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Author Topic: Anyone use plastic bee hives?  (Read 6140 times)
squidink
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« on: January 23, 2013, 06:06:58 AM »

Out of interest does anyone use plastic bee hives such as Hasson's?

I have ordered a plastic hive to try out but wondered what people's experience both positive and negative are?

Ben

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chriso38
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 07:34:57 AM »

Yeah i looked into it, and seemed a bit expensive. so still with wood Smiley
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 03:26:16 PM »

I do have a plastic super or two that came from the 80s.  The plastic inner cover and top cover tend to sweat for some reason.   I don't have any in use right now.   But they are still solid. 
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 05:39:20 PM »

I've checked them out as I hate painting, and while the concept is great they are fairly expensive!
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ozebee
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 01:01:29 AM »

I have used them and find them far superior to wood - no need for painting and they don't rot. I also love the plastic frames which simply click together over a sheet of foundation.
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Anybrew
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 01:07:34 AM »

I have 9 Plastic hives made by Parkers and I love them, tough as nails I also use their plastic lids and use them on plastic and wood box,s.  The lids are awesome.

Cheers
Steve
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 02:05:08 AM »

.
I have used them 25 years in Finland
.
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max2
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 12:55:21 AM »

I have not used them myself but inspected one for a friend. It was during our dry season but I was amazed by the amount of condensation which run off. Maybe a design peoblem? or a climatic issue?
I only use timber here for the last 35 years and have been happy.
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edward
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 02:57:56 PM »

I have not used them myself but inspected one for a friend. It was during our dry season but I was amazed by the amount of condensation which run off. Maybe a design peoblem? or a climatic issue?

Sounds like he didn't ventilate properly.


mvh edward  tongue
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 02:40:22 AM »

I have not used them myself but inspected one for a friend. It was during our dry season

That is odd.
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 03:27:33 AM »

I have not used them myself but inspected one for a friend. It was during our dry season but I was amazed by the amount of condensation which run off. Maybe a design peoblem? or a climatic issue?

Sounds like he didn't ventilate properly.


Indeed - there was no ventilation in the lid at all...
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edward
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 06:03:14 AM »

"Indeed - there was no ventilation in the lid at all..."

Sounds like there was not ventilation in the bottom board either.


mvh edward  tongue
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123_Bee
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 08:49:56 AM »

I use polystyrene hives. They don't seem to sweat, and there is less condensation than in the wooden hives I used to use because the walls don't absorb atmospheric moisture - and we had plenty of "atmospheric moisture" last year.

All my hives have open mesh floors and an acrylic crown board which is covered with a thick slab of polystyrene beneath an aluminium roof. They're all on stands about 18 inches high, so well above the ground.

(Sorry if the terms I've used don't match US ones, I hope somebody can translate.)
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Lone
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2013, 03:51:34 AM »

Quote
Sorry if the terms I've used don't match US ones, I hope somebody can translate

123 bee, from what I hear the terms are pretty similar but our US cousins say aluminium funny   grin

I don't use plastic hives by the way but I have seen them here in the tropics.

Lone
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Wonga
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2013, 06:43:52 PM »

So, 123,

Are your polystyrene boxes specially manufactured, or are you using recycled fruit boxes from the fruit n veg. shop? Cos I have been contemplating recycled boxes for a while . . . .
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123_Bee
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2013, 04:12:59 PM »

The ones I use are made by Swienty, but there are quite a few other European manufacturers. Fruit boxes aren't dense enough to be used, the bes chew them.
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edward
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2013, 04:47:40 PM »

All my hive are poly hives from swienty and I am very happy with them  grin

mvh edward  tongue
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halfabee
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2013, 04:11:00 PM »

I am using the TechnosetBee hives that became available a few years ago in Australia, I initially started with just 1 to see how they compared and was happily surprised at how well they are made and how well the bees work with them. The appear to be more cost effective that other three plastic hives currently available in Australia (Hasson, Parker & Nuplas) and the quality is exceptional.

