Home | Current Diary Page | Top | Today | End | Selected Beekeeping Topics | Search HoneyBeeWorld.com   
       Diary Archives - 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011| 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 |1999      
 My Weather Station | Honey Bee World Forum | HoneyBeeWorld List | Contact me 

Although these boxes are very similar to the BeeMax model, these boxes are cast in one piece and far, far tougher than the BeeMax ones.  They resemble the Swienty and other European versions.  I had approached Swienty some time back and we investigated the potential of importing them, but the currency went against us and the shipping was also prohibitive.

I have discovered that although I like EPS bee boxes, the BeeMax boxes I started with are less than ideal.  They work very well as beehives, but require assembly and the frame rests are not factory-moulded in.  They also do not withstand normal handling well, due to their design. 

BeeMax (not Meijer) boxes have weak corners that cannot be properly glued, leaving the corners about 1/3 as strong as the rest of the box. They tend to come apart or break at the corners.

That is Joe standing on a Meijer box.  I actually took a shot with his feet right tight together with all 270 pounds in the middle, but somehow Android or Dropbox ate that picture  somewhere between my phone and the desktop -- along with shots of some really nice-looking brood in the hives.  I don't know where they went.  I think I must have deleted them off the phone too quickly.  It takes a few moments for the Dropbox to sync.   Joe  told me not to put this picture on the web, but he did pose, so please don't mention that you saw it here.

Anyhow, the boxes look good and if anyone wants some of these boxes, they are competitively priced.  Contact Beaver Plastics if you want to get some.   You are buying at the same cost as Meijers, with a dollar being included to (eventually) pay them back the $15,000 mould cost.

How do these boxes stack up against wooden boxes for cost?  I don't know what a wood box costs these days, but I know that whatever it is, assembly and nails and glue add about two dollars. If you like frame rests, they cost money and take time, too, but frame rests come already installed in these boxes.

Also, wooden hives need to be wrapped for winter.  These do not, so there are big savings in time and money there, too.  I'd say that in the long run, these are much less expensive to run and may result in better bees, too.

You can paint these or leave them bare.  If left unpainted, after five or ten years, the surface gets dull and powders a bit.  All that is required is cheap exterior latex paint.  I used expensive oil paint with a primer and I don't think it worked as well as one coat of cheap exterior latex would have.

With these boxes, there is no assembly to do, and the frame rests are cast integrally.  Just paint -- or not, and drop in your frames.  I'd drill a 1" hole 3" (on centre) up from the bottom for flight and ventilation, but that is my personal preference.  No more wrapping for winter.

I do not like the moulded EPS floors and lids sold with the BeeMAx system and others.  Wood floors and lids make sense to me.  If you do not drill auger holes as mentioned above, you will need to design a screened floor to allow moisture to escape.

I advise putting the bees into EPS boxes several months before the end of the season, and not just before winter since the bees need time to adapt to the new environment.  Bees occupy the space and organise stores differently in these hives compared to wood..

The density of the EPS in these boxes is higher than any competitive product, I am told.  Apparently when Meijers got the first one off the mold, they went out and threw it around the parking lot to see how tough it is.  It got a few bruises, but nothing more.

Since then, we have found that if a stack blows over, the boxes do break.  However, they can be quickly glued back together using WeldBond glue and drywall nails -- giving full strength -- and returned to service immediately.

(updated April 20, 2015)