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Author Topic: Poly Nucs/Upper Entrance  (Read 979 times)
Bush_84
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« on: January 02, 2014, 12:56:49 PM »

So when things warm up I plan on making some poly nucs as my next project.  I don't plan on changing to poly hives for my full size hives, but I think it'd work great for nucs.  I plan on using this stuff for construction.

http://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/insulation/panels/2-foil-faced-insulation-panel/p-1356991-c-5779.htm

Double faced foil.  I will use foil tape to cover the rest of the uncovered surfaces.  This way I won't have to worry about chewing or uv exposure or even painting.  My main questions are about venting these things and entrances. 

First I want to touch on entrances.  I know there are various things you can do.  Upper entrance, lower entrance, or holes drilled in the body.  I am hoping that maybe there's an entrance that will cure my venting concerns.  I have a few wooden nucs and two have a small lower entrance and two have a 7/8" hole drilled in the just above the center of the nuc.  Will a drilled entrance provide enough ventilation for winter?  Anybody use an upper entrance for nucs?

Ventilation is related to the entrance, but what does everybody think about venting with lower entrances?  I read Dave Cushman's site and it says that they won't need any ventilation.  I am pretty sure finski uses some sort of vent.  Better to use a small upper entrance or some sort of screened floor?  A full screened floor seems a bit drastic, but what about doing some screened holes in the floor?  I think some just drill holes in the upper part of the hive body, but I am hesitant to do that.

One last thing and it's about ekes.  I run these ekes in my hives that allow for an upper entrance and as a spot to place dry sugar for winter feeding.  It basically has a 7/8" hole drilled in the front.  A short ways behind the hole I put a piece of wood across which functions as a partition that keeps the entrance clear of sugar.  Behind this bar I can fit around 10 lbs of dry sugar.  My question about this is can I use my wooden ekes on my poly nucs or does this defeat the purpose of a poly nuc.  I could easily make a few for these ply nucs, but I already have some made up.  Also could this serve as the sole entrance in the winter and provide enough ventilation? 

Thanks for the insight all! 
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S.M.N.Bee
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2014, 12:53:23 PM »

Bush

You may want to try the pink or blue polystyrene instead of the foil face. Regular polystyrene is much tougher and is easer to mill using a table saw. Foil face dents and crumbles easily and the dust produced when cutting it is nasty. I use a pizza cutter to cut it whenever possible.

I have never made nuc's from it so can not comment on it.

John       
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Bush_84
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 08:24:45 PM »

Bush

You may want to try the pink or blue polystyrene instead of the foil face. Regular polystyrene is much tougher and is easer to mill using a table saw. Foil face dents and crumbles easily and the dust produced when cutting it is nasty. I use a pizza cutter to cut it whenever possible.

I have never made nuc's from it so can not comment on it.

John       

Dang....so is it better to cut the stuff with my table saw or find a way with the pizza cutter?  I have a table saw so I can easily use that if it works. 

What about solely using an upper entrance with my modified imrie shim of sorts.  I should take a picture of one if I have an unused one. 
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derekm
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 01:03:13 PM »

Bush

You may want to try the pink or blue polystyrene instead of the foil face. Regular polystyrene is much tougher and is easer to mill using a table saw. Foil face dents and crumbles easily and the dust produced when cutting it is nasty. I use a pizza cutter to cut it whenever possible.

I have never made nuc's from it so can not comment on it.

John      

i make hives and nuc from FOIL face PIR and have done so for the last two years.  Get a high compressive strength brand of PIR foil face. Use the 50mm 2" thickness/
This cuts easily with the table saw router etc.  Glue together with a grab glue using bamboo BBQ sticks to hold it until the glue sets. ally foil tape all cut edges. have a search around www.beekeepingforum.co.uk to see my work.

DONT USE AN UPPER ENTRANCE if you want to keep the heat in. just make a floor that will let any condensation run out.  There shouldnt be much
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 01:50:35 PM by derekm » Logged

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Eikel
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 04:30:16 PM »

 Personally, I try not to use the table saw to cut any plastics or foam products. The "saw dust" seems to go everywhere and with all the static, it sticks to everything. If the pizza cutter works well I'd go with it.
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 05:32:47 PM »

Without turning this thread into a ventilation debate, I'll just say my poly nucs have a lower entrance hole and a drain hole in the corner.    If you use the blue or pink insulation board, you need to create a barrier between it and the bees, otherwise they will chew it up.
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derekm
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 06:09:24 PM »

Personally, I try not to use the table saw to cut any plastics or foam products. The "saw dust" seems to go everywhere and with all the static, it sticks to everything. If the pizza cutter works well I'd go with it.
I use dust extraction I have built in to the table saw
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Bush_84
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 07:50:23 PM »

Well I have a couple of votes for lower entrance only.  Great sounds like a plan.  I can do that.  Maybe I'll test the cookie cutter on some scrap stuff in the garage.  My local place only sells the regular stuff without the foil.  So that works for me.

 I was reading about derekms hives on that other site and you use a polyester resin on the outside correct?  Anybody else use this stuff before and does is have a common name in the US?  Can I find that at a menards type place?  Is that for the outside only or can I put that on the inside as well? 
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derekm
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 07:07:59 AM »

Well I have a couple of votes for lower entrance only.  Great sounds like a plan.  I can do that.  Maybe I'll test the cookie cutter on some scrap stuff in the garage.  My local place only sells the regular stuff without the foil.  So that works for me.

 I was reading about derekms hives on that other site and you use a polyester resin on the outside correct?  Anybody else use this stuff before and does is have a common name in the US?  Can I find that at a menards type place?  Is that for the outside only or can I put that on the inside as well?  

