My Polystyrene Hive has Arrived
I took delivery of my second hive today, the poly hive, it’s surprisingly heavy, weighing only slightly less then the Cedar one which was delivered yesterday. This one was also sent as a complete package including the mesh floor, brood body, 3 supers a rather huge eke and the roof, in addition a full set of frames and foundation were included and I also ordered a queen marking cage, again, I didn’t want to end up buying a 99p product later, which costs me another £2 for postage, so I go it included in here.
So having opened the box up, my dining room is now full of what looks like the packing which a stereo would have come in. Apparently you don’t have to paint the specific type of hive which I’ve bought, but I think a brand new bright white poly hive in a field may draw attention, so I’ve already decided to paint it.
It does look incredibly easy to assemble as the joints just need to be glued and slotted together. I really hope I’ve made the right decision in buying a polystyrene one, as it worked out £50 more then the Thornes Cedar one, but it did include an extra super and an eke, it must be about 4 times thicker than wood and does feel pretty solid, though I can sink a fingernail into it, but perhaps a good thick coat of masonry paint will cure that. It all really comes back to the whole insulation properties though, that’s why I bought it, to see if the bees fare any better through the winter in a poly hive as opposed to a traditional wooden one, only another six months before I can answer that!
So far it all looks pretty solid so I’m happy. I must admit I really don’t understand what the eke is for, it’s about the same depth as a super, but it doesn’t have the ability to hag frames inside it, in my mind, I may just as well have had an extra super which I could also use as an eke if I wanted to. I’m sure they have their reasons for doing it this way and perhaps I will realise what this is at some point during it’s use.
The floor looks good though, it seems well designed with it’s integral landing board which is sunken into the floor, so when the brood box sits on top, it actually shelters the landing area, so I can see it easily and the bees have their own sheltered porch at the entrance of the hive. There’s also a flat pit of polystyrene in there, this, i think, is the entrance reducer and will slide into the slot which you can see either side of the entrance, I’ll have a play around with that once it’s all assembled.
The roof seems well designed too, it slopes like a WBC so the rain will run off, but it also has supports on it, so it will sit flat on the ground like a standard flat roof when taking them apart for manipulations, I didn’t take a picture but I will undoubtedly add some once it’s up and running and inhabited by a colony of honeybees.
Incidentally this is a British National Hive, I’m planning to keep all my kit to this standard size, for no better reason than that’s what everyone else round here does. That being said, everyone round here uses Cedar hives and I asked their opinion of poly hives and although nobody had actually used one themselves, they pretty much all has an opinion on them, usually negat6ive, but I took no notice and bought one anyway, I so hope it works out to be a good decision. It would be fantastic if this proved to be the noticeably stronger colony next year.