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Poly Hive 

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I ran a poll on a busy FB UK site asking how many had or used poly and some 85% of respondents have. That is some shift in 30 years. 15% were fully polly which again is some change.

PH
 

The Poot 

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I’m 60% of the way through the shift.
I was sceptical about the lifespan of poly, thinking it would be too fragile, but have been impressed with the Abelo products I’ve subsequently used.
 

Poly Hive 

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When I gave talks on poly I started by unstrapping a floor/brood/roof and then standing on it with a couple of jumps for show. It impressed.....LOL

PH
 

Hedgerow Honey 

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Had one blow over in the storm and it held together, or so it looked until removed the strap.
Lid is in three pieces, brood sides are split vertical, it fell off a single pallet.
It's the first for a while that's broke to be fair.
 

Poly Hive 

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What make is that HH? Years ago I lost one off the back of the trailer at 40mph. Hive was fine so was the colony. Bit of shock to see it come off though.

PH
 

Brian Bush 

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I have found Maisies polys to be robust. The walls on swienty supers are too thin IMHO
I had a wooden hive blow over earlier this year. Roof broken so I will reclaim the top and build new sides. 1 super badly damaged.
A few years ago a poly strapped together in my apiary dissappeared. I found it floating in the stream, fished it out and the colony survived.
 

mbc 

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I ran a poll on a busy FB UK site asking how many had or used poly and some 85% of respondents have. That is some shift in 30 years. 15% were fully polly which again is some change.

PH
My beekeeping has evolved to accept poly.
I think my original reluctance into going poly was the blurb on the C Wynne Jones website (the original distributor of the swienty/denrosa national and Smith poly hives) saying the Smith was the better option as the thin bit by the frame ends on the national was fragile, not great sales technique for what was quite an expensive option.
I then started using insulated crown boards and saw immediate benefits, especially getting bees up into the first super in a cold spring, and from there its an easy jump to extrapolate to the benefits of the whole hive being insulated.
Poly nucs were also a game changer, so much easier to make lots of increase with few resources with the excellent poly nucs on offer, I'd previously been using national boxes with a divider with all the hassle entailed with having two colonies potentially at different stages of development in the one box.
I'm now about 70/30 wood / poly for the production hives but 100% poly for nucs and mating nucs.
I think I should probably thank you polyhive for championing poly so clearly on this forum a decade or so ago, diolch!
 

Erichalfbee 

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I think I should probably thank you polyhive for championing poly so clearly on this forum a decade or so ago, diolch!
Yes me too. My first poly was bought from Modern Beekeeping when Rooftops still owned it. Maybe 2010ish? No 14x12 option so I used two supers and a deep floor. I liked the top space ( yes I know the bee space is shared now) I still have a few Swienty but my best ones are the old style Abelo.
Tried Paynes but never got on with them as I already had wooden National kit
 

victor meldrew 

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Looking forwards to the inevitable push to reduce the use of plastics. How do you think poly hives will be affected?
there is a bio degradable alternative ie timber .
 

Poly Hive 

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Just a historical note. The first importer of poly was Hamish Robertson at Struan Apiaries, Conon Bridge Rossshire. Some 20 miles north of Inverness. He was expanding his bee farming and Bernard Mobus pointed him to poly and he then imported and sold them on. There was one size only Langstroth though with some modding they could be made to take 12 Smith top bar frames. I bought my first one in 1990 I think it was and I remember him taking me to a farm where he has the upper floor of a building which was stuffed with the stuff. I don't think at that point that Swienty were known in the UK, I certainly had never heard of them and neither Hamish or Bernard talked about them.

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Murox 

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Looking forwards to the inevitable push to reduce the use of plastics. How do you think poly hives will be affected?
there is a bio degradable alternative ie timber .
But how thick and therefore potentially heavy would the wood need to be to provide a useful R value. ??
Better yet perhaps would be a different concept of beekeeping especially for the hobbyist with a home apiary, we are really talking mainly about the brood box ??
 

victor meldrew 

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I’ve used Bs wooden hives for ever . Neither I nor my bees know little of R values .
they have lived through some horrendous a winters as recent as the 2018 Beast from the East .
my question was , what do you think will happen when the inevitable cleansing of plastics from the worlds oceans etc. focuses on beekeeping.
a practice that supercedes the invention of plastics and has been perceived as an example of living with nature and leaving scarcely a trace behind !
 

Boston Bees 

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I’ve used Bs wooden hives for ever . Neither I nor my bees know little of R values .
they have lived through some horrendous a winters as recent as the 2018 Beast from the East .
my question was , what do you think will happen when the inevitable cleansing of plastics from the worlds oceans etc. focuses on beekeeping.
a practice that supercedes the invention of plastics and has been perceived as an example of living with nature and leaving scarcely a trace behind !
My recycling wheel bin is full of plastic every fortnight. But I've never thrown a poly hive component out, ever, despite having used them for 7 years.

Also, I've watched several of these beach or ocean cleanup programs. Very laudable. But I've never seen them fish a brood box out...

Conclusion? When it comes to plastic waste, poly hives are a non-issue.
 

victor meldrew 

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My recycling wheel bin is full of plastic every fortnight. But I've never thrown a poly hive component out, ever, despite having used them for 7 years.

Also, I've watched several of these beach or ocean cleanup programs. Very laudable. But I've never seen them fish a brood box out...

Conclusion? When it comes to plastic waste, poly hives are a non-issue.
There are none so blind as those who will not see!
 

victor meldrew 

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Indeed, though you don't seem to have responded to either of my points
Nor you mine .
poly hives are here forever. Fact . They will have a usable life .
broken and discarded . Abandoned as often happens .
I iterate I was asking what do people think of the effect of plastic cleansing once an eye is cast on beekeeping . I am not interested in poly V wood .
wood isn’t the issue as it moulders away back into the environment
 

Murox 

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Nor you mine .
poly hives are here forever. Fact . They will have a usable life .
broken and discarded . Abandoned as often happens .
I iterate I was asking what do people think of the effect of plastic cleansing once an eye is cast on beekeeping . I am not interested in poly V wood .
wood isn’t the issue as it moulders away back into the environment
I think there will be a rather predictable negative and probably island mentality "a knee jerk reaction" particularly from those with “snowflake inclinations” and from the “open toed sandal and tree hugging” brigades when they realise that for the last 40 and more years beehives don't have to be white, square or rectangular and that they have been made out of just about every material on the planet. Maybe by then we will have learnt how to recycle petrochemical products properly – you know, stuff like plastics, soaps and detergents, solvents, drugs, fertilizers, pesticides, explosives, synthetic fibres and rubbers, paints, epoxy resins, and flooring and insulating materials.
 

victor meldrew 

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This could have been written by an archtypical snowflake .
I do not hug trees , wear open toed sandals . I am a realist, please don’t mix me up with Geof Chandler.
if you wish to vent your spleen , choose someone else . I don’t melt when the heat is on !
 

Murox 

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Apologies @ victor meldrew. Not venting anything, and not intended to demean or infer anything. I was genuinely, albeit cynically, responding to your question, perhaps just not in the way anticipated.
 

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