Plastic queen excluders... false economy- ditch them

@Zzz maybe they’re trying to give me a breather to check the bees and have a coffee :wink:

And hopefully, the thread has served its purpose now that Cedar is giving this idea his attention :slight_smile:

It’s gently drizzling here, just lovely…


I would be glad with that outcome Freebee, even if it is unlikely I’ll have space for more Flow hives.

Apart from the negatives we mentioned, it is probably the waste and short service life that annoys me most. I grew up in a low income family, and no waste was ever acceptable, and I still have that in my blood.


Sorry @Zzz, your right. I was able to switch threads while typing. Don’t you love technology?

Hi @Freebee2, enjoy your coffee :slight_smile: cheers.

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I grew up in a low income family, and no waste was ever acceptable, and I still have that in my blood.

@Zzz ditto :slight_smile:
It’s also very much part of our company ethos here (and obligation as a B Corp) so we definitely take this aspect of it very seriously

@Jeff certainly will, with a touch of honey of course :slight_smile:


I’m not surprised Sting, at my age I confuse myself most of the time too.

I have said my thoughts on the plastic QX. I see a real conflict with Flow saying they are concerned about the environment yet, in my case at least, would not supply a Flow Hive without the plastic QX even thou I said I would put it in my recycle bin if it was included, which they were.
I was brought up post WW2 in financially hard times and was taught not to buy something that wasn’t going to last.
For that reason alone when I decided to get another 4 hives into my apiary I did some research and made a choice that wasn’t a Flow Hive. I hope Cedar and Stu do more than think about this issue, I would have preferred to have bought Australian made… but couldn’t do it on their present terms.

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@Peter48 The hives are all packed up as complete units at our warehouses. Removing variables so we can ship in large batches is actually far more environmentally sustainable than offering tailored products for each customer.

As a personal favour to you though, I will drive down to the factory to remove the plastic excluder from the box next time you need a hive, if you wish, and send it from here as a one off. I’ll pop a little personal note in there for you and all :wink:

I do look forward to seeing a more permanent solution to your concerns.

As a certified B Corp, we have had to prove ourselves sustainable on hundreds of different points, it’s quite a rigorous testing process, so I’m quite proud of what we are achieving in that realm. Of course, there are always improvements that can be made and this is always part of our company focus.

It will be interesting to hear what you think of the polystyrene hives, I personally can’t stand polystyrene, bordering on phobic of it, but they’re meant to have good insulative qualities (not that we need that where I am).

Hmm… no. Unless you have a Tesla :slight_smile:

I’m with you there. Here in WA it is pretty much non recyclable. I doubt they will last as long as wooden ones, and I don’t think they can be fixed if broken. They do however offer great insulation properties.

My regret is I didn’t buy all my hive ware in cedar so I won’t have to paint them. Just oiling them is also environmentally friendlier than painting.

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I’m not sure how brutal you would have to a poly hive to need to repair it, I banged mine together with a plastic mallet after applying Araldite to the joint. But you could repair it with auto body filler, I had a poly Esky I got clumsy with.
I can advise the insulation quality is equivalent to a hoop pine hive if the box was almost 7" thick. I assembled and painted with 3 coats of acrylic paint inside and out as advised for UV protection. Below is a pic taken of a wooden hive taken at 4pm immediately before I transferred the bees into a poly hive with the same number of frames and the hive in the same position and taken at 4pm the next afternoon. Both days were the same temperature, 34C and overcast and humid. Notice the bearding under the landing board of the furthermost wooden hive and bee outside the entrance. The hive is in full sun till about 3:30 then in the shade of a shipping container. Pretty convincing I think, it must free up a lot more bees for foraging, I was suspicious of their claim that you could get a 30% increase in honey yield over a wooden hive, but I now think it is possible. Cheers


Hi Pete, did you just paint the insides of your new poly hives?

Polystyrene is not going to rot, and you only need protection on the outside from UV. Is there a reason why you painted inside?

