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Thread: Poly smiths/ national mix

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    Default Poly smiths/ national mix

    Seems MM has sold the last of his poly Smiths, does anyone know if I can simply adapt the standard national. Assuming the ID and OD are the same is it simply a cut on the frame shoulder to allow the top bee space. If anyone has a picture of the top section please

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    So is that poly smith hive now totally discontinued?

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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    So is that poly smith hive now totally discontinued?
    I suppose it may be worth asking Swienty when they open again in a week. However they seem to have changed over to their new design of National and left behind the Smith and the old National both of which were linked with MM and bore the Denrosa name.

    I have a couple of Smiths (by mistake! Amongst a batch of Nationals I got from Murray) and they are identical to the Nationals (old style) other than the narrower (for the short lugs) and deeper (for top bee space) cut-out. Not that they're actually cut-out, looks like the mould is that shape.

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Sounds like another reason to think twice before committing to poly gear.

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    The longer I have with both poly and wooden hives the less convinced I am of the advantages of one over the other. Poly is handy and convenient for nucs. It may even have some advantages in heat retention for nuc sized colonies. But I'm not seeing much of a difference either in buildup or overwintering in full sized colonies although admittedly my personal sample size isn't a large one. So much so that I've been thinking I might just start buying cedar hives again. For nucs I'll still buy poly if for no other reason than cost.

    On another but related note did I imagine an email a while back from Mann Lake saying they were going to be stocking National hives? Can't find any trace of it in my email and not seeing them on the Mann Lake site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drumgerry View Post
    The longer I have with both poly and wooden hives the less convinced I am of the advantages of one over the other. Poly is handy and convenient for nucs. It may even have some advantages in heat retention for nuc sized colonies. But I'm not seeing much of a difference either in buildup or overwintering in full sized colonies although admittedly my personal sample size isn't a large one. So much so that I've been thinking I might just start buying cedar hives again. For nucs I'll still buy poly if for no other reason than cost.

    On another but related note did I imagine an email a while back from Mann Lake saying they were going to be stocking National hives? Can't find any trace of it in my email and not seeing them on the Mann Lake site.
    On the Poly vs wood comparison, I have just removed my varroa boards after counting mite drops (minimal in 1 week but a different issue).

    To judge from the volume of cappings on the boards , the largest colony which is in a poly Lang used far less (50%?) honey than each of the two wooden Langs...Seems to confirm the claims of less honey usage due to being warmer/less heat loss.

    Temperatures ranged from 9C to 2C for the first half of the week, and 2C to -3.8C for the latter.

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    Similarly I only have a dozen hives and it's difficult to draw conclusions cedar against poly, poly does seem to help the nucs and working from that principal I think it may help when scaled up. I also find they will have brood In early spring hard up against the side wall in the poly but more central in cedar.
    I don't have damp in the poly with OMF, where damp was always an issue in cedar.
    I've too much smiths kit to change over and I still think langstroth are too big for general use in the west, so I'll be reaching for the kingspan to adapt the cedar smiths

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    Having operated on a modestly large scale, some 80 odd boxes roughly 50 wooden of various types and Langstroth Poly and home made poly Smiths my experience is that bees just do better in poly. I suspect MM would agree with that as no commercial person makes decisions on the basis of hobby horses unlike the amateurs. Or at least not if they intend staying in business.

    Bees just love the warmth of them. I can't discuss your swarms but the ones I collect around here promptly begin on the face of the foundation next to a wall. Warmest place for them to produce the wax.

    PH

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    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Not so much a case of whether bees do better in them or not, what would concern me is that you only need a manufacturer to stop making a certain type, or to significantly change the design and all of a sudden you're left cobbling together 'fits' with other boxes. I believe that was often presented as one of the prime reasons not to buy into the Paradise boxes being sold by Modern Beekeeping.

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    Does that logic not apply to any hive?

    Personally I have made many poly boxes do what I want in terms of modding and the same of course with timber ones. When the only poly available was Langstroth, this is 1988 I made them take "smith" by way of some glue and a table saw. 13 frames btw and they worked pretty well, though not as good I have to say as when used as Langstroths. There is always a reason not to do something eh? And the bees DO do better in poly. But you have to try it to find that out for your self.

    PH

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