
You could write a series of columns of pros and cons....in my opinion mostly pros.
My thoughts are that any insects that need to regulate the temperature  inside their "home" need all the help they can get to maintain it.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on November 22, 2021, 04:34:22 pm
We have used Paradise poly hives (100) for about 10 years. Mostly positive though they need steel QX rather than the plastic.
Had them in hot summer, full sun and no issues. Bees winter well though we don't have very low temps.
We run 2 to a pallet.
Only main negative is the use of a strapping system the lock together, get twisted, trip over them.
Wax moth bore straight through them.
As migratory BK the light weight makes the load 300kg lighter than wood.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Brian MCquilkin on November 23, 2021, 01:20:40 pm
Very interested in this subject, after insulating 85 colonies with 2" HD ridged foam board and then wrapping them with tar paper. I have decided that is just way too much work. I know a beekeeper here in Wisconsin runs a large number of colonies year-round in poly hives and has great results with them.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Ben Framed on November 23, 2021, 03:14:40 pm
This is interesting, some very good comments and opinions made. I look forward to hearing more, both the positive and the negative.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: The15thMember on November 23, 2021, 05:01:23 pm
Thanks for the replies everyone!

All I use are poly hives from Lyson. Lots of varied opinions about them.
You could write a series of columns of pros and cons....in my opinion mostly pros.
My thoughts are that any insects that need to regulate the temperature  inside their "home" need all the help they can get to maintain it.
Well what are they?  I'd like to hear more.

We have used Paradise poly hives (100) for about 10 years. Mostly positive though they need steel QX rather than the plastic.
Had them in hot summer, full sun and no issues. Bees winter well though we don't have very low temps.
We run 2 to a pallet.
Only main negative is the use of a strapping system the lock together, get twisted, trip over them.
Wax moth bore straight through them.
As migratory BK the light weight makes the load 300kg lighter than wood.
This could be a huge issue for me.  I have wax moth trouble pretty regularly and I've had them damage my woodenware.  I even had one of those suckers bore a hole right through a frame once!  How do you deal with the damage?   

Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on November 24, 2021, 12:23:08 am
Only had 1 wax moth issue, but it did take a while with the caulking gun and silicone plugging the holes.
Wouldn't be enough of an issue not to use them as the insulation benefits out way it
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Ben Framed on November 24, 2021, 01:31:30 am
OldBeavo what are the average highs and lows as far is temperature is concerned in your beekeeping round about? 
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: NigelP on November 24, 2021, 10:29:22 am
Thanks for the replies everyone!

All I use are poly hives from Lyson. Lots of varied opinions about them.
You could write a series of columns of pros and cons....in my opinion mostly pros.
My thoughts are that any insects that need to regulate the temperature  inside their "home" need all the help they can get to maintain it.
Well what are they?  I'd like to hear more.


Well you did ask :rolleyes:
Pros and cons?.a big one that has had a lot of debate (heated at times) in the UK.
I think whether poly hives give you an advantage or are beneficial to the bees will depend a bit on your climate. Perhaps fewer advantages in warmer climates and more advantages in cooler climates
Logically, to me at least, any insect that needs to regulate their internal cavity temperature will benefit from any help they can get in stopping heat loss. That's not to say that wood is bad but poly is more thermally efficient.
This is certainly noticeable in over-wintering where bees will survive in either wood or poly but consume far less stores over the same period in a poly hive i.e they need less energy to survive the same conditions.
Where I see a difference is in the spring built up. Our springs can be quite variable and often we can have a couple of abnormal cold months and here I notice it has little effect on the bees progression in poly hives. A comparison of numbers of brood frames between wood and poly has shown that usually there are 2 or more frames of brood in poly.  Note I say usually with bees there are always exceptions! But usually this means more bees when our spring/early summer nectar flows start. It's no co-incidence that one of the largest commercial beekeepers in the UK is moving over to poly hives as he estimates his honey yields are up by approx 1/3 compared to his bees in the same apiaries in wooden hives.
Sorry this beginning to look like a long diatribes, so I'll try and cut it short.
They are cheaper than wood (approx 50% cheaper in the UK). Of course it's easy to make your own wooden hives rather than make your own moulded poly ones.
When you drop a poly box it cracks open along a defined seam and is easily repaired, whereas drop a wooden box it tends to split and usually become irreparable. Although not sure dropping  of boxes would be a good reason for using poly.  :grin:
Poly rarely distorts over time, some of my oldest poly hives are 15+ years and still going strong.
Also much lighter than wood, a concern as I age?..

