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Thread: Poly hive musings.

  1. #11
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    Castellations are good for one thing... turning upside down and using as emergency frame runners.

    Given the choice between burning evangelical, "natural", beekeepers or castellated spacers at the stake I'll take the latter every time

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    'twas the castellations of course. Swienty equipment is lovely, in the main. A few issues with bottom space boxes (Nationals) and top space feeders and roofs, but it is well-made and well-designed stuff.

    Thornes went over to castellated spacers for a year or two as standard with their supers, and I really dislike them. If you can't slide frames along to space them out or to lift one, or squash them up, it is useless in my eyes.

    I have a Paynes nuc which had the frame rests painted with varnish but I hadn't got around to the masonry paint over the rest of it. The bees were chewing the edge of the rim around the frame area. Maybe they could see light along the crack - but it looks like I need to paint varnish over more of it.

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    Eh? Was it the mention of Sweinty or the castellations?
    A castellations shill comes out of the woodwork. Wonder if that is lucrative.

  4. #14
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    In what now seems like 'another life' I was lumbered (for the best part of a season) with looking after a gang of langstroth footprint hives which were fitted out to take 13 Smith frames complete with home made quarter inch ply castellations. How I miss those boxes!

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    Don't you lot in the north feed your bees??.I've been using Paynes polyneucs for two seasons now with not so much as a chew.Same question to our friend in Brissle.I've used the M.B. hives for two seasons now and, having made some crown boards to allow me to adapt to the use of woodern supers I've had no trouble.I certainly haven't had trouble with stuck frame ends.Also painting - this is a one off and doesn't need re-doing.I've also used Swienty hives - theyre o.k. but very basic i.e. have to paint them and varnish the frame recesses and, whilst having a varroa floor, there is no provision for putting a correx board under to check for mite drop.Again I had to mod the floors by cutting away the back base and adding two strips of wood along the insides to take the boards.It seems all existing polyhives have their plusses and minuses and fall behind wooden hives with regard to interchangeability of components from one to the other.My bees certainly overwintered better in the polyhives and neucs.Like all new things ,it takes time and practice to get used to them after which you wonder what all the fuss was about.When I started with the M.B. hives I very nearly dumped the lot back on M.B. because of the incompatability with the woodern nationals. As a result I bought a set of the Swienty hives which I've used for a season side-by-side with M.B.hives.I found these a bit too basic and have made the decision to stick with the M.B.hives which I now find much easier to operate as I get used to the system and added the parts to produce interchangeability with my wood hives..Each to his own I suppose.
    Last edited by GRIZZLY; 04-08-2012 at 10:06 AM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    For the same reasons as Fatshark, my MB hive will be out of action in a few weeks. The spacings are just wrong as you can't slide the frames along and bees get squashed - the runners are designed to do this when you put a frame back in. I'm not too keen on the overhang box to box - it's difficult to get them apart. A standard q excluder doesn't fit. The plastic crown-board droops down (top bee space). I've mentioned before that there isn't a bee space between two brood boxes so my top box has a strip of wood on top of the plastic runner to give me the right space and less bees get squashed.



    Strip of wood inserted and thre arrow shows there is NO gap at the end of the top bars.

    I can see advantages of a top bee space. However you can't put a super down easily so I think out of choice - if I started again, I would still chose a bottom bee space design.

    The Paynes Nats do have runners and you can either use those which are supplied or drop in a castellated spacer in the slot in a super, so it's well thought out in that regard. Mine are painted on the outside. I've done nothing on the inside and there's been no chewing. A galvanized queen excluder doesn't show up at all; otherwise anything else will be seen as a gap in the poly. The poly IS too soft and with propolis at this time of year, getting them apart is liable to cause damage to them. As I've lost my hive tool and I'm using a chisel as a makeshift one, great care is needed.
    The thicker wall of a poly does mean that more bees get squashed.
    My main complaint of the Paynes hive is that there are no hand-holds. Lifting 2 supers off is fine with a National - the design is better than a wooden Langstroth in this respect in that there's the whole width of the hive to grip rather than a little slot - the Paynes one is not so good.
    The bees have done well in them. 18 frames of brood is a daft amount. 10 on the top floor and 8 below. I don't have too much of a problem with the plastic crown board - well it's better than nothing and doesn't cause a problem for the bees. They need to be well smoked and all the frames clear of wax so it goes down flat. It's still not as good as one with a bee space under it.

    My plan is to see how things go with the Paynes Nat for another year. Then decide.
    Last edited by Adam; 04-08-2012 at 10:34 AM.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    For polynucs, see the gallery of the BBKA site (Adam's Album) for a photo of a hacked about one that is now an 8-framer.

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    The bees have done well in them. 18 frames of brood is a daft amount. 10 on the top floor and 8 below.
    Hi Adam, has there been a corresponding increase in honey compared to your wooden hives? Elsewhere I've read about poly hives giving a 20%/30% increase in harvest, have you found this to be the case too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    For polynucs, see the gallery of the BBKA site (Adam's Album) for a photo of a hacked about one that is now an 8-framer.
    Adam's album is here:

    http://www.bbka.org.uk/gallery/view_images.php?album=4

    And here is his image of the modified Paynes polynuc:



    I see that the BBKA are claiming copyright! Oh well, the image above is coming straight off their site. Hope that you agreed to transfer all rights to them Adam.

    I like the modification. A removable frame feeder in an 8-frame box would be a good combination.

    Grizzly: No! I hardly feed mine. Only when they are desperate.

    G.

  10. #20
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    I recon Adams' mod to the polyneuc is a good idea.When I first saw these neucs I thought "what a good idea to have a built in feeder" but,in practice, the bees fill the feeder with wild comb which is hard to remove without damage.I am going to do the same mod to mine and use a separate frame feeder.Also mod the entrance to give a better lead-in to the bees with a small landing platform.I also got the lec from Paynes which converts the box to 14 x 12 size.Not to use as a converter but as a sort of shallow super to allow candy to be put on top of the frames and allow the lid to seat snugly.Works well.
    Gavin is your "only feed when they're desperate" policy Scottish thrift ? or some secret measure bees to make them more self-sufficient and independent.

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