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Author Topic: Polystyrene Hives  (Read 2395 times)

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #20 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.

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #21 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. 
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline Brian MCquilkin

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #22 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.
Despite my efforts the bees are doing great

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #23 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.

Offline Brian MCquilkin

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #24 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
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
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 01:13:17 am by Brian MCquilkin »
Despite my efforts the bees are doing great

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #25 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:

"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #26 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:
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Online The15thMember

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #27 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. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #28 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:

         
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #29 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..
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline JojoBeeBoy

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #30 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.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #31 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

Offline JojoBeeBoy

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #32 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.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #33 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...
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #34 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.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #35 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.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #36 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.

Offline JojoBeeBoy

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #37 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.

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #38 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?
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Polystyrene Hives
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2022, 12:02:05 am »
Burn them.
Jim Altmiller