That was only  the first  protoptypes .. now  moved to grab glue, foil tape, correx for gaskets , aluminium sheet for corner protection and for rail/  & rail rabate protection.
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merince
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 10:04:40 AM »

I think you should be fine with just a lower entrance - this past year, I have found out that nucs do better with a smaller entrance than conventional sized hives. Also, make sure you reinforce/protect the corners and the frame rests as that stuff cracks very easy.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2014, 06:44:09 PM »

I just paint my foam nucs with a latex primer and then a latex top coat.  Enamel top coat gives a little tougher shell if you want.  

I was at Menards the other day getting some supplies for another project when I stumbled across a Styrofoam coating product they’re selling.  
http://www.styro.net/FoundationandICFCoatings.html

This is typically used over foam that is put on exposed cement foundation to give it a more finished look and to protect the foam.  They had some small samples at Menards showing the “paint” concoction to be about 1/16” thick and flexible.  It looked like pretty cool stuff and tough, you might check it out.  Menard’s carries stock in white and gray.  I didn’t buy any because my regular latex finish has been adequate for my needs so far.  I think it was about $40 per 2 gallon bucket.  

The flexcoat stuff would probably be easier, lower coat, and quicker than a fiberglass coating.  I believe you would have to use epoxy resin for polystyrene and that gets expensive.  I would also avoid AL where possible since it is a good thermal conductor (look at your CPUs cooling fan!) and will short circuit your foam insulation.  Same thing with corroplast, if done poorly, air infiltration will short circuit your foam.  
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derekm
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 04:07:57 AM »

I just paint my foam nucs with a latex primer and then a latex top coat.  Enamel top coat gives a little tougher shell if you want.  

I was at Menards the other day getting some supplies for another project when I stumbled across a Styrofoam coating product they’re selling.  
http://www.styro.net/FoundationandICFCoatings.html

This is typically used over foam that is put on exposed cement foundation to give it a more finished look and to protect the foam.  They had some small samples at Menards showing the “paint” concoction to be about 1/16” thick and flexible.  It looked like pretty cool stuff and tough, you might check it out.  Menard’s carries stock in white and gray.  I didn’t buy any because my regular latex finish has been adequate for my needs so far.  I think it was about $40 per 2 gallon bucket.  

The flexcoat stuff would probably be easier, lower coat, and quicker than a fiberglass coating.  I believe you would have to use epoxy resin for polystyrene and that gets expensive.  I would also avoid AL where possible since it is a good thermal conductor (look at your CPUs cooling fan!) and will short circuit your foam insulation.  Same thing with corroplast, if done poorly, air infiltration will short circuit your foam.  


how is ally that is either totally inside or outside  the insulating envelope going to conduct heat though the insulation.?
its there to lend protection from external knocks and internally from hive tools and bees on the cut edges as an integral frame rail and REBATE protection.
how is 2mm corroplast with the cells running parallel to the outside going to conduct heat?
its there to provide an insulating protective gasket.
the foil surface on PIR products here doesnt need any external painting at least for the first two years.

this approach works its level of insulation has been scientifically measured as an assembled item.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2014, 04:32:20 AM »

I shouldn’t even waste my time replying to this.  My advice is not to compromise the MATING surfaces with a thermal bridge or an air infiltration bridge; derekm knows that but is just trying to be argumentative for some reason.  Kind why I don’t even comment about poly hives much anymore. Sad 

Do what you want, I don't care.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2014, 09:03:15 PM »

Maybe directing this back to productive lol, anybody use heat in poly hives?  I am using heat tape on my nucs.  Would heat tape harm the poly hives?
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derekm
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 09:21:19 AM »

Maybe directing this back to productive lol, anybody use heat in poly hives?  I am using heat tape on my nucs.  Would heat tape harm the poly hives?

if you keep the hot surfaces off the plastic. it should be ok. It does depend on the foam. PIR foams are good to 150C (that surprised me as well) polystyrene foams are limited to around 80C.
With sufficient insulation (75mm plus for Polystyrene) and good sealing  it shouldnt be necessary.

Me and Bluebee mis-communicated, He's right, be careful of heat bridges, When thermal testing a wooden hive, it was quite interesting how warm the metal screws get as they leak heat from close to the internal surface to the outside.

 And of course hot air leaks, it only takes a tiny hole to lose several degrees in the hive.

Attention to detail is needed in constructing insulated hives inorder not to lose all the winnings.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Bush_84
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2014, 07:10:18 PM »

I am really excited about making these.  I sincerely believe that wintering nucs is going to be my insurance policy against winter losses.  If I can winter poly nucs in a sheltered spot or in a shed I am wondering if I will get better winter survivability compared to my full hives.  It is so much easier to double the storage of a nuc with dry sugar or candy compared to a full sized hive.  My plan is to build them up strong enough to two stories and put around 10 lbs of sugar overhead.  Should hopefully be enough. 
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jayj200
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 09:26:37 PM »


too many posts and videos about wet bees. try this or not. BUT TRY SOME THING. NOW!


bottom vents are not enough heat rises with heat moisture then as it cools (just as in our world rain falls from the sky) smaller holes just big enough for the GIRLS. moisture will whisk out as in chimney smoke.
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Bush_84
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« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2014, 07:19:48 PM »

http://www.michiganbees.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Styrofoam_Nuc_20100813.pdf

Sorry to grave dig a bit, but Has anybody seen these plans?  Are these entrances to big?  I am thinking of doing these in 5 frame deeps.  I can always put a few small strips in front to reduce the entrance.

Edit-FYI not going to use screws to assemble.  Will just use glue and clamps.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 08:22:52 PM by Bush_84 » Logged

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