My objection to painting the hives on the inside is that when you scrape off any burr comb, you can get paint that comes off with it.

I never paint the inside, and so far my oldest hive is 4 years old if not 5, and it’s still schmick.


Hey Peter48 - way off original topic I know .
Do you think it would work in the same way if you could build a ‘cover’ for wooden hives using discarded poly boxes? I’m fooling around with cutting and joining old fish boxes (atlantic salmon) to cover the existing boxes - obviously making allowances for openings etc. I’m pretty sure I remember using fibreglass on poly before to make joins etc but will have to try first. Perhaps you could just glue sections of poly to the outside of existing boxes?
Just a thought - as we have similar ideas about waste and re-use etc.

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Hi Olly, I don’t see paint coming off the inside of hives when I scrape burr comb to be a problem in the slightest. It filters out of the wax when I process it.

To be honest, I can’t recall ever seeing it happen. However I’m sure it does.


Hi Olly, I have painted inside and out as recommended by the manufactures of the hives. They don’t explain why that recommendation is made. Maybe bees will chew it inside the hive for some reason as has been suggested else where on the forum.
I have done a couple of inspections so far and for some reason the bees seem not to be making the bur comb on the painted polystyrene that they do on unpainted timber but it is early days yet.
As I remove wooden boxes, roofs and base boards when they are looking shabby I now paint the inside as I did many years ago to extend their lives. With my climate here with the heat and high rainfall mold on bare timber is an issue. I use my hive tool fairly flat and am ok with it if there is still some bur comb on the timber.
Cheers Olly

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I thought poly hives being softer, it might be more of a problem. But then, you really need to be very careful with the hive tool on those poly hives anyway.

No argue with that Pete. I do paint the insides of roofs and baseboards now, as I find that here that’s where they deteriorate first in my limited experience. My oldest hive I didn’t paint those parts on the inside and there is already visible signs of decay, even on cedar. The boxes themselves are fine though and have no intention to treat them further at this stage.

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If the paint is of reasonable quality and been and applied right and with enough coats it should be a tougher finish that just bare timber or polystyrene, that’s how I figure it anyhow. I agree if you go at a blunt angle it could well damage the surface painted or otherwise. A bit of care scraping off wax and it isn’t an issue.
I must say the poly hives are tougher than I expected. Paradise Hives say it is ‘high density polystyrene’ which is very ambiguous but it isn’t soft like an Esky which is soft and easy to bruise.
Cheers Olly

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Wow, you paint your hives with beer? Or you drink the beer and apply paint?

:rofl: :rofl: :crazy_face:


Thanks Dawn, I can’t wait to get my new glasses. I’ll have harsh words with my seeing eye dog for that goof-up. :shushing_face: :shushing_face:

Hi Pete, can you edit your post back please? I prefer it with beer!!!


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I normally read before I post and use the spell checker but that one went thru to the wicket keeper. :laughing: :laughing:
Another day of almost constant showers and a strong Southerly wind. 220mm of rain this week when normally the wet season is over. 6C drop in average maximum temp to 2 weeks ago.
Cheers Olly

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agree with the heading, plastic excluders have all failed my
Was about to remove a box out of a triple hive, and noticed the plastic has gone brittle
next warm day and that plastic excluder is being changed out

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I am a trade qualified painter and i agree with your assesment of the well painted being stronger than bare timber. Just depends if it’s prepared and primed properly ?
You can run finger nails over a painted surface and you won’t get any paint coming off, run your finger nails over a soft wood and you can easily dint or pull up some splinters .
Some acrylics are not suitable for potable water collection and I am not sure how they would be in a Bee hive ?
It’s not like the Bees place the honey onto the walls ?
It’s just something that maybe worth looking at when buying paint as the majority of Acrylic paints are Bio degradeable and non toxic.
It’s something I had to make people aware of when Painting their roof as they need to know for the future as most would say they weren’t going to collect the rain water, trouble is an Acrylic painted roof can last an easy 15 years if prepped properly.