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Author Topic: Which hive is best?  (Read 2073 times)
beginningbeekeeper
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« on: July 11, 2005, 02:26:47 PM »

I'm really green at bee keeping.  After doing alot of research and requesting catalogs.  I'm really confused about which is the best hive to buy.  I live here in the hills of Missouri where the weather is hot and humid all thru the summer.  So which one is preferred by experienced bee keepers, the wooden hives or the plastic ones?
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Stacy
Rich V
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2005, 09:22:05 PM »

I think you will find that most prefer the wooden hives.
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FrogPond
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 09:23:47 PM »

Stacy - congratulations and welcome! I am not sure you will find one or the other "best" - but you will find a lot of opinions about them! I am sure wooden hives or plastic hives will work - it will be up to you to decide what you want to work with over time.

One thing I will say: pick something that will be around a while and "standardize" your set-up. Getting everything in one size makes the parts easy to inter-change. Michale Bush, a very experienced member here, recommends all medium supers for everything. It is an interesting idea and makes a lot of sense. Look for his posts.

I personally use two deeps for brood, then mediums for everything else. And I use wood, just because I think it makes more sense for me.
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Charles Fry, Amatuer Farmer & Entremanure
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SignQueen
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2005, 10:02:33 PM »

I LOVE my Beemax Beehives!
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SouthWestern Ohio Beekeepers Association
bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2005, 11:14:49 PM »

I had a 'keeper tell me the other day that they stopped making those plastic hives.  Is that right?  I think because they didn't winter well.  There are styrofoam ones.  Don't know how well those work though.  Personnally, I like the wooden deals.  Wood is a more natural environment for bees than man-made plastic.

Anyway, FrogPond said it best.  Standardize preferably with mediums.  Weight becomes an issue with the deeps.  Shallows are only a few pounds lighter than mediums when they are full.
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SignQueen
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2005, 12:08:02 AM »

Beemax Beehives are polystyrene, they weigh almost nothing. They winter well, no insulation needed. The temperature is constant throughout the hive in summer, no hot spots. They DO NOT sweat since they are not plastic. They have been used in Northern Europe (very cold) for over 40 years, many with no replacements or repairs since they do not rot. They need only be painted. They are much easier to put together and contrary to what many people will try to tell you, they are not "delicate", they handle very well..

Before I bought my beehives I did some research, and by all counts polystyrene hives consistantly produce more honey, they hold more bees since they have a constant temp.

Of course if you are going to cut and build your own, wood is the way to go. All hives are shipped in parts, polysytrene needs no glue or nails, just a firm hand. As far as cost, very little difference.

Here is where I get mine... http://www.homestead.com/beekeepers/Simpsons.html
You can also e-mail or call Mr. Simpson, an older beekeeper, he has done some research on the subject. He recently told me a medium blue, polystyrene hive will consistantly produce more honey.

I am a new beekeeper, and would never dare to give advice on beekeeping itself, but I am a person who researchs a subject to the point of distraction. So far, I must say, I really love my polystyrene hives.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2005, 03:36:00 PM »

I'd go for wood.  I'd also go for all mediums.  And if you have trouble lifting heavy objects, I'd go for eight frame mediums.

1 deep box full of honey = 90 lbs.
1 medium box full of honey = 60 lbs.
1 eight frame medium box full of honey = 48 lbs.

I run all mediums for everything.  Brood, extracting, cut comb etc.

I'm only buying the eight frame boxes now to cut down on lifting.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2005, 03:58:06 PM »

Quote from: beginningbeekeeper
So which one is preferred by experienced bee keepers, the wooden hives or the plastic ones?


I use both. Plastic is light to lift and it is better during winter and spring.
When you use one inch thick wooden boxes, they are very cold during spring development.

Wooden is easy to maintain clean with gas flame.

You just try yourself. You never get right answer from others.

I have used plastic since 1987. They are really good, but I have not discarder my old wooden boxes. Wooden I use in summer.

With honey I use 8 frame mediums. Actully they were 9 but later it is good use 8 thicker comb  frames. 10 frames full od honey is really bad for backbone.
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wingmaster
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2005, 10:33:58 AM »

I have used both in the past. I use wood now but. I live in Arizona winters are not a problem I don’t have to winterize my hives and the plastic hives will brake down in the hot summer sun if you don’t pant them. If I lived someplace colder I might switch. If you are planning on having more than one hive try them both. Its 112 deg here right now and it just eats up the plastic boxes. They only lasted 2 summers before they fell apart. I used them years ago when they first cam on the market they may have come up with some uv proof stuff now. Just be sure to paint both wood and Styrofoam boxes. Some pants will dissolve Styrofoam so check before you pant. Smiley
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