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Thread: Poly hive queen excluders and varroa floors

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    Default Poly hive queen excluders and varroa floors

    I have been using a couple of poly hives for two years with a view to replacing my cedar nationals. Overall I have been very satisfied. But I have now replaced the flat plastic Qx (due to propolis and bee squashing) with ordinary wood-rimmed metal excluders with a bee-space. Thinking also that poly mesh floors are hardly needed (small mesh area, vape singe and snug-fitting varroa trays. Also minor rain leakage between boxes (vaseline is a faff). Has anyone else started to hybridise parts - or bought just poly boxes roofs?

  2. #2

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    It depends on which poly-hive you use. Mix and match with P%4f&s or Mo£$&5 Bee££$%(Ig types will cause issues. The Swie$%y Nationals are compatible with wood, Snelgrove boards, heavy roofs at the heather etc.

  3. #3
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    I do ... custom (badly) built floors, Swienty broods, DIY-(badly, again)-wooden-framed QE's and any type of super I can lay my hands on (other than Mo£$&5 Bee££$% which I suspect is Modern Beekeeping (has FD been drinking?), as they have the dreaded bee-slaughtering 'lip'). badly-built wood and perspex crownboards, or a sheet of plastic, a lump of Kingspan and a roof (either 'standard') or Correx.

    I don't use vaseline for anything.

    I've just invested in a load of Abelo poly hives and now have the problem of vaporising them ... My vaporiser is one of the 'active' Sublimox models. I don't fancy doing this through the entrance or the mesh as there's a greater than even chance of me melting big holes in the poly. Instead I'm going to lift the brood box the day before, slip in shallow eke and treat through a hole in the side of that.

    Swienty and Abelo appear truly compatible with cedar ... though there might be some issues wth stacked Swienty broods (they don't have a rebate in the bottom edge for frame lugs).

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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post

    My vaporiser is one of the 'active' Sublimox models. I don't fancy doing this through the entrance or the mesh as there's a greater than even chance of me melting big holes in the poly. Instead I'm going to lift the brood box the day before, slip in shallow eke and treat through a hole in the side of that.
    Why not use an eke on top of the brood box? Easier to install and remove surely. I was hoping to use a couple of ekes above brood boxes to treat apiaries with ~10 hives. The plan was to treat the 1st hive, then prepare and treat the 2nd hive for treatment whilst the OA vapour settles in the 1st and then move onto the 3rd etc.
    Is the delivery of OA vapour significantly poorer from above than it is from below?

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    In fairness, not tried properly ... I will.
    Most of my colonies have perspex crownboards. If I deliver at the base of the brood box and see billowing clouds through the crownboard I know it's being distributed well. More difficult to test the other way round.
    I usually leave the vaporiser hanging out by the spout as I prepare the next hive in the row. The weight of the brood box holds things together. I'd have to find a solution to this with the eke on top. Not insurmountable though ...

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    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I was an early experimenter with poly hives. The Paynes one can sit on a National floor but in order to use a National roof you need to put a wooden super on the top first. I have sold my Paynes hive now. Good design in some parts, poor in others (too soft, no handles, that HUGE floor). My MB / Paradise hive is now only used as an overwintering hive. I have two brood boxes and when used separately one fits on a National floor with a WBC eke in between (!) I have made a plywood crown board with ahole so I can use a feeder. (Not particularly inventive but the manufacturers failed to supply one!). I have a slightly over-sized ply and celotex roof that works on a wooden National too. The bee-slaughter strip for the top bars to fit on is simply stupid I assume that it was actually designed for this hive ? and there are bee space issues with the design. I will probably flog mine at some point. I am not doing a very good selling job for it am I?
    I am wary of spending money on more polyhives unless I can see them for myself first so apart from the initial purchases I have spent nothing more on the poly's. (And I don't like the floppy plastic crown boards. They are not good to clean and as they flop onto the top bars it means that there is no bee space (propolis ahoy!).
    At the association auction this year an Abello hive didn't even get a bid!

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    The Paradise hives (what a misnomer) make perfectly good bait hives. That's all I use mine for these days. I bought 2 complete hives each with two supers. This gives me four bait hives, using two stacked supers. I botched floors and roofs from Correx. I threw the QE away in disgust.

    I'd feel really guilty selling them on to an unsuspecting new beekeeper ... especially now there's no QE

    I wonder why the Abelo didn't get a bid? The poly seems nice and dense. They're ready painted and the interface between boxes is well protected. Other than the silly number of inserts, ventilation plugs etc., they looked OK. I'll reserve judgement until next season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    At the association auction this year an Abello hive didn't even get a bid!
    Why no interest in Abelo? I have tried the Paynes/Swienty hives and still have them, but I favour the Abelo (dense, National friendly, deep roof, hard plastic top/bottom to boxes).

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    I had an Abelo Langstroth some years ago which I ended up giving away. Over four seasons with two different colonies the bees failed to thrive and certainly didn't get strong enough to need supering. I have no idea why but the material felt very different to the poly I am used to. That might be your answer.

    PH

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I have (or had) an assortment of poly Nationals, and prefer Abelo best of all. It has no management problems as a result of poorly thought-out bee spaces as in the new Swienty Nationals. The poly is denser than the 100g/l of Swienty. Abelo has not been able to tell me whether it is, as a consequence, less insulating - but I haven't seen any difference in how the bees thrive between Abelo or Swienty.
    Kitta

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