One disadvantage of the Lyson poly hives is they have hard plastic edges which gives them longevity but can create a problem with water ingress if the two touching surfaces are not cleaned, You can get little ridges of propolis etc that act as small gaps  between the two edges allowing water into the hive in very rainy conditions. Easily solved by scraping clean both edges or coating the edges with a little Vaseline (grease).

Many of the pro-wooden hive proponents in the UK say they see no benefits in poly hives vs their wooden hives. Which, for many UK beekeepers, is probably true. But I think the main reason they see no difference is because there is a stubbornness within the UK beekeeping community that insists on keeping local mongrel bees as opposed to strains that have been bred for fecund queens and honey production. If you put scrub cattle on grade A grazing you still have scrub cattle at the end on the day?..put a pedigree on good grazing and you would be amazed.


 

Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: The15thMember on November 24, 2021, 11:43:51 am
Only had 1 wax moth issue, but it did take a while with the caulking gun and silicone plugging the holes.
Wouldn't be enough of an issue not to use them as the insulation benefits out way it

Good to know, that will be something to keep in mind for me if I go this route. 

Well you did ask :rolleyes:
Pros and cons?.a big one that has had a lot of debate (heated at times) in the UK.
I think whether poly hives give you an advantage or are beneficial to the bees will depend a bit on your climate. Perhaps fewer advantages in warmer climates and more advantages in cooler climates
Logically, to me at least, any insect that needs to regulate their internal cavity temperature will benefit from any help they can get in stopping heat loss. That's not to say that wood is bad but poly is more thermally efficient.
This is certainly noticeable in over-wintering where bees will survive in either wood or poly but consume far less stores over the same period in a poly hive i.e they need less energy to survive the same conditions.
Where I see a difference is in the spring built up. Our springs can be quite variable and often we can have a couple of abnormal cold months and here I notice it has little effect on the bees progression in poly hives. A comparison of numbers of brood frames between wood and poly has shown that usually there are 2 or more frames of brood in poly.  Note I say usually with bees there are always exceptions! But usually this means more bees when our spring/early summer nectar flows start. It's no co-incidence that one of the largest commercial beekeepers in the UK is moving over to poly hives as he estimates his honey yields are up by approx 1/3 compared to his bees in the same apiaries in wooden hives.
Sorry this beginning to look like a long diatribes, so I'll try and cut it short.
They are cheaper than wood (approx 50% cheaper in the UK). Of course it's easy to make your own wooden hives rather than make your own moulded poly ones.
When you drop a poly box it cracks open along a defined seam and is easily repaired, whereas drop a wooden box it tends to split and usually become irreparable. Although not sure dropping  of boxes would be a good reason for using poly.  :grin:
Poly rarely distorts over time, some of my oldest poly hives are 15+ years and still going strong.
Also much lighter than wood, a concern as I age?..

One disadvantage of the Lyson poly hives is they have hard plastic edges which gives them longevity but can create a problem with water ingress if the two touching surfaces are not cleaned, You can get little ridges of propolis etc that act as small gaps  between the two edges allowing water into the hive in very rainy conditions. Easily solved by scraping clean both edges or coating the edges with a little Vaseline (grease).

Many of the pro-wooden hive proponents in the UK say they see no benefits in poly hives vs their wooden hives. Which, for many UK beekeepers, is probably true. But I think the main reason they see no difference is because there is a stubbornness within the UK beekeeping community that insists on keeping local mongrel bees as opposed to strains that have been bred for fecund queens and honey production. If you put scrub cattle on grade A grazing you still have scrub cattle at the end on the day?..put a pedigree on good grazing and you would be amazed.

