My Experience with BeeMax Hives

  My bees and I are satisfied with BeeMax hives. Nevertheless, because the natural tendency of bees is to keep the brood nest near the entrance, since 2006 I have been using wooden hive bodies at the bottom of all of my hives (see below). I did so because I prefer to raise healthy colonies. It is important to remember that propolis provides numerous levels of protection. However, my personal observation shows that polystyrene BeeMax hives with plastic Pierco frames cause the quantity of propolis to decrease by 75% as compared to wooden hives with wooden frames. But as we know - bees make propolis to keep their hives healthy.
When the brood area is more than one hive body (or your queen prefer the second hive body instead of the first one) - it is advisable to use wooden hive body for the whole area of brood nest.

My THSCU (Temperature Humidity Self Control Units) helped me to avoid hive swarmings and other problems during all four seasons.
To protect the Telescoping Covers from bending in high temperature (under the weight of stones or bricks placed above the cover), I added a 1/2 inch piece of painted plywood between each Telescoping Cover and the stones/bricks. Additionally, I placed painted plywood (or pressure treated 2x6(8) inch boards) between the Bottom Boards and the cement blocks. Finally, I closed the square holes of the Bottom Boards to protect the hives from rats during the winter.
Click here to see tests info and tests results.

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  "BeeMax" Polystyrene Hives:
Assembled BeeMax Hives:
BeeMax Bottom Board with Screen:
  BeeMax Hive August 01, 2004:
Artificial Swarm - August 05, 2004:
BeeMax Hive October 01, 2004:
  Bees started to cover hole(Oct.04):
Bees winterizing job(Oct.04,2004):
BeeMax Hive October 26, 2004:
  BeeMax Hives-January 21, 2005
"Out Hive" Temp.-January 21, 2005:
"In THSC Unit" Temp.-Jan21, 2005:
  Corner Bead as a Mouse Guard
Same Hive, Body #1 - April 8,2005
Same Hive, Body #2 - April 8,2005

  "Of the thousands of polystyrene hives we sold last year, including the hundred or so we used ourselves, we have had only one complaint of mouse damage to the front of one hive. A beekeeper we know was kind enough to pass along his solution to the problem - corner bead! Corner bead is a long, thin metal angle used in the corners of rooms when contractors are installing sheet rock. A piece that is the exact length of the BeeMax hive opening can be cut and tacked on the bottom of the BeeMax hive body just above the bee's entrance. In case you feel you live in mouse heaven and don't want to make your own mouse guards, we are selling precut mouse guards. (Ship Wt.: 1 lb. $1.40)" From the Betterbee catalog

  One 2"(1 1/2) X 10"(9 1/2) X 12' and 1/4" board is cost less than one BeeMax hive body. You can make two wooden hive bodies from one board. Just cut it precisely on eight pieces: 17 3/4" - four pieces and 18 1/4" - four pieces.

March 26, 2008

  You can install 1/8" Lauan boards to make BeeMax hives more bee friendly.

This picture shows propolized Lauan.

BeeMax Hive Temperature Observation

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