I just find them really expensive for what they are. The overhead cost cannot be that high in production. I feel like a styrofoam box should cost less than a wooden one - not more.
That is a common opinion from those who have never owned them.
1) They are the same price as un-assembled select grade wood hive bodies (betterbee). Comparing to select grade is fair since they don't come with knots or other defects.
2) They require no glue or nails to assemble and require much less time (making them cheaper)
3) My bees use 25-30% less stores in the winter (less money I spend if I need to feed)
4) They are not your standard styrofoam coolers, they are much denser and stronger, I would venture as stong as wood hive bodies. The joints never loosen up and they are easier to fix than wood if they are broken.
5) It appears mine will last longer than my wooden hive bodies.
When I look at the big picture, they ARE cheaper for me in the long run than wooden hive bodies.
They also provide the option to be easily broken down for storage or transportation which wood does not.http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/portable-double-nucs/
If everyone liked vanilla, they wouldn't make chocolate :-D