Welcome to the launch of our new Polystyrene BS National hives. We decided, after trialing Langstroth polystyrene hives, that we wanted to convert entirely over to polystyrene. The hives are better for overwintering and the bees kicked off in some cases up to 3 weeks before the wooden hives in the spring, then continued foraging much later into the cooler autumn, even after strong frosts. We originally planed to launch our own design of hive but finances have not alwoed so we have teemed up with the lovley people at Modern Beekeeping to supplie hives to you our valued costomers.
Our hives are made of super high density, polystyrene at 100kg per m3. This material is 4 to 5 times more thermally efficient than traditional wooden hives. Our supers are about 1/3 of the weight of a wooden super and have handholds on all 4 sides, meaning much more efficient handling is possible. This was designed to make beekeeping easier for those who may have back or shoulder problems, like my mother and myself. We are running several hundred hives at present and can find lifting heavy supers hard work.
Cleaning is not a problem - our hives will stand up to sensible scraping with a hive tool. For general cleaning we recommend using hot soapy water with the addition of soda crystals and a weak solution of Jeyes fluid as a disinfectant. Discussions with FERA have suggested that, if the worst should happen and you are unlucky enough to have a colony contract EFB or AFB, then a strong bleach will sterilise and destroy the bacteria responsible. This is possible as bacteria cannot penetrate deep into the super dense polystyrene, in contrast to the porous surfaces of natural timber.