Thank you very much!  This is the kind of in depth information I was looking for.  No need to cut anything short with me!  :grin:  Our winter temperatures can be quite variable as well, and obviously a reduction in stores used is always a big plus.  I am happy to hear that you haven't had issues with mold, as I know yours can be a rainy climate, and the mold/rot area is primarily where I'm looking to improve on the wood.   
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: NigelP on November 24, 2021, 01:45:10 pm
Probably not bear proof though!
Mould has never been  a problem with them, with me at least. Although worth noting I run open mesh floors during the summer and almost closed (solid) floors during winter. The only keepers I know who have had issues with condensation have kept very small colonies in too large a space.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: The15thMember on November 24, 2021, 02:14:14 pm
Probably not bear proof though!
Mould has never been  a problem with them, with me at least. Although worth noting I run open mesh floors during the summer and almost closed (solid) floors during winter. The only keepers I know who have had issues with condensation have kept very small colonies in too large a space.
Ha!  Probably not!  I've never had issues with bears, although there are a lot in my area.  Having large dogs on the property seems to be enough to deter them. 

I was doing some more looking at different brands this morning, and it seems only Lyson has 8 frame equipment, which is all I run.  I know it wouldn't be interchangeable necessarily, but at least I'd have a chance of equipment working together if I had some sort of emergency.  The Lyson is a little more pricey than some of the other brands, so I'm kind of in debate.  If I get more longevity out of the hives then it's probably worth it, but I'm nervous about getting equipment that isn't interchangeable with what I already have. 
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: NigelP on November 24, 2021, 02:51:11 pm
ency.  The Lyson is a little more pricey than some of the other brands, so I'm kind of in debate.  If I get more longevity out of the hives then it's probably worth it, but I'm nervous about getting equipment that isn't interchangeable with what I already have.

Wise worry.
Depending on how many hives you have worth getting few (more than one) as a trial and it they work for you then change the lot, or go back.
All my poly is compatible with all my olden wooden hive parts which is an advantage. All my smaller 6 frame nucs frames are also compatible with their larger 11 frame poly hives.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on November 24, 2021, 05:52:11 pm
Hi Ben
Our temperature range is winter -6F night time frosts to about 15F as a max winter daytime.
Summer is nights of min 8-10F but can be 15-20F at night. Summer day time is 35-40F with some days topping 46F.
We don't worry about interchanging and run the 100 poly hives in 2 apiaries of 50 each. Commercially interchanging would be a nightmare.
Some large commercial BK, 500-1000 hives say that the extra size of the poly hives restricts the number they can transport on their trucks. Unsure if it is valid but it was the excuse given by a BK for selling 300 poly hives.
Like i stated, we have been running poly for about 10 years and you would have trouble sorting supers on their age for wear and tear.
We do use a quality exterior water based paint, 2 coats, and it is still OK. We would do more maintenance on our wooden boxes than the poly hives.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Ben Framed on November 24, 2021, 06:43:47 pm
Quote

we have been running poly for about 10 years and you would have trouble sorting supers on their age for wear and tear.

Thanks Oldbeavo, That statement sums up the hardiness of this equipment. Thanks for sharing you professional experience and knowledge! It?s always good hearing from you.

Phillip
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: beesnweeds on November 25, 2021, 10:28:56 pm
I had to try the Paradise Bee Box.  They went together well but I did have to smack some with a wooden block and rubber mallet.  Painting is a bit of a pain and I did paint the insides as recommended.  The feather weight is a plus.  Solid bottom boards are not an option in the US so I cut lauan to cover up the screens.  I also cut up some scrap polycarbonate for overhangs because when it rains water pours over the entrance like a waterfall and bees can't congregate on the outside on hot rainy days.  Yes, bees do beard on insulated hives.  Bees in wooden hives that get early morning sun are active a lot sooner than the poly hives.  It takes longer for them to warm up after cold nights in my area.  I do like the looks of them but Im heavy handed and you do have to be careful because they ding up easy.  I didnt care for the entrance reducers that came with them but it's easy enough to use hardware cloth for mouse guards like wooden hives. With a lip all around the boxes they're not compatible with wooden equipment like shims, feeders, double screen/ cloake boards.  Which is kind of a problem for me since I like to use different equipment for queen rearing and swarm control.  As far as overwintering and honey production go I dont see a significant difference on a small scale, healthy bees do good in both poly and wind blocked wooden hives and I get plenty of below zero weather.  Maybe if I had hundreds of hives, I would see a difference.  I dont dislike the poly and they will last a very long time it's just that Im so used to wooden hives and love rough cut lumber nucs that I prefer wood.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on November 26, 2021, 05:06:52 am
Yes i agree the entrance reduces or not the best, but alot of BK's take them out for a full opening.
We find the bases with the large screen good, we never block or cover them in Winter.
The base at the entrance rises so that no water gets into the hive. Rain is not an issue.
Painting is as quick as any other method of preserving, we do not paint the inside as the paint is only preventing UV oxidation of the poly.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: beesnweeds on November 26, 2021, 09:39:16 am
Yes i agree the entrance reduces or not the best, but alot of BK's take them out for a full opening.
We find the bases with the large screen good, we never block or cover them in Winter.
The base at the entrance rises so that no water gets into the hive. Rain is not an issue.
Painting is as quick as any other method of preserving, we do not paint the inside as the paint is only preventing UV oxidation of the poly.

