They're £1.99 for a reason! I had some of these last year, they're probably ok if used inside or ocassionally outside, however I used them to secure a cover over a boat that I had stored outside over winter. As soon as I touched the orange webbing strap it literally fell apart - the winter weather has rotted through the material.
They have a nasty habit of coming loose,they are a pain when loading a trailer with hives because you cannot stack the hives tight together,unless having the ratchet at the top,then you have to remove each one to put the crown board and roof on,they jam and clog up,they corrode,they take far to long to strap hives with,all in all i personally hate the things,just plain inefficient,and over complicated to do a very simple job, and i know of no other commercial beekeepers,(least ways not round these parts), who use them,including the biggest one in the country, for the very same reasons.
Left some of these objects on some hives in an out apairy several years ago,before i knew better,had to cut them all off,corroded solid.
Your grandfather may well of used staples,i use the spanset straps,can easily carry and strap up say 30 hives in a matter of minutes,they also exert incredible pressure,and don't rattle loose,plus are completely flat,no sticky out bits getting in the way and nothing to jam up or corrode so can be left on hives as long as you want. I have them several years old and still in good nick after being out in all weathers,ultra violet does not seem to of affected the nylon webbing at all.
I use ratchet straps with no problems. I can see what you mean by the bee farmers not using them but as we are mostly talking small scale beekeepers who dont have to stack hives up when moving them they are fine.
I don't suppose a suitable rope would be good enough? Kept loads on lorries for a long time before straps became the easier option. I have used them at times.
I actually like the ratchet straps particularly if the short tails are short (whole of ratchet end can be under the roof in the winter). Covered in a sheath to keep the light off them, they last some considerable time.
Secret is to use multiple straps and so not need to pull them down so very tight that the mechanism is over-loaded. I often use my 2 1/2 tonne straps (and even the 5 tonners), but they are a pain 'cos of all the unused strap.