Polyurethane foam hives: features how to do it yourself
Modern technologies have touched a sphere such as beekeeping. Traditional wooden beehives are a thing of the past, while they are being replaced by structures made of the latest materials such as polystyrene foam (PPS) and polyurethane foam (PUF). Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of polyurethane foam hives - in this article.
Did you know? To produce 100 g of honey, one bee needs to overcome 46 thousand km and land on 100 thousand flowers.
Features of hives made of polyurethane foam
Polyurethane foam was synthesized in 1937 by German scientists. So called the group of gas-filled plastics based on polyurethane. Polyurethane foam is widely used in construction, for example, for insulation, heat and sound insulation, or as a sealant (polyurethane foam), in the home, industry. It is a very lightweight, durable material, characterized by low heat conductivity and vapor permeability and good adhesion to other materials.
You will be interested to know how to properly insulate the hive for the winter.
- Among the advantages of polyurethane foam hives should be mentioned:
- Good moisture-resistant qualities of the material, which allows you to successfully resist decay, mold and destruction.
- Excellent thermal insulation characteristics that keep the temperature inside the bee house optimal for insects.
- Good soundproof properties.
- Long term of operation.
- Environmental friendliness.
- Spaciousness, which allows you to place numerous families in one hive.
- Easy to disassemble and assemble.
- Ability to resize up or down.
- The main disadvantages among them are:
- They can deteriorate with prolonged exposure to the sun, therefore they require painting.
- The need to replace some parts every 5 years, as the bees gnaw at them.
- The need for weighting, as they are unstable with gusts of wind.
- Fair ventilation.
- High price.
Making hives from polyurethane foam do-it-yourself at home
It is possible to buy hives from PPU in a ready-made form. Today on the market there are many models from various manufacturers, for example, “Nizhegorodets”, “Himekselen”, “Bjolar”, “Nastusya”, “Himtrust”, etc. It is also possible to make houses for bees with your own hands, starting from filling the case.
Important! For the manufacture of bee houses, you need to choose only high-quality polyurethane foam. Signs of low-quality material are gray color, porosity, specific smell.
It is possible to make a hive from polyurethane foam quickly, however, certain knowledge and skills will be required. It is important to prepare the necessary materials, tools and components for pouring, as well as clearly follow the manufacturing instructions. The recommended temperature in the room where the hive is made is + 18 ... + 25 ° С.
Necessary materials and tools for work
To make a polyurethane foam house for bees you will need:
- molds for making the case;
- release agent;
- 2 containers for filling components (suitable plastic buckets of 0.5 l each);
- a wooden spatula (kitchen) or a trowel to clean the remains of the fill from the bottom;
- special mixer or drill with nozzle for mixing paint and concrete;
- components for filling polyurethane foam - polyol and isocyanate;
- kitchen scales for accurate dose measurement of components;
- screwdriver (screwdriver);
- self-tapping screws.
Step-by-step manufacturing instructions
It takes about 1.5 hours to make parts for the body of one hive. No additional drawings are required, as filling with the help of ready-made molds and assembly of the housing are quite simple.
Important! Polyurethane foam beehive work must be carried out in a well-ventilated area, protecting the airways with a respirator and hands with gloves.
To make the walls, roof and bottom, you must perform the following steps:
- It is good to grease the internal parts and protrusions of all forms with release agent using a roller.
- Leave the grease to dry completely.
- Set the molds at a slight slope for better distribution of the casting mixture.
- Prepare the required number of components for pouring.
- Pour the isocyanate into the polyol and very quickly - in 10–20 s — mix the components to a uniform consistency with a drill nozzle and pour into one of the forms.
- Cover the mold and secure with latches.
- Open the lid after 40-60 minutes.
- Fill the molds for walls, roof and bottom in the same way. Before each subsequent pouring, the mold must be cooled to + 45 ° C and below.
Video: how to make a polyurethane foam hive with your own hands
Assemble the hive body as follows:
- Connect dovetail wall joints.
- Alternately connect each pair of upper and lower joints, the central parts using self-tapping screws.
- To put on the external case a paint used for external works, for example ENAMEL, PF or others.
Did you know? The oldest find of a bee, excavated by paleontologists in Burma, is attributed to the period 100 million years ago. The found insect is a transitional form from a predatory wasp to a pollinating bee.
How to use polyurethane foam hives
Before you start using polyurethane foam bee houses, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules for their operation:
- From early spring to late autumn, and also if wintering is carried out in the open air, the valve of the anti-mite and ventilation mesh should be completely closed. This will maintain a stable temperature inside. At other times, the use of a valve is not necessary.
- Install a roof cover with ventilation holes during transportation and intensive honey collection. This will contribute to better air circulation and moisture removal through the bottom.
- For wintering, bee houses must be installed on a flat surface, maintaining a distance of 5-10 cm. They can be placed in 2 tiers. Top should cover them to protect from rain and wind.
- Taking care of the polyurethane foam housing for bees is easy. Cleaning can be carried out using a chisel or a hard sponge, while acting extremely carefully. After cleaning, the inside is wiped with a 5% