Insulated hives

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wojciech 

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I've recently seen a thread showing a self built hive with the interior insulated with polystyrene - it drew some criticism on the grounds that the bees would chew up the polystyrene. I can't find the thread now but it made me think of Polish websites where, apart from the professionally made Polystyrene hives which they claim were invented in Poland, they appear to use double walled wooden hives to the different patterns popular there, including Dadant and Langstroth (not Nats !!). The two walls are made to contain a layer of insulation which traditionally was straw but also may be fibreglass or polystyrene.

See this link:http://pszczelarstwo.neostrada.pl/budowa_ula.htm

I appreciate that not many members will be able read the written instructions but the photos are quite self explanatory. If you're desperate for more info or a translation get back to me.
 

Black Comb 

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I suppose every winter is very cold in Poland compared to here so I can see the use.

The latest high density polystyrene must be easier and cheaper though.
 

Onge 

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Get in touch with DulwichGnome he is running self build hives with poly interior.

He is doing rather well too :)
 

Hombre 

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For non Polish speakers - the Google translation :)

Translation of the link in the thread by Wojciech.

Future reference for those that don't know, this is how it's done:
Google.co.uk > more > even more > translate - Polish - English
Then drop the URL (copied from the thread or the address bar of the Polish website) into the text box and hit translate.

Google IS your friend. :)
 

DulwichGnome 

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Hi, there are some photos on my blogg. I will post a few of in the inside tonight.

Mike.
 

plumber 

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complete with instructions on how to make a wobble fiting for the saw.
just like the old practical mechanics mags I used to read when I was a
lot younger.

Hombre

Ta for heads up re translation
next call out to polish tenanted property must take lap top.
 

Finman 

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The latest high density polystyrene must be easier and cheaper though.
Making own poly hives from insulating board is waste of time. Stuff is too soft to bees and ants love to make nest tunnels into board.

If you bye commercial polyboxes you may make bottoms and covers.

To do own frames is usefull because cost of 10 frame is as big as polybox.
I suppose that frame cost is 5 fold compared to Poland.
 

Poly Hive 

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I agree with Finman here.

Lets say you are making a sandwich construction outside of 6mm ply, insice 6mmply, plus 20mm insulation, you are now at 34mm or so allowing for glue and so on.

This is all good eh except you have to machine the sealing runs of ply so that the top and bottoms of the box are ply too.

Frankly unless you have a very special frame type, you would be far better off using poly National boxes or Langstroth ones and making floors for them. The poly roofs are worth buying for the cost of them.

There is a point beyond which DIY becomes pointless I find.

PH
 

ENZO 

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I think Finman is right, I bought a few poly brood/supers and roofs from swienty, great quality and half the price of wood, Hard to beat.
From what I have found, every time a put cheap/packing polystyrene in contact with bees (for insulation), they just chewed it up and spat it out.

I guess, if you want poly/insulated hives, just buy them, they will last years so in the long run, worth the expense.

Enzo
 

Finman 

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Lets say you are making a sandwich construction outside of 6mm ply, insice 6mmply, plus 20mm insulation, you are now at 34mm or so allowing for glue and so on.

PH
It is quite expencive construction and you need much material to the double wall.

In Finland double wooden wall box is 2,5 fold cost compared to polystyrene box.

Insulated wooden is 34 euros

Polybox is 14 euros.
 

Black Comb 

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Sorry, what I meant was that it's easier and cheaper to buy the polystyrene hive rather than make your own insulated one, as you've all confirmed.
 

wojciech 

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I suspect that in Poland timber is a lot cheaper than in Britain. I've toyed with the idea of importing some poly Langstroths from Poland because they are so cheap but I'm rather worried about using such an unnatural material. The Poles claim that they invented them in the 70's and that they are still going strong so they are obviously durable.
 

DulwichGnome 

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Yes it's me who has done this terrible thing ( he says having swapped his bee suit for his flame proof one). It was not to make one cheaper than can be bought, mind you it's a close run thing to the £20 National Poly I got last year, but because I wanted an insulated box with an observation window in it. The bees that have over wintered in them have not as yet ripped them apart. It might be because there is ply top and bottom so there is not a corner for them to start on, it may be because there is a couple of layers of varnish on the inside (stops typing to put another layer of flame proofing on). Anyway the deed is done and I am committed to using them this year. I will know in a few months if it has worked and so will you, can you hold your breath that long?

Mike.
 

wightbees 

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DulwickGnome
Do you have any pics of your poly hives ?
 

wightbees 

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thanks for the photos, what type of frames does it take and do they fit onto the poly ?
 

DulwichGnome 

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thanks for the photos, what type of frames does it take and do they fit onto the poly ?
It takes 10 standard nationals, I use DN1s with plastic spacers. I plan to lift up the colonies that have over wintered on double BB, without breaking them apart, putting two of these underneath and letting the colony move down on to the new comb. The observation window should allow me to see when this has happened without pulling the whole thing apart.

Mike.
 

wightbees 

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if the bees where going to start ripping it to bits wouldn't they have started inthe window part as thats not covered in ply.
Just a thought.
Looks good though.
 

Finman 

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That construction needs an inner ply. I have used that boad and on point is that you cannot clean that system or desinfect
 
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