Questions about poly hives

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oxnatbees

House Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
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Location
Oxfordshire UK
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warre
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I'm trying to get my head round poly hives. The term seems a bit ambiguous.

Am I right in thinking the term can refer both to simple, soft hives and also a more sophisticated type with foamed insulation sandwiched between hard plastic walls?

Also, are the simple soft type mainly used for small mating nucs like Apideas, or do people make full size hives from expanded polystyrene?

Also, are the rigid walled types vilnerable to wooodpeckers?
 
I'm trying to get my head round poly hives. The term seems a bit ambiguous.

Am I right in thinking the term can refer both to simple, soft hives and also a more sophisticated type with foamed insulation sandwiched between hard plastic walls?

Also, are the simple soft type mainly used for small mating nucs like Apideas, or do people make full size hives from expanded polystyrene?

Also, are the rigid walled types vilnerable to wooodpeckers?
Commercially manufactured poly hives are not soft expanded polystrene like you find in packaging materials - they are very dense and rigid. They are capable of lasting decades (obviously they need a coat or two of paint to prevent weathering and UV degradation) and are the same material whether they are Apideas, Nucs or full size hives.

I don't know of any commercially made hives that are made with sandwich construction although a few of us on here have made DIY ones.

The susceptibility of hives to woodpeckers is more about whether the local woodpeckers have learned this behaviour - whether it's a timber or poly hive has little relevance. I have woodpeckers in my garden (both types) and have never had a problem. A few miles away I know another beekeeper who has to protect his timber hives with wire netting cages as the woodpeckers have discovered where the thin timber is at the handholds and they are quick to make holes.
 
Wax moth love poly hives.
Yes ... if they are allowed to get a grip they will do untold damage ... been there and got the T-shirt. They will easily eat into cedar hives so you can only begin to imagine what they will do to poly.

This was just a tiny infestation in a stored nuc. I had one where they really got a hold and there was so much damage it was a tip job. Holes that went right through to the outside. I keep on top of any signs of wax moth in stored frames in hives.

IMG_3381.JPG
 
Yes ... if they are allowed to get a grip they will do untold damage ... been there and got the T-shirt. They will easily eat into cedar hives so you can only begin to imagine what they will do to poly.

This was just a tiny infestation in a stored nuc. I had one where they really got a hold and there was so much damage it was a tip job. Holes that went right through to the outside. I keep on top of any signs of wax moth in stored frames in hives.

View attachment 39120
What’s the best filler for repairing poly, if the moths get in?
 
I had unbelievable wax moth damage on my return to the hobby. Generation after generation of wax moths eating whole frames and eating into boxes. All brood wax completely gone. Never again. They even ate my beesuit that I foolishly left on top of the hives before I went away for a few years
 
What’s the best filler for repairing poly, if the moths get in?
I believe that some suppliers do have poly repair kits but not sure what they are. I had one hive which did have an attack along an edge so skimmed a little off and stuck a strip of wood on that edge as a strengthener and it lasted years. On the flat I have scraped out the larvae and used tetrion on the tunnels which sets hard and quickly. Hope this I helps. Paintwise I use dark brown masonry paint with the oldest hive now 46 years. Keeps the UV at bay.
 
I don't know of any commercially made hives that are made with sandwich construction
Anel hives, made in Greece have a hard-shell outer plastic body made from food-grade polypropylene and an inner thick layer of polyurethane foam insulation.
Gwenyn Gruffudd started selling them this year - only in Langstroth.
 
Very useful, thank you.

I think I know where some are, a bee farmer put about 40 hives 2 miles away a year ago. I think some were poly. About 7 made it through winter (terrible location), I'll see if any of the deadouts whose roofs blew off were poly, if so I can examine them without causing problems.

I tried to find out who owns them but nobody knows. The farmland is managed by absentee farmers, the "farmhouses" are occupied by tenants who have no idea who put the hives there or who would know! Modern efficient farming I guess.
 
Anel hives, made in Greece have a hard-shell outer plastic body made from food-grade polypropylene and an inner thick layer of polyurethane foam insulation.
Gwenyn Gruffudd started selling them this year - only in Langstroth.
Wow .. they sound like an interesting development. Doesn't polypropylene go brittle in sunlight though ? I seem to remember something about polyprop ropes not being suitable for long term mooring lines ..

Although, if they are made in Greece they get a lot more sun than we do ... Terrific value - If I was starting again it would almost certainly be with Langstroth and these hives look really good - except for the ventilated roofs !

https://gwenyngruffydd.co.uk/collec...complete-langstroth-assembled-beehive-by-anel

Some really nice innovative ideas incorporated as well ...
 
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Very useful, thank you.

I think I know where some are, a bee farmer put about 40 hives 2 miles away a year ago. I think some were poly. About 7 made it through winter (terrible location), I'll see if any of the deadouts whose roofs blew off were poly, if so I can examine them without causing problems.

I tried to find out who owns them but nobody knows. The farmland is managed by absentee farmers, the "farmhouses" are occupied by tenants who have no idea who put the hives there or who would know! Modern efficient farming I guess.
If I had a survival success rate of 7 out of 40 I would give up, be driven to drink or chuck £20 notes into the fire as a set of cheaper hobbies - even in a horrible location
 
Very useful, thank you.

I think I know where some are, a bee farmer put about 40 hives 2 miles away a year ago. I think some were poly. About 7 made it through winter (terrible location), I'll see if any of the deadouts whose roofs blew off were poly, if so I can examine them without causing problems.

I tried to find out who owns them but nobody knows. The farmland is managed by absentee farmers, the "farmhouses" are occupied by tenants who have no idea who put the hives there or who would know! Modern efficient farming I guess.
The absentee farmers should be easy to track down, if the land is being rented out, they may have employed a farm manager and/or the tenants are paying rent to a company on the farmers behalf.
 
The insulation doesn't look very thick. I guess to maintain compatibility with wooden kit.

James
I somehow doubt that compatibility with wooden kit had much to do with their design. Surely, just as with most 'national' iterations, these langstroth boxes are a stand alone system in their own right. Compatibility merely being 'a bonus marketing' plus point along with other subtle or distinctive details.
 

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