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DIY PPU hive

DIY PPU hive


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PPU hives are slowly but surely spreading through domestic apiaries. Experienced beekeepers even try to make them on their own. However, this option is beneficial if the beekeeper intends to expand his business. Casting hives from polyurethane foam requires a special matrix, and it is profitable to buy it only in mass production.

What are the qualities of polyurethane foam hives

Before purchasing molds for PPU hives and starting their mass production to expand your apiary, you need to know what qualities such a dwelling place for bees has. Experienced experts advise you to first buy a couple of polyurethane foam beehives to wooden houses, try them in practice, get used to it.

The main positive quality of PPU hives is heat retention, moisture resistance. Polyurethane foam houses are warm, do not require mandatory entry for the winter in Omshanik. PPU in the rain will not change their parameters in comparison with wood. Polyurethane foam is not gnawed by mice, bees. The hives are composed of compact, interchangeable polyurethane foam elements.

In summer, the inside of the polyurethane foam house is kept cool. The design is increased or decreased due to removable sections. Lightweight polyurethane foam hives are easy to carry and take to the field. The mass of the polyurethane foam three-body house reaches 17 kg.

Important! One of the most popular among domestic beekeepers is the Volgar PPU hive, and now the manufacturer has released a new polyurethane foam model "ComboPro-2018".

As for the negative qualities, they also exist. Despite the quality control by the SES services, polyurethane foam remains a chemical material. In the case of counterfeiting or self-manufacturing in violation of technology, the hive is able to emit odors that affect the bees and the taste of honey. PPU houses have a short service life. It is recommended to replace them every 5 years. The damaged section of the polyurethane foam hive cannot be repaired, but it is easy to replace it with a new element. Polyurethane foam is afraid of fire, melts when exposed to high temperatures.

Advice! So that the PPU hive does not collapse from the sun, it is hidden in the shade, painted with at least two layers of water-based paint with the addition of a reflective color scheme.

Convenient polyurethane foam hive in terms of washing. The material does not absorb moisture. The hive PPU sections are well washed with hot water with the addition of laundry soap.

How PUF affects the quality of honey

The PU foam contains polyol and polyisocyanate. Individually, each substance is dangerous to humans. However, when interacting with each other, toxic substances are neutralized. The resulting polyurethane foam is completely safe. The material is even used in medicine. PPU does not have negative consequences on the vital activity of bees and their products. In production, polyurethane hives undergo quality control and are checked by the SES services.

Important! When self-pouring raw materials into a matrix for hives made of polyurethane foam, the beekeeper himself is responsible for the quality of his product.

In the event of a violation of technology or the acquisition of low-quality materials, the beekeeper runs the risk of spoiling the honey and even ruining the bee colonies.

Penoplex hives: disadvantages and advantages

In general terms, bee hives made of polyurethane foam, expanded polystyrene and even polystyrene foam have the same pros and cons. The benefits include:

  1. Good thermal insulation. It is warm inside the hive in winter and cool in summer.
  2. Reliable sound insulation. Bee colonies are protected from extraneous noise.
  3. The versatility of the hives. All parts of the house are interchangeable. A broken section can be easily replaced with a new element of a similar model.
  4. Light weight. A hive can be lifted by one person.
  5. Easy to transport. The hives are convenient for a nomadic apiary. During transportation, the sections are simply tightened with belts so that they are not scattered by the wind.
  6. Environmental Safety. Certified hives do not emit toxic odors. The houses are safe for bees, humans, and beekeeping products.
  7. Resistance to natural phenomena. Compared to wooden counterparts, new generation hives are not afraid of rain, frost and heat. They only need to be protected with paint from direct exposure to sunlight.

Summing up, it is worth noting that PPU hives have more advantages. Styrofoam and expanded polystyrene are gnawed by bees, mice, birds. Both materials are afraid of aggressive solvents. Polyurethane foam hives are more reliable and are gradually pushing competitors out of the market.

Among the disadvantages of modern hives, the first place is the increased flammability. Damaged sections cannot be repaired. They just need to be changed. The downside is the impermeability of air. If effective ventilation is not provided, high humidity forms inside the hive.

How to assemble hives from polyurethane foam with your own hands

It is unprofitable to buy molds for casting hives if it is supposed to collect a couple of PPU houses. The easiest way is to use ready-made polyurethane foam blanks. The most popular PPU hive is the ComboPro-2018 model. The assembly process of the polyurethane foam structure consists of the following steps:

