Pir Insulation Ashforth Feeder

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Joined
May 3, 2022
Messages
45
Reaction score
32
Location
Hazlemere, Bucks
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
20+
Hey all,

Thinking about making a load of Ashforth feeders and after a bit of advice.

What are your thoughts on making the feeder directly out of PIR Insulation Board, to a degree waterproof and great insulation properties could it be a win win?

Cheers
 
It’s not waterproof even if coated dents would let water in to foam centre. Plus the stuffs probably to flexi to bond well.
 
waterproof and great insulation properties could it be a win win?
Already done for you. Slightly cheaper from this seller.

You may reckon to save money by making it out of PIR, but the issues Ian raised are valid and the faff is not worth the effort.

The Abelo is solid and will last a lifetime; I keep them on all year round as crownboard, syrup feeder, fondant feeder (turn it over), for clearing honey scraps, and as a split board.
 
It’s not waterproof even if coated dents would let water in to foam centre. Plus the stuffs probably to flexi to bond well.
Celotex and the like are fairly rigid and the joints, if you use bamboo skewers and a good silicon jointing adhesive such as Sikaflex, will be fine. I think it would have to be lined with aluminium tape and any cut surfaces that the bees would be exposed to also taped with aluminium tape but I reckon you could knock one up for less than £20 which is half the price of the poly one in the link in Eric's post.

The only fear I would have is whether it would be safe to pick it up with a full complement of syrup in it ... it may need a plywood base board to stiffen it.

Worth experimenting with ...
 
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Good points from everyone, I thought I may be able to seal the joints, and use straw in the main feeder body. However a complete oversight on would it hold the weight when full if required to be moved.

I saw the Abelo one and that's where the initial idea came from as I reckon I could knock them up at around £20 a pop.

Hopefully get some deals in Feb rather than a bodge job.

Cheers
 
Good points from everyone, I thought I may be able to seal the joints, and use straw in the main feeder body. However a complete oversight on would it hold the weight when full if required to be moved.

I saw the Abelo one and that's where the initial idea came from as I reckon I could knock them up at around £20 a pop.

Hopefully get some deals in Feb rather than a bodge job.

Cheers

I'm an evangelist for PIR in beekeeping and I'm sure your idea would work, especially if you used PU sealant for the joints. But the detailed construction and quality of the Abelo is worth paying for. Having said that, I wouldn't buy any more of them because for most of the year they present a deep void above the hive that prevents my deep, home-made, PIR lids from giving their maximum benefit in insulating the sides of the top box. I'm also concerned that when they are left on the hive empty there may be a chimney-effect draught caused by the generous provision of ventilation holes in the feeder;

For the winter I have covered the slots with foil tape and have placed insulated cushions inside one of my feeders, with the other jammed full with PIR offcuts; this does provide very deep insulation to the top of the hive. I much prefer the small, Lyson, Ashforth feeders that fit under the Abelo flush roofs or a custom eke.
 
generous provision of ventilation holes in the feeder
Those slots in the baffle work against hive efficiency but within a season or two most of mine were sealed with propolis. Saw recently that even a few of the open sliding access holes had been filled.

Abelo use that slotted stainless sheet for a lot of their extraction and processing equipment and presumably thought to save buying a solid sheet for the feeders, but a ventilated feeder baffle is a nuisance.

for most of the year they present a deep void above the hive
Not found that to be an issue.

As a trial I removed the baffles on some feeders, and usually find bees (sometimes new comb) in the feeder in high summer, so the space acts as a useful relief valve (in the absence of another box). In winter, condensation crops up occasionally as a little puddle in the feeder.

Without a baffle, straw or similar added to the box prevents drowning in syrup. Murray McGregor (calluna4u on Twitter) found it effective and syrup clearance more rapid than with a baffle.

A strip of wood or silicone in the base feeder slot would isolate the box in winter, but I've yet to try it.

Apart from that issue, the box is a solid and versatile piece of kit.
 
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