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polystyrene nucs

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

 

Rinse them out with acetone first ?

What does that do ?

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18 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

What does that do ?

Dissolves then to a nice sticky soup!

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4 hours ago, kaihoka said:

What does that do ?

 

Someone may correct me, but I’m pretty sure acetone dissolves polystyrene. 

 

A modeling trick is to make a shape, glass over it, then dissolve out the polystyrene with acetone

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35 minutes ago, Josh said:

 

Someone may correct me, but I’m pretty sure acetone dissolves polystyrene. 

 

A modeling trick is to make a shape, glass over it, then dissolve out the polystyrene with acetone

Where do you buy bulk acetone .

So you then burn the sticky mess .

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13 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Where do you buy bulk acetone .

So you then burn the sticky mess .

 

It was more tongue in cheek. I think moving from our wood to synthetics is bad. And as you say, especially in the context of our AFB strategy 

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Petrol works too. Gloop.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

Petrol works too. Gloop.

 

Thats close to a napalm recipes. Smells like.... victory.

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Was there any progress in these polystyrene nucs or is it in the too hard basket?

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I'm interested to chat about this and to keep the topic rolling, but I'm not an expert and don't know the answer. I do know that I built nine 5 frame Nuc boxes when we started but that I rarely use them now as our losses are very small and our numbers are steady. I have only split into boxes of ten in last three years. Swarm collection has also focussed on boxes of 10.

 

Poly mini mating nuc's are typically made in polystyrene and from what I have seen are great and last ages. I'm fine with those. The ones around here come from Apiflora/Weenik I think, but I might have heard that wrongly.

However in contrast, the OP was for full depth 5 or 6 frame Nucs made in polystyrene. Based on the mini's I'm sure polystyrene can work, but personally, I would rather use wood for Nuc's and/or for full sized hives.

 

Once you have the tooling, then polystyrene might be warmer and cheaper,  but if you put a divider board in a full sized hive box, you can solve the problem without involving new gear; just making some subtle changes to normal gear. 

 

If you really want to use polystyrene then low density is cheap. If you shape blocks that take the space of 2 frames, inserting these into Lang boxes left and right, this leaves you with 6 frame space in the middle for your Nuc. Next spring remove poly blocks and insert extra frames -boom.

And you have easy access if you remove one foam block and need to insert a two frame feeder. 

 

The beequip technoset folding frames with four Nucs per box is another approach, so obviously plenty of people are interested in this area and taking products to market.

 

Overall making 5-6 frame nucs in high density polystyrene doesn't seem sensible to me and depending on your operation it could increase costs transferring colonies from one to the other compared to keeping them in the same box with packers or having colonies share boxes. Not to mention all the expense and hassle.

 

What is the counter argument in favour??

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Are you a touch typist Chris ?  

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1 minute ago, yesbut said:

Are you a touch typist Chris ?  

yup, soz, busted..

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I'd really like got get hold of a couple of hundred 6 frame polystyrene nucs ..... but am too cheap to go buy them new .... but I know for sure that I'd have a lot more success in taking replacement nucs through the winter.

 

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1 hour ago, ChrisM said:

Overall making 5-6 frame nucs in high density polystyrene doesn't seem sensible to me and depending on your operation it could increase costs transferring colonies from one to the other compared to keeping them in the same box with packers or having colonies share boxes. Not to mention all the expense and hassle.

 

The big advantage of 6 frame high density polystyrene is that they are easily made into 2 x 3 frame nucs.  (they come ready for this configuration.  The 3 frame NUCs survive winter easily and rapidly grow to make a full production colony in the spring.  I would never touch low density poly again.  A wasted money experiment.  

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There was an article in a the beekeeper mag a few years ago about a school up north running an experiment with expol. They used it to block out the sides of brood boxes to create nucs. They had to wrap the expol in tin foil to stop the bees eating it. It worked really well by the sounds of the article. 

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3 hours ago, nikki watts said:

There was an article in a the beekeeper mag a few years ago about a school up north running an experiment with expol. They used it to block out the sides of brood boxes to create nucs. They had to wrap the expol in tin foil to stop the bees eating it. It worked really well by the sounds of the article. 

There were also people using cut to size blocks of the underfloor styrene to reduce brood boxes to nuc size - I think most painted the styrene with water based paints so they did not remove it a pellet at a time in spring.

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I have not seen them remove whole pellets, but bees do turn expanded polystyrene into a fine dust if you use it as a float in a feeder; same issue/problem. 

The winterless north seems the last place that would need this, relatively speaking.

 

If you don't want them nibbling away the polystyrene another solution is to insert a piece of hardboard (the same as used for hive mats) so the bees don't have access past that. From a hobby perspective I'm not sure if it really matters if they do eat it, who cares? As a Nuc they are not generating a harvest and polystyrene is cheap.

 

I wonder why the bees eat polystyrene with such enthusiasm, it is hard to imagine it has any nutritional value, but there could be salts or residue from manufacture or maybe it could just taste nice.. Pringles anyone?

 

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5 hours ago, ChrisM said:

I have not seen them remove whole pellets,

 

When I first made my observation hive, put small styrene wedges bottom centre of the frme up to, so it didn't wobble intransit - first show, the bees manageed to split off a couple of beads and spent the two days trapsing around both sides of frame on display, with everybody who looked telling us about it, so removed and replaced with wodd for next year after thoroughly luxing out all visible beads, but the managed to find at least one bead for the next four uses, can't imagine where they were stashed out of sight, but felt like they were haunting me.

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