I just leave the entrance reducers out too.  Not a fan of open screen bottom boards here, between high cold winds and predators I tossed them long ago.  I agree the base entrance doesnt allow water to get into the hive but bees can't congregate on the outside or under a slatted rack when it's raining, especially hives that I artificially boost up.  There isn't enough room and typically it's too hot for all bees to be inside the hive.  The only reason I painted the inside is because Paradise recommends it, some bees will chew up the inside if they aren't painted.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: LawyerRick on November 27, 2021, 04:58:44 pm
I am using Apimaye, Anel & Technosetbee poly hives & wouldn't be without them.  Wooden hives are fine but I've had much better overwintering & honey production with my colonies in polys.  Much cooler in summer; much warmer in winter than wooden hives.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: beesnweeds on November 27, 2021, 07:15:32 pm
I am using Apimaye, Anel & Technosetbee poly hives & wouldn't be without them.  Wooden hives are fine but I've had much better overwintering & honey production with my colonies in polys.  Much cooler in summer; much warmer in winter than wooden hives.

Well, it certainly helps to be a lawyer if you're going to run Apimaye.  It would cost over $20,000 to replace all my equipment with Apimaye.  Yikes !!  :shocked:
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on December 02, 2021, 05:21:33 pm
Beesnweeds
Never had any of the 100 Paradise hives unpainted inside chewed by the bees.
Our Paradise run on plastic pallets, so they are 4" off the ground, maybe ventilate bottoms work better like that.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: beesnweeds on December 02, 2021, 05:48:01 pm
Beesnweeds
Never had any of the 100 Paradise hives unpainted inside chewed by the bees.
Our Paradise run on plastic pallets, so they are 4" off the ground, maybe ventilate bottoms work better like that.
Like I said, "It was recommended". I didnt say it was necessary.  Sellers were having complaints of bees chewing the inside of the boxes in the US and painting was the solution.  Maybe for some reason it doesnt happen in AUS, I dont know. 
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Brian MCquilkin on December 04, 2021, 02:00:14 pm
All this information has been very useful. I have decided that next year I will winter in 2" thick  Polly Urethane hives. Just want to get away from all that wrapping for winter, After doing a cost analysis I have decided to make a mold and pour my own, it should be an interesting project.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on December 05, 2021, 10:52:19 pm
Brian
At an expo i had a polystyrene molder look at the Paradise hives and he commented on how dense the material was. He could tell by the closeness of the mold release marks on the hives
Therefore i am unsure if you will get the same performance out of polyurethane.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Brian MCquilkin on December 06, 2021, 01:00:16 am
Brian
At an expo i had a polystyrene molder look at the Paradise hives and he commented on how dense the material was. He could tell by the closeness of the mold release marks on the hives
Therefore i am unsure if you will get the same performance out of polyurethane.
Agreed that density is important and the density of the PolyUrethane can be achieved by putting the forming mold under pressure.
There are a lot of beekeepers in The UK making PU hives and they are very strong.
Here is a link to a videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvO0B_zsZ_8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvO0B_zsZ_8)
I removed my headset after about an hour of watching videos. because couldn't understand Russian. But did learn a lot by translating the comments.

Here is the spec sheet of the PU product used in Russia.

Chemtrast SKD-50
Production of mounting graters, beehives, decorative finishing and structural elements of furniture, headboards for beds, cornices, ceiling sockets, linings, mascarons, etc.

Component A: Chemtrast KAD-50 (packaging: 200 kg, 50 m3 kg.)
Component B: (packaging: 250 kg, 55 * kg.)