The are available from betterbeehives (com.au) though I have also seen them available on ebay.

regards
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amun-ra
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2013, 05:25:03 PM »

what do you do if you are unlucky enough to get AFB in a plastic box
you cant burn them HuhHuh
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OldMech
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« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2013, 11:23:18 PM »

what do you do if you are unlucky enough to get AFB in a plastic box
you cant burn them HuhHuh


   I suppose that depends on where you live....     evil
   Does plastic or the foam boxes retain AFB if you clean them? Can you scorch plastic/foam?
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yantabulla
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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2013, 06:11:59 AM »

You could have them irradiated. The good thing about plastic hardware is that it does not rot.  It can also be flat packed to save space.  Burning is not the only option.  You would be crazy to burn plastic hardware. 
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amun-ra
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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2013, 06:56:48 AM »

yes I would not burn them either but looking from a townsville point of view freight is a killer
and if you have a lot of hives not worth the trip to brisi to clean them up
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edward
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« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2013, 02:01:51 PM »

? Can you scorch plastic/foam?

Yes but only once  evil

In Sweden there are also insulated wooden hives, they are very Heavy, I bought a beeyard and the hives were isolated wooden boxes, I was going to throw them away, but first I checked out the price, they are 5 1/2 times more expensive than poly foam hives  shocked

So I can burn 5 poly hives if i get AFB to the cost of 1 wooden hive.

Our beekeeping association has insurance against AFB for a small fee  Wink each year.

mvh Edward  tongue
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damienpryan
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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2013, 08:21:17 PM »

I use the hasson plastic hives for my 4 hobby hives.
They are great.
One thing I love is they never leak bees when moving or break.
Once you seal them up with the hive clips and foam in the entry you can be sure that nothing will come out.
Very handy when moving them in the back of a station wagon.
I am considering experimenting with temperature controlled hive fans next year though.

I think they might go well with plastic hives.

Cheers

Damien
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gman
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2013, 07:04:09 AM »

Although all my subsequent hives are wooden, my first hives were plastic because I wanted hives in a hurry and plastic hives come ready to use. They have lasted well and show little deterioration after 15 years of constant use. One advantage over wood is that, like plastic frames and foundation, they are unaffected by wax moth larvae which can make a mess of woodware.
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Willy
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« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2013, 01:07:01 AM »

I've just started beekeeping and I'm sick of wooden hives already. Spent all my time treating and painting and the first time a hive tool touches them the paint comes off. Cant be good for the longevity of the boxes and I also worry about copper napthanate being exposed to the bee's/honey.

The cost of the components seems to be about $30 dearer for a double plastic hive. When you take the labour/ time involved with wood I'm thinking plastic is well worth a try.

BTW great forum, look forward to learning/ contributing.

Willy
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Jim 134
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« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2013, 09:18:53 AM »

You could have them irradiated. The good thing about plastic hardware is that it does not rot.  It can also be flat packed to save space.  Burning is not the only option.  You would be crazy to burn plastic hardware.  

  For me irradiated is a possibility I only live 100 km or so from a place and does this once the year for beekeepers.  I do know for me it does not make economical sense for just woodware.  I'd also need good drawn comb to make economical sense for me to do this.  I do realize what will make economical sense for you may not for me. I'm very glad I do have a choice.


                      BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
                      
                 
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 11:02:50 AM by Jim 134 » Logged

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Modenacart
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« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2013, 11:32:09 PM »

The good thing about plastic hardware is that it does not rot.
Plastics may not "rot" but a lot will become brittle and useless.  Some far sooner than well care for wood rots.
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Spyk
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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2013, 11:23:19 PM »

Hi,

I also have 2 TechnosetBee Hives. ( first year bee slave )

One issue I have had is the plastic frames that come with the hives are not straight along the top.
they bend down a little - and my guess is the bee space can be  wrong between the frames in the supers
top and bottom - and the bees doggedly built comb  between the top of one of the bottom
frames and the bottom of one of the top frames. I replaced the bottom frame at that spot with a standard
wooden frame and they stopped doing that. ( I think they plan on using different frames in the future )

Also the plastic frames are not quite long enough and can seem that at a small angle may fall down - this
will make me *really nervous if I have to move my hive.

Once again - the standard wood frame seems to fit perfectly lengthwise.

So far they seem to be working as advertised - my bees are doing well  - they also seemed
slightly cheaper than the otehr hives I priced

They have top ventilation holes on the covers (  which one of my hives seems to like and the other has propolised
closed - so the bees have their choice smiley. For both my hives I had to get a small file and clear away plastic
from the manufacturing process to clear the top vents.

Easy to clean - being plastic - I never wanted to be painting and all that - so this suites my
lazy nature.

I haven't tried any of the other Plastic hives - but Aside from my nitpicking above - I'm
super happy  etc

cheers
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Spyk
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« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2014, 10:25:37 PM »

Just a little update on the TechnosetBee hives I have.

