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Author Topic: Nuplas  (Read 337 times)

Offline Sydney guy

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Nuplas
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:49:59 pm »
Just bought myself a nuplas pack lets see how plastic goes, i just have no time to paint wood. A lot more expensive but hopefully worth it. Anyone use nuplas on here?

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Offline Russ

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Re: Nuplas
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 11:03:46 am »
 Hello Sydney guy. This is a feedback I have sent to Corey at Nuplas for comment, that may be of interest to you or anyone considering plastic. As of yet I have not recieved a reply.

Dear Corey,  I bought 30 X 10 frame Nuplas hives with standard lids, vented bases with trays and plastic frames as a trial. The idea of no paint or chemical preservatives appealed to me and wanted to try them.
The convenience of one piece plastic frames was also attractive so I bought 300 plastic frames from Nuplas.

Here are a few of the issues that I am working through:

  1. There are no straight flush surfaces between components, so there are large gaps between lids and boxes, boxes and boxes, and boxes and bases. Water enters through these gaps during rain and SHB walk through the gaps from the outside to the inside and also through the vents.  I tried planning and sanding the box parts before and after assembly to make the fit better but still have some gaps. All lids and bases I bought are bowed and I am not sure how to deal with this. Silicone gap filler every time I open the hives is not an option.
  2. The hive clips fit poorly and offset the hive parts making gaps worse.
  3. The plastic hives attract large amounts of condensation and are very wet in the mornings with lot of water in the trays and mould inside the lid. I have placed insulation in the lids and use Mercer Mats (http://bindaree.com.au/hints/hive-mat/) with some benefit, but still insufficient as evidenced by water still lying on the Mercer Mats and still have mould.  Every time it rains the trays fill and overflow with water and I loose the oil. Recently on the Northern NSW coast, this is every couple of days!  I need the tray full of oil for SHB control. Also, the trays are not "ribbed" or "celled", therefore and the hive needs to be perfectly level or the oil pools in one corner of the tray and rising water spills it out. 
  4. The plastic frames are also a problem for me. I washed the new frames with bleach, rinsed them and applied a good coating of pure fresh beeswax. I feed 1:1 sugar syrup to assist in drawing comb. I have had to remove and strip many frames because as the bees are reluctant to draw comb and then build the cells out from the foundation in patches, and the cell sizes just get bigger and bigger in some patches of drawn comb. I don't know what is causing this. The wax frames don't have the problem nor do the "Red E" plastic frames I have purchased from Tobins (http://www.wrl.bigpondhosting.com/Index.htm)! Maybe a dud batch of Nuplas frames? Is the odd frame width affecting bee space or cell size/ depth, possibly wrong for Australia? Do bees go tropo from the humidity and excessive condensation in the plastic hives ? Could it be plastic toxicity / hormone mimicking driving them nuts?  Has anyone seen this before? Any ideas? I am wondering if I can return the unopened boxes of frames for credit for more boxes?
Regards, Russell.

Regards, Russell.

Offline max2

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Re: Nuplas
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 06:07:06 pm »
Hi Russ,

useful information.

Many years ago Guilfoyle came up with a plastic frame and I tried it. My bees never liked plastic and I use only wood and thick foundations and the bees do not complain

Offline chorrylan

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Re: Nuplas
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 09:20:46 pm »
I tried two nuplas hives for a year and subsequently decided they didn't suit me but... had virtually none of the issues Russ describes.

A) they fit together ok and I didn't have gaps anywhere (this was 2015 stock.. perhaps it changed after?)

B) condensation was very evident. I fitted a piece of 35mm thick xps polystyrene into the lid, sealing the upper vents and improving insulation  and had no condensation issues afterwards.  Not sure how long the poly will last. It is   more dense than the usual poly but not as dense/hard as poly hives.

C) I found slippage between components a pain when moving. They're heavy and slip easily so bee leakage when moving is more of an  issue than timber or poly hives. Tried emlocks first then spring clips.  It can be solved .. just takes more effort/bits/care.

D) they're really heavy. Relative to poly it's a huge difference but even compared to timber. Perhaps a non issue if lifting pallets with a forklift but  lifting by hand it matters to me 

Weight and insulation vs poly were the biggest factors in getting rid of them (part of trying them was because I wanted a  box to fit some flow frames and that experiment got boring after a year also)

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Offline Acebird

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Re: Nuplas
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2017, 09:29:51 pm »
Not sure how long the poly will last.
Like most plastics, way after you are dead.
It appears that condensation is a common problem so insulation and ventilation is a simple solution.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline chorrylan

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Re: Nuplas
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2017, 10:10:22 pm »
Lol... we're using different definitions of "last".  The bees will try to chew polystyrene so it won't last in the hive forever. They then toss the little bits out the front of the hive where it will last in the environment for something approximating forever relative to our lifetimes.
In practice the xps poly looks like it would last at least 5+ years unprotected. I put a sheet of clear vinyl over the top frames so I could snoop without disturbing them and with that in place the poly is protected anyway and should last much longer than 5 years.
..the point in relation to this thread being that the plastic hives offer close to no thermal insulation so in cool moust conditions insulating the lid is almost essential as is the screened bottom board to let moisture to let it escape easily and tip the hive slightly so it doesn't drip onto the bees.

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