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Poly Hive Users in Midlands

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crazy_bull 

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Are there any commercial/semi commercial set ups in the midlands using only poly hives, i'd be very interested in contact details to have a look at how the boxes stand up to commercial use.

Regards

C B
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Are there any commercial/semi commercial set ups in the midlands using only poly hives, i'd be very interested in contact details to have a look at how the boxes stand up to commercial use.

Regards

C B

Am I right in thinking that most commercial bee farmers in Europe use poly?

I am trialling a few at the moment and will assess in the Spring (for what it's worth I've found that two exterior coats of 15 year smooth masonry paint is a good anti-UV measure).
 

Poly Hive 

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Struan apiaries run quite a number as does Murray McGreggor in the uk.

Two of the few real honey farms there are.

PH
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Struan apiaries run quite a number as does Murray McGreggor in the uk.

Two of the few real honey farms there are.

PH


Be interesting to know what their take on EFB/AFB is and the disposal of poly hives if either of the foul broods is detected.

I suppose if their colonies are spread far and wide they'll just take the loss of one on the chin perhaps?
 

Poly Hive 

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My understanding is this.

EFB/AFB results in pressure washing with Virkon S.

Also used for Poultry diseases and Foot & Mouth.

Min of Ag will have a bit of a problem not using it.

PH
 

gavin 

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Struan apiaries run quite a number as does Murray McGreggor in the uk.
PH
Several other Scottish bee farmers also use polyhives and many, like Murray, have both wooden and polyhives. After watching their wooden hive colonies collapse last winter/spring, I would guess that the popularity of polyhives will only increase.

G.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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Gavin,

Any ideas on why the colonies collapsed??
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
My understanding is this.

EFB/AFB results in pressure washing with Virkon S.

Also used for Poultry diseases and Foot & Mouth.

Min of Ag will have a bit of a problem not using it.

PH


And are they Langstroth in the main??
 

gavin 

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Gavin,

Any ideas on why the colonies collapsed??
Hard to say with certainty, but the fact that more than one commercial beekeeper told me that his polyhives were not so bad and wooden hives much worse tells its own story. Like much of the country we had an exceptionally cold late winter with cold snaps in early spring still taking down more colonies. It may have been worse here. There would be other stresses contributing of course, and you can add dodgy Varroa control, a particularly poor summer leaving weak colonies, insufficient stores, insufficient young bees, too much chalkbrood, higher than normal levels of sac brood ... plus the possibility of low levels of foulbrood in some colonies too. I lost most of my colonies and I'd blame much of the above, except that there were no signs of foulbrood in them.

G.
 

Poly Hive 

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Bottom line is bees in Poly suffer less stress.

Seen it times that the death rate in wooden boxes is much higher than in my Poly.

PH
 

Firegazer 

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Maybe poly is a closer match, in insulation and thus condensation terms, to a tree cavity. If wooden hives were made of 6 inch thick standing rotten (i.e. Dry, papery) wood, they might be even better.

FG
 
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Poly supers in storage in February at a European bee farm with about 2,000 colonies.
 

Hivemaker. 

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I don't believe the hive material has bugger all to do with the survival rate of bee's,but more to do with the skill of the beekeeper to maintain strong healthy colony's with good young queens.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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More than 1, numbers seem to go up and down.
But ... polyhives just might enable borderline colonies to survive and develop faster than wooden hives in spring when the temperature is so very variable.

However, parking that point.... you have a very valid comment. Good bee management is probably a much more important variable in ensuring colony survivablity than hive type.
 

Poly Hive 

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Hivemaker you work in a much milder climate than I was. Some 600 miles further south.

Makes a huge odds that and a damn sight shorter winter.

I suspect that you would find matters considerably more different in the north.

I am certainly finding it much easier here in the Midlands than I did in Aberdeenshire/Kincardinshire.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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They keep bee's up near the north pole,and places like Siberia and alaska,and overwinter them fine....bit further north than Scotland.
 

Poly Hive 

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Sorry to disagree but no not the same at all.

Drier.

When I was in Ontario a snowball was impossible to make as the snow was so dry, and the temp was minus 18C. Back in Stonehaven at +2C the snowball rapidly became an iceball. (north of Moscow)

Damp kills bees not cold.

Dry warm hives make a big odds in winter.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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I agree with you poly....must be one of the hardest places in the world to keep bee's alive in Scotland. Makes one wonder about the amm bee's up there in winters like 1947 and 62 ect....how ever did any survive...and only wooden box's,i don't suppose they did.
 
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