Start time
20-30 sec
Foaming density
50-65 kg/m3
Product density
80-120
 Parameter   Meaning
Start time   20-30 sec.
Gelling time   55-170 sec.
Apparent density with free foaming   50-65 kg/m3
Product density   80-120 kg/m3
Surface hardness   20-25 Shore D
Tensile strength   30-40kg/cm2
Elongation at break   7-8%
Compressive strength   0,5-0,8 N/mm
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Jim 134 on December 06, 2021, 03:34:33 am
Just before I left the USA... I used

BeeMax Polystyrene Hive

I used www.betterbee.com  For a supplier.. Ran 50 hives this way... They worked out well for me.... And yes I could use woodware with it also.... It sure made Winter preparation a lot easier... Remember I had my bees in Southeastern Vermont.... I did run wooden hives for about 50 years.. I used these BeeMax for about 10 years... The percentage was much higher on the polyester hives.. For Winter kill..   These hives are not very good for lots of travel..


BEE HAPPY  Jim 134   :smile:

Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Jim 134 on December 06, 2021, 03:40:39 am

Just before I left the USA... I used

BeeMax Polystyrene Hive

I used www.betterbee.com  For a supplier.. Ran 50 hives this way... They worked out well for me.... And yes I could use woodware with it also.... It sure made Winter preparation a lot easier... Remember I had my bees in Southeastern Vermont.... I did run wooden hives for about 50 years.. I used these BeeMax for about 10 years... The percentage was much higher on the polyester hives.. For Winter kill a lot less.   These BeeMax Polystyrene Hive are not very good for lots of travel. With bees and honey


BEE HAPPY  Jim 134   :smile:
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: The15thMember on December 06, 2021, 10:50:11 am
Just before I left the USA... I used

BeeMax Polystyrene Hive

I used www.betterbee.com  For a supplier.. Ran 50 hives this way... They worked out well for me.... And yes I could use woodware with it also.... It sure made Winter preparation a lot easier... Remember I had my bees in Southeastern Vermont.... I did run wooden hives for about 50 years.. I used these BeeMax for about 10 years... The percentage was much higher on the polyester hives.. For Winter kill..   These hives are not very good for lots of travel..


BEE HAPPY  Jim 134   :smile:


The BeeMax was very attractive to me for this reason, but they don't make all their equipment in 8-frame, which means it's not interchangeable with my woodenware.  I don't know. . . .  I'm just really on the fence.  I'll have to run some numbers and see what the cost would really be and weight that with the pros and cons of the poly. 
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Jim 134 on December 06, 2021, 08:37:44 pm

BeeMax Polystyrene Hive

The BeeMax was very attractive to me for this reason, but they don't make all their equipment in 8-frame, which means it's not interchangeable with my woodenware.  I don't know. . . .  I'm just really on the fence.  I'll have to run some numbers and see what the cost would really be and weight that with the pros and cons of the poly.

     I remember when I was a kid.. Just starting out in beekeeping..
    All the old timers...  Use to talk about 8 frame boxes.. Would fit better on a horse wagon...  You could get more  hives on.. To make more money... For when you pollinated orchards. This was back in 1957 or so..  I know there seems. To be no standard on 8 frame boxes . On the width.

         
                  BEE  HAPPY  Jim 134  :smile:

         
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Ben Framed on December 06, 2021, 09:01:13 pm
Jim you have been beekeeping for a while! I bet you have just about seen and experianced it all, along with some good stories to tell..
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: JojoBeeBoy on December 11, 2021, 08:14:40 pm
I bought 7 Lyson 6-frame poly nucs last fall. I had several late spits and queen experiments in EZ Nuc boxes which wouldn't cut it for winter where we live (TN mountains). All came through winter and I bought top boxes for each.

While I bought some wood boxes this year (also have some 10-frame langs), I once again bought Lysons for my late stragglers. Now I have several more in play and put 2 colonies in almost all of the new boxes, both as a way to "bank" some queens in their own little colonies, and generally to let them take advantage of the heat from each other.

The Lysons are a 30-density (if memory serves) and you can put screws in it and it doesn't break in chunks. It does need a good coat of paint though as last year I ordered way late and just let them go through winter unpainted.

