Pictures of a Poly Brood Box

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Drone Bee
Mar 27, 2009
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Birmingham UK
Hive Type
Number of Hives
8 ish
I thought some might be interested to see pics of a poly brood box which I was compelled to replace yesterday.

The item was purchased new from Fragile-planet in 2007, and was unused until about 4 months ago, when it was put into service to house a swarm, since no other brood box was available at the time. I think that FP stopped supplying them about 2 years ago.

It appeared to have been made from medium(ish) density expanded polystyrene, heavier than packaging grade, but lighter than current products that I have seen.

It appeared to have been fabricated from thick flat sheet about 30mm thick which had been glued together to form a double thickness on two sides, and was painted all over with probably a water-based paint. I gave it an extra coat of brown paint to protect it further externally.

It was noticed that the bees had chewed it internally, and I was forced to change it when they got within 10mm of breaking through completely.

The nature of construction is such as might be employed by a competent home constructor, but the material is obviously not suitable.

This post is not a criticism of FP, but rather some guidance for those employing 'insulation grade' poly in hive construction.

I think you have made a very important point here, JCB. I would also question how safe a product like this, designed for a very differnet use, would be to the bees who consumed it...PolyHive no doubt has an opinion !?

No chance of that happening with my BeeHaus. I hope the colony is doing ok ?


As I understand things, although I have not seen one closely, The Beehaus is Polythene (PVC), not expanded polystyrene. I believe they are very different materials.

Although there might be some question over the foam insulation inside the polythene, if the bees were to gain access.

I haven't inspected the colony since re-housing, but they seemed happy enough a few hours afterwards. They were a bit grumpy with such a big disturbance in cool windy conditions, but I didn't have much option really, - they had already gone through more than 50mm (2 inches) of wall thickness.

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agree, the 'haus' is not EP and should not suffer the same way, anyone know if there is a cloth that bees dont hack through?
I have used a poly brood box (still have it intact).
I also have a poly nuc on order !
I guess JcBrum, that yours was made with inferior stuff !
The advice given with mine was to paint the internal surfaces in the area of the rebate, as being the thinnest part of the structure ,the resultant light penetration would induce the bees to attack it . I see your picture depicts the damage concentrated around the thickest part of the hive .
Germany seems to favour the poly langstroth and seeing the lass lift a langstroth brood box used as a honey super I can understand why :)

John Wilkinson
There are different grades of injection moulded polystyrene as you have just discovered.

I had poly boxes over 20 years old in my previous set up and they were pretty much as good as new and Finman I believe would say the same.

If you buy cheap...........

What annoys me about this is it casts doubts in the minds of those who might be minded to use poly.

When I talk about poly I am not, NOT, talking about this soft stuff.

I have used poly insulating board in hive buiding. My experience is that is waste of time. More than bees destroy the material, ants love it. boxes spread in hands.
Germany seems to favour the poly langstroth and seeing the lass lift a langstroth brood box used as a honey super I can understand why :)
Not really FULL with honey Victor, or was she a very BIG lass?
Other than that I endorse the Sweinty Poly Langstroth without reservations. If only they would make a 14 x 12 national :cheers2:.
Hi all

The poly boxes from Fragile Planet are carp:toetap05: they are not the same grade as Swienty or similar EU suppliers.

Regards Ian

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