  1. With a sharp clerical knife, cut off the excess of solidified polyurethane foam that protrudes beyond the boundaries of the part.
  2. The ends of the connecting bars are painted over with water-based paint with the addition of green color.
  3. A section of a polyurethane foam hive is folded from the prepared parts on a flat surface. The workpieces are pulled together with self-tapping screws 60-70 mm long. First, the PU foam sheets are screed with the bars forming the frame of the polyurethane foam house.
  4. When the body of the polyurethane foam hive is completely pulled together on the bars, the joints of the polyurethane foam sheets are additionally fastened with self-tapping screws at the corners of the structure.
  5. With a stapler with staples 14 mm long, a plastic corner is fixed, which protects the edges of the polyurethane foam sheet from abrasion. On the corner, further frames with honeycombs are laid.
  6. At the bottom of the polyurethane foam hive, legs are arranged. The coasters are cut from pieces of bars. Holes are drilled in the fixation points.
  7. The workpieces are screwed to the frame of the polyurethane foam hive with self-tapping screws.
  8. At the end of the assembly of the polyurethane foam hive, a notch is installed. The bar is placed with the hole down, pressed with plastic corners, which are fixed with stapler staples 6 mm long.
  9. When transportation of the PPU hive is required, the bar with the taphole is turned upside down. For reliability, it is fixed with a 20 mm long self-tapping screw.

According to reviews, polyurethane foam hives are easy to assemble. However, the folded PPU house is not yet ready to receive bees. It needs to be painted.

The process begins with grinding all the elements of the case. Especially carefully sandpaper the joints of polyurethane foam and wooden slats. The very surface of the polyurethane foam boards must not be strongly rubbed, so as not to damage the surface durable layer of polyurethane foam.

At the end of grinding, the polyurethane foam hive is painted. You can use a spray gun or a regular brush. The color of the paint for the polyurethane foam hive is optimal to choose a natural one, for example, green. It is optimal to use paints without odor. Acrylic-based formulations have proven themselves well. The best for a polyurethane foam hive is rubber paint. After hardening, it forms an elastic, durable film that is resistant even to impacts.

Making hives from polyurethane foam using a mold

To independently cast polyurethane foam houses, you will need a mold for metal hives. It is expensive. It is unprofitable to buy a mold for casting several polyurethane foam houses. A beehive mold will pay off in a large apiary.

Sometimes craftsmen beekeepers make molds for casting a polyurethane foam hive on their own. Usually they are made in the form of a trough made of tin. In such matrices, simple rectangular sheets of polyurethane foam are obtained, from which the hive bodies are then assembled. When making a mold yourself, you need to pay attention to the height of the sides. They are made over 8 mm. In a matrix with smaller sides, thin polyurethane foam sheets will be obtained. They will not withstand the pressure from inside the polyurethane foam hive and will sag.

The process of using a mold to make a beehive consists of the following steps:

  1. Before filling with foam, the inner surface of the matrix is ‚Äč‚Äčlubricated with a special compound that prevents the solidified polyurethane foam from sticking to the metal.
  2. The mold is not completely filled with polyurethane foam. The foam will expand as it cures.
  3. After pouring the polyurethane foam, wait at least 30 minutes. During this time, the foam will have time to harden and the part can be removed from the mold. If the solidified polyurethane foam blank does not fall out, lightly tap the matrix with a hammer.
  4. The extracted polyurethane foam blank is subjected to grinding. The next step is degreasing and painting.

The mold is cleaned of adhering foam residues, and prepared for the next pouring of a new polyurethane foam part.

Keeping bees in PPU hives

For polyurethane foam hives, traditional beekeeping technology is acceptable. However, there are a number of nuances. The famous Czech beekeeper Petr Havlicek highlights the advantages of the PPU hive:

  1. Inside the polyurethane foam hive, heat is retained, an ideal microclimate is created. The intensive development of the nest begins in early spring.
  2. In each polyurethane foam house, at least 1 foundation body is rebuilt.
  3. For a season, up to 90 kg of honey can be obtained from a multi-body polyurethane foam system with 5 extensions.
  4. The ease of caring for a polyurethane foam hive is that there is no need to reduce nests for the winter.
  5. In order to prevent swarming in the PPU hive, from about May 15, it is necessary to unite the separated families, creating new layers.
  6. It is possible to increase the quality of the performance characteristics of the polyurethane foam house by covering the inner and outer sides of the walls with aluminum foil.

Low hygroscopicity remains a problem with polyurethane foam. It is important to maintain good air exchange in order to avoid the formation of high humidity.

Conclusion

PPU hives surpass their counterparts from expanded polystyrene and polystyrene in their operational characteristics. Compared to wooden houses, the opinions of beekeepers are divided. Some prefer natural materials, others like modern technology.

Testimonials

Denis Valentinovich Stechenko, 43 years old, Rostov region

I use the polyurethane foam hive for the second season. I did not notice the change in the quality of honey. The design is specific. You have to get used to it. If the third season goes well, I will also buy a couple of polyurethane foam houses for the apiary.

Yuri Fedorovich Baranov, 65 years old, Voronezh region

For the sake of curiosity, I bought 2 PPU hives for the apiary. I just can't get used to their service. I am still an adherent of the traditional wooden structure. I put weak families in polyurethane foam houses. I'm not going to buy more yet.


Watch the video: DIY Foam Beehive Winter Shelters (October 2022).

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