I tend to raise bees instead of honey (selling queens, hives, nucs) so I'm managing frames more than boxes. I didn't raise my 10-frame wooden hive count going into winter, and I will likely go all poly for anything I do this coming year. I really like them.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Lesgold on December 21, 2021, 05:05:05 pm
Hi Folks,

I?ve been running a Paradise poly hive now for about 7 years. Got a bit caught up in the hype about it and bought one to try it. Can?t really give much valid information in relation to its performance as one hive is not really a large enough sample to give consistent, accurate information. All I can do is to comment on the performance of that hive relative to the rest of the wooden hives in the yard. First of all it was far more expensive than a wooden hive (in Australia) but some of its other properties make up for the cost. It was easy to paint with a small roller and two coats of water based paint have lasted well. The supers are comfortable to carry. All corners are rounded and the hand grips are well designed. I would like to see a larger entrance to the hive as colonies develop to mammoth proportions every year. The hive stays warm in winter and cool in summer. On hot days bees rarely beard out the front of the hive due to good ventilation in the screened bottom board. Bees seem to be out and about earlier in the day on cool mornings in the poly hive. To date, there has always been a good surplus of honey in the super at the end of winter.  This hive always produces well. On average over the years that I have owned it, the honey production would have been higher than any other hive in the yard.

Cheers

Les
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: JojoBeeBoy on January 06, 2022, 01:50:19 pm
I have a late queen with 1 frame of bees I just placed in a Lyson ~3 weeks ago in Dec. The cluster would probably fit in a baseball, or a softball with room left over. It will be 8F (-13C) here in the morning and I have a sensor to monitor their internal temp. As the temps outside have been dropping, the difference between inside and outside temps has risen. Right now it is 27F outside and 40F on top of the frames not far from what could barely be called a cluster. We shall see.

They may perish, but would certainly freeze solid in a wooden hive at this size. I'll try to remember to bounce back over and update.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Ben Framed on January 06, 2022, 02:27:53 pm
I have a late queen with 1 frame of bees I just placed in a Lyson ~3 weeks ago in Dec. The cluster would probably fit in a baseball, or a softball with room left over. It will be 8F (-13C) here in the morning and I have a sensor to monitor their internal temp. As the temps outside have been dropping, the difference between inside and outside temps has risen. Right now it is 27F outside and 40F on top of the frames not far from what could barely be called a cluster. We shall see.

They may perish, but would certainly freeze solid in a wooden hive at this size. I'll try to remember to bounce back over and update.

Jojo You have my attention. Yes please update as this unfolds... I am rooting for you...
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on January 06, 2022, 05:10:55 pm
Hi Jim
There is a standard 8 frame width for a wooden box, 14 inches outside with 7/8 inch timber. This will give you 12 1/4 inches inside.
The paradise 8 frame is a bit oversize and you can fit 9 frames in, but to me it is too tight to manipulate frames. We run 8 frames and the are very nice to work with the extra width.
The side bars on frames are also variable and can change the room in the box. We only use one brand on frame for uniformity and they are standard.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Lesgold on January 06, 2022, 05:26:53 pm
Good luck with your little cluster. My gut feeling is that such a small hive of bees would struggle to generate enough heat to maintain a reasonable brood nest temperature. It is an interesting experiment to find out the durability of bees under such harsh conditions.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on January 07, 2022, 05:23:31 am
They probably won't have any brood and so if they can cluster and hibernate they may survive.
Don't open, even for a peak. They need all the heat and lack of disturbance. Look in early Spring, or you may see an odd bee moving.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: JojoBeeBoy on January 07, 2022, 10:03:11 pm
They probably won't have any brood and so if they can cluster and hibernate they may survive.
Don't open, even for a peak. They need all the heat and lack of disturbance. Look in early Spring, or you may see an odd bee moving.
Good luck with your little cluster. My gut feeling is that such a small hive of bees would struggle to generate enough heat to maintain a reasonable brood nest temperature. It is an interesting experiment to find out the durability of bees under such harsh conditions.
Thanks :)

