Dense polystyrene hives are good at insulating so I have heard. My polystyrene insulated roofs hardly get any condensation…at least I haven’t seen much at all when I open them as I need to in the cold of spring. I haven’t opened them for months.
But I wonder if they have issues with dampness? I’ve never liked the idea of plastic or polystyrene hives. the poly ones need to be painted! Yuck. If I can’t wax dip it: fuggetaboutit.
one thing: we had a talk from a commercial beek in Adelaide at our bee society- he started out using poly hives- and then found he didn’t like them and had lots of problems so now is converting all his hives over to wood which he swears by.
Yeah, I prefer wood too… so my bees have to work a bit harder to keep the hive warm.
If they are anything like my insulated roofs, I doubt they are damp because of the virtually non existent dew point.
I just read about a little on the subject and apparently most Poly hives have mesh floors and the consensus is to leave the cover out all year around. If this is done supposedly there is no damp issue, no need for upper ventilation. The whole theory of insulated roofs and screen floors seems liek a good way to manage bees. No condensation as the roof is the warmest place and cool dry air is drawn in through the bottom mesh all year around. the air moves constantly but the heat is mostly trapped.
I’ll now have to test what is better: a hevily insulated roof, with no upper ventilation but an open floor- or a ventilated quilt box lid, with a solid bottom
then with solar heater- and without!
the fun thing about keeping bees is you can certainly tinker around the edges and there is no absolute ‘best’ way to do anything. Certainly a perfect hobby for any obsessive tinkerer.
There are so many wildly varied opinions on what should be a settled subject. I find this lack of a settled scientific position so enigmatic.
Jack, The better insulated a hive is, the less honey a colony will use to maintain the hive temp. You don’t need any extra ventilation, all a colony needs is an adequate entrance & the bees will do the rest. I believe that the whole hive, including the floor should be insulated.
What poison did you use to kill the colony? Is there a danger that robbing out (or savenging) of the dead colony by other bees would bring the poison back to their own hives?
Hi Jim, I used an over the counter cockroach bomb. There’s not much danger of that because bees wont enter the cavity with those fumes in there. The other option for the homeowner, apart from living with the bees inside his wall cavity is a pest man.