Decisions are a part of everyday life, paper or plastic, fresh or frozen,regular or decaf? Now beekeepers have a decision to make, wood or polystyrene beehives? And like any decision, how do you choose??? Or if you haven’t heard of polystyrene, what is it? In the US wooden Langstroth beehives are the standard and have been for years. However for at least 30 years Polystyrene beehives have been used in Europe. But in the US beekeepers are slowly making the switch to polystyrene hives. So what’s all the talk about? Polystyrene hives are made from food grade, high density expanded polystyrene. Although this is chemically identical to the polystyrene foam used in packaging, it has a much harder surface and is substantially stronger. The cost is only half that of a standard wooden hive. Polystyrene hives use standard frames which helps in switching over from wood. They also provide the hives with extra insulation. Your hives will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Not only will the temperatures be more stable but the hives will also be less damp. Then there is my all time favorite reason. Polystyrene hives do not rot, get wood worm, or need preserving to keep in good condition!! For those in Florida, like myself, I’m sure you’ve had to replace your hives due to wood rot?? Within the last 5 years we’ve had to replace our hives twice! It adds up when you have two or more hives. Plus who really wants to move hives, not the bees I can tell you! Since one, if not both of our hives will need to be replaced again, due to Florida’s weather, we will be swapping out our oldest wooden hive for polystyrene. This afternoon we purchased a polystyrene hive kit for $220 (a full wood kit would have cost us over $500). We are excited about using this new hive and we will be posting our thoughts and experience with it.
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