As for today I feel pretty good. It was 11F this morning and the sensor was reading 26F (on top of the frames near center and end). When the temp went up to 15 outside the temp inside jumped to 40-41, so they started cranking up the heat, or moved closer to the sensor. Tomorrow morning is supposed to be 16, then a couple weeks in normal ranges. Should hit 50s several times in Jan. I'll have to check and maybe move a frame or two here and there. Thankfully I overfed in Sept (massively) so I have little 2-3lb Russian clusters in 80-100lb doubles. I shifted some frames in late Nov, but there are plenty of capped sugar frames to go around if required.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: beesnweeds on January 18, 2022, 11:52:59 pm
Just curious, what would the polystyrene beekeepers on this forum do with the hive bodies if they got AFB?
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: BeeMaster2 on January 19, 2022, 12:02:05 am
Burn them.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: beesnweeds on January 19, 2022, 12:20:29 am
Burning 20 Apimaye hives might attract some attention.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: TheHoneyPump on January 20, 2022, 01:56:05 pm
Not at midnight.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on January 20, 2022, 05:38:42 pm
It is relatively cheap to Gamma sterilize bee equipment in Australia.
It works out at about $10 per box, you leave the frames in the box, wrap it in 2 garbage bags and stack them on a pallet.
It is a flat rate per pallet and so the more you stack on the better.
Better than the total loss of burning.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Ben Framed on January 20, 2022, 05:56:05 pm
Oldbeavo, I know little to nothing about this. Iddee and others were talking about this, or something similar to this when I first joined Beemaster. Does this work for Polystyrene Hives as well? Is this method 100 percent proven effective in ridding equipment of this disease?

Thanks,

Phillip
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on January 20, 2022, 10:08:11 pm
Hi Ben
Check out the link, this is in OZ but will give you the idea.
Surely some one in the US is doing this?

https://steritech.com.au/industries/beekeeping/
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Brian MCquilkin on January 20, 2022, 10:27:42 pm
 
Not at midnight.
:cool: My thought exactly, and with the wind blowing away from the Nabours.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: BeeMaster2 on January 21, 2022, 09:25:09 am
We have talked about nuking before but as far as I know there is not a place in the US that is set up to nuke beehives.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on January 21, 2022, 04:39:13 pm
Hi Jim
I am not sure if this was a one off but the link may give you some info

https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/sites/pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/files/shared/2018%20PSBA%20hive%20irradiation-sterilization%20e-mail.pdf

Certainly the cost in the article, even though 2018, was very cheap
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Jim 134 on January 22, 2022, 10:41:30 am
   
We have talked about nuking before but as far as I know there is not a place in the US that is set up to nuke beehives.
Jim Altmiller

    This is a gamma ray treatment center.. Is in Northborough Massachusetts... I believe there are several other ones with the same name  STERIS Company  No I don't know the parent company as. These are all in the USA... It used to be worth it... About 10 years ago... The price of radiation was way over the cost of new equipment..  Remember also there is a cost.. You need your woodware... Insert size cardboard boxes.. There are also some other protocol you have to meet.. I did this about 15 years ago... All I ever sent ...Was  Wooden ware.equipment and  Frames of drawn comb.. You cannot send any honey in the comb !!!!

https://www.steris-ast.com/site/northborough-massachusetts-usa/


                           BEE HAPPY  Jim134   :smile:
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on January 22, 2022, 06:29:33 pm
From what i understand and i will check with a friend who has done it, that the box and frames are wrapped in 2 garbage bags and sent as a unit.
I assume the garbage bags are to prevent any leaks.

Also another bee keeper who got AFB took all the plastic foundation out and burnt it, the dipped the frames and boxes in parafin at 160 C for 10 minutes to kill the AFB spores.
Burning is an expensive option.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Jim 134 on January 22, 2022, 10:00:09 pm
Also another bee keeper who got AFB took all the plastic foundation out and burnt it, the dipped the frames and boxes in parafin at 160 C for 10 minutes to kill the AFB spores.
Burning is an expensive option.
I know at 1 time there are many studies done on hot dip wax... To kill AFB.... Later on the scientists figured out it just intooned,..AFB.... This was done about 10 years ago.... all I can say ..Is do your homework


                           BEE HAPPY  Jim134   :smile:
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Oldbeavo on January 23, 2022, 02:02:12 am
The temperature of 160 C and the 10 minutes are critical
There are plenty of Australian recommendations for this from Government departments and also some Belgian work.

New Zealand  https://afb.org.nz/wax-dipping/
Australia   https://www.wheenbeefoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Managing-AFB.pdf

And here is a Gamma sterilization with prices in the US, for the prices quoted if there were enough boxes it is really cheap.
Title: Re: Polystyrene Hives
Post by: Michael Bush on April 11, 2022, 04:45:19 pm
I had problems with excessive moisture, so I quit using them.  This may vary by climate.  But in my climate it was an issue.