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Author Topic: My first home-made styrofoam hive  (Read 1250 times)
ugcheleuce
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2014, 04:50:08 PM »

Wax propolis, honey, dead bees and friction will not be kind to the top sides and undersides of your boxes when they meet and repeatedly have to be pried apart.


Actually, now that you mention that, it was one of my first concerns, but I think I have a solution for that.  I apologise for not mentioning it previously.

Note also that since the frame rests of the upper box rests directly on the frame ears of the lower box (i.e. with no bees space between the frame ears and the box above it), I would have had to come up with a solution to prevent the bees from sticking the frames to the upper box anyway.  My idea was to place two 100 mm wide strips of plastic foil (one on top of the other) over each row of frame ears where they would be in contact with the box above them (indicated in red in the image).  This would enable me to stick the hive tool between the two strips and easily separate the hive boxes without having to cut them loose.



By "plastic foil" I mean the stuff you make restaurant table cloths from.  We also use that foil between the top box and the hive cover to prevent the bees from sticking frames to the cover board.

Samuel
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
1 hive, 1 year experience
BlueBee
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« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2014, 03:56:25 PM »

LOL, you do have a unique looking box. Smiley  I can’t say I’ve ever seen a hive with milk jug cladding.  Where are the handles?

I was originally concerned about the surface hardness of my painted polystyrene hives too, but it really hasn’t been a major problem for me.  The extruded polystyrene has a more consistent surface which becomes modestly hard with a couple layers of latex paint.  If you go with an oil based enamel, the surface hardness also goes up. 

Does this look familiar to your designs?



Bottom brood box is jumbo sized made from extruded polystyrene with just paint on the surface.  Top supers are wood.
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2014, 04:48:56 PM »

Where are the handles?


I haven't gotten that far -- I initially assumed that I would not be able to add handles, due to the weak strength of the wall material.  One solution for handles may be to use rope that goes into re-enforced holes.  It would be best if the ropes go through the entire hive, so that the hive walls are squeezed towards each other when you pick up the box.  If the ropes only go through the one wall, when you pick up the box, it will have the effect of pulling the walls away from each other.

In a previous version of this box (which existed only on paper), each styrofoam box had a 1 cm thick wooden shim underneath it that stuck out about 5 mm from the side of the hive, and it would have been possible to pick up the boxes by grabbing the shim as if it was a handle.  I may still do a version that uses the shim.

Quote
I was originally concerned about the surface hardness of my painted polystyrene hives too... a more consistent surface which becomes modestly hard with a couple layers of latex paint. 


I had the same experience with my one poly nuc box -- paint hardens the surface:



Samuel
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
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BlueBee
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« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2014, 05:01:35 PM »

With regards to your plastic gaskets between the boxes; that might work.  However I would have a couple of concerns.  First it can get pretty windy where I live.  A strong wind might be able to shift boxes with plastic gaskets.  A bigger concern would be animals pushing on the upper boxes and pushing them off if they are too slippery.

I can’t say I’ve tried your idea of plastic gaskets yet, but it might be worth experimenting with.  applause
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ugcheleuce
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« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2014, 06:07:57 PM »

It can get pretty windy where I live.  A strong wind might be able to shift boxes with plastic gaskets.  A bigger concern would be animals pushing on the upper boxes and pushing them off if they are too slippery.

Fortunately my hives are all placed in bee stalls (bee club covered apiaries), and if worst comes to worst, I can use tarp tie-downs to secure the hive.
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Samuel Murray, Ugchelen, Netherlands
1 hive, 1 year experience
RayMarler
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« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2014, 04:06:42 AM »

The Duct tape I've used is not as long lasting or waterproof as the Duck tape I mentioned. I don't know about who makes what under who's name. Duct tape is for taping up ducting work, which is normally indoors or covered inside a building or attic. Duck tape is more of a rubberised or plastic type tape with much stronger waterproof glue on it than the duct tape I'm familiar with. Perhaps it's all in a name or manufacturer or distributor. All I can say is I do not use duct tape any more. I'm sorry for any confusion or concern I may have caused by posting about my duck tape.
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Sitting in the shade, drinking lemon aid.
Enjoying the breeze while counting the bees.
BlueBee
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« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2014, 10:39:41 AM »

You shouldn’t use cloth based “duct tape” for actually sealing HVAC ducts; it’s not designed for that purpose.  You should use foil backed tape or mastic.

The cloth stuff doesn't hold up over time and doesn't normally have the UL listing against flammability.
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