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Plastic hive floors - better for hygene ?

 
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charentejohn
Foraging Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 116
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Plastic hive floors - better for hygene ? Reply with quote

Just about to set up a Warre hive and finally found a plastic floor. This is the happykeeper one, anyone had experience of this or others ?
Local keeper uses fully ventilated floors, I am on a course there next week, so I can always adapt a larger vented floor to Warre size.
The happykeeper one, from what I have read, is ventilated and helps with varroa etc. Worth it if it reduces cleaning. I guess my question is if it works how many people use it. Any experiences welcome as there isn't much online. Regards John
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1550
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I am being extreme. I know some people would say so but for me I am not looking to keep my bees in a sterile environment but rather one where with luck some mite that prays on the varroa might be present. I also do not like using plastic in my hives of whichever sort so in my Nationals, I use Hoffman frames or metal castellations. Given our knowledge about the problems caused by plastics, I believe we should only use them if there is a really compelling reason to do so. A ventilated varroa floor can be done just as well with metal and if you need to clean wax and or propolis from it this is much easier without damaging it.
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charentejohn
Foraging Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 116
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all fair points. I don't have a problem with platics myself if used judiciously.
These are polypropylene which is long lasting so will be ok in that sense. I am using wood for everything else but this system seemed interesting.
I liked the idea of no intervention and no need to do anything in winter. They claim the ventialtion is fine. I worked out on a Warre hive the floor will give 30x3cm opening so the same as the entrance, more or less.

I ordered one yesterday so will see how it goes. Here in France local keepers often use fully vented plastic floors but they are a mesh design and so need some maintenance. Polypropylene is almost impossible to glue so should stay clean for long periods.

I am looking to leave the bees alone apart from health checks so this could work for me. As time goes by I will post any findings, almost nothing online about these.
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charentejohn
Foraging Bee


Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 116
Location: Central France - Charente

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just recieved the Happykeeper floor and first thoughs are, needs some work ?

Principle seems ok but the tubes are thin and easily pushed out of shape. Didn't push hard but think a determined mouse would have no trouble if they could reach. Good news is they are just over 32mm inside dia. so can be reinforced by plumbing waste pipe ? I will look into it.

Other concern is that the tube ends are open. About 1mm gap to the floor end so ideal nest for bugs ? I can seal these with some aluminium duct tape, I hope, or blocks of extruded polystyrene as plugs.

I saw a video from someone here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9lnF60gvyY not great but 1:40 mins in finally shows the floor (then not mentioned again ?). Not grea as jerky and only one view of the floors.
Main thing is the spacers are very badly warped (the frames were wood and new is plastic) and looking at these they could also be stronger. they drop into slots so I will try to add reinforcement to make sure they stay straight.

So...... On the principle I think it can work ? On build quality the jury is still out. I won't be using as is but will make the mods first, it may be ok but why take a chance.

Main claim to fame for these is the 3.5mm gap which means the polyprop tubes are hard to source at 34.2mm diameter. I am sure I can find some 1mm thick plastic sheet to cover 32mm pipes to make up the thickness if needed.
The 34.2mm is to give correct spacing on a Warre, others may vary.

I will report back when set up and bees installed, could be a while as waiting for a local swarm. Any thoughts appreciated in the meantime.
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