1) They are hollow and have holes along the top and bottom. It seem when it rains
water finds its way inside... So the first time you notice  this happens is when your lifting the
box off and you stream a gush of water onto the frames in the box below....arrrgggg

2) The lighter colours are a bit translucent, so there seems to be a fair bit of
light inside on a sunny day - I don't get many  Small hive beetles in this hive  ( compared to my darker one )
but the bees also seem less productive..maybe be coincidence  - I'm too new to it
all to know.

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Suncat
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« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2014, 03:32:01 AM »

I am new to beekeeping, only been at it for 12 months or so.  I inherited a hive or 2 and I am in the process of slowly increasing the number, and with limited knowledge I have done a lot of research and looking at hives, and I decided to head down the plastic path to supplement the aging wood supers of varying age and robustness.

After many hours of looking at the various plastics out there, I decided on Nuplas, partly due to cost and I have Nuplas water tanks, so I guess they know how to mold plastic  grin
(Search for Nuplas bee hives)

I ordered 6 10 frame supers and they arrived quickly from Melbourne, and were really easy to construct, only 12 stainless screws and a battery drill and the job was done within 1/2 hour.

They fit perfectly with the wooden supers, base boards and lids that I have (Nuplas don't have  plastic bases and lids yet for 10 frame, but they did assure me that they are one the way later this year).

So far I am happy with the choice, they haven't warped or changed colour yet,and the bees don't seem to notice, they produce the same in wood or plastic as far as i can tell.  As soon as the bases and lids are ready I will be purchasing them and some more supers to build up some more hives.
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John
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« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2014, 09:27:00 AM »

Plastics may not "rot" but a lot will become brittle and useless.  Some far sooner than well care for wood rots.
I have Parker plastic beehives, I bought them secondhand, while I cant be sure of the age, I went to Parkers shop a couple of weeks ago and was talking about the differences in his lids compared to mine. He told me he hasn't made that design for 25 years, so they are still going strong.
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Modenacart
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« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2014, 08:31:33 PM »

Plastics may not "rot" but a lot will become brittle and useless.  Some far sooner than well care for wood rots.
I have Parker plastic beehives, I bought them secondhand, while I cant be sure of the age, I went to Parkers shop a couple of weeks ago and was talking about the differences in his lids compared to mine. He told me he hasn't made that design for 25 years, so they are still going strong.
Looks like they chose a good plastic.
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squidink
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2014, 06:17:01 PM »

I have used the plastic hives for over a year now. Im back to wood.
They certainly have there positives ie no painting, long life etc.

Ben
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Willy
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« Reply #34 on: April 07, 2014, 05:25:24 AM »

I have used the plastic hives for over a year now. Im back to wood.
They certainly have there positives ie no painting, long life etc.

Ben

What do you see as the main downside of plastic?

I'm about to order my first  plastic hives (nuplas). I've got timber hives that are only 12 months old and already they are starting to show signs of deteriorating. Mainly the emlock strap damaging the bottom board and hive tool damage exposing timber. I've tried leaving the copper napthenate longer to dry more, extra coats of paint, different types of paint.

So far  I cant see any advantages of wood apart from cost but maybe I'm worrying too much and they will last ok. Also worry about bee's and honey being exposed to the copper nap when paintwork deteriorates.

Willy
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Lone
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« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2014, 05:51:46 AM »

Someone called one day and asked me to hive a swarm for her into a new plastic box her brother had left.  However, the "swarm" had been there a few weeks so was actually an external hive with a piece of comb about 6 inches long and barely enough bees to cover it.  I told her to let nature take its course. 
Anyhow, in the plastic hive were one-piece plastic frames, the foundation joined onto the frame and unable to be separated.  I was wondering how on earth you would be able to do a cutout with these frames. 
I called her later about a big swarm that would have set up nicely in that arrangement but she'd given the box back to her brother.

So if the hive comes with those frames I can see that is a disadvantage.

The only other problem I can think of is -I just like wood.  Plastic may be cheaper, easier, lighter, have better climate control, be termite-proof, etc, but wood is  cool cool.

Lone
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amun-ra
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« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2014, 06:15:57 PM »

Hi lone I hope they work ok i've just orded 50 of those plastic frames will let you know how they go. Mick

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squidink
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« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2014, 10:34:54 PM »

I find the plastic hives sweat a lot more than wood does.

The nuplas supers have screws and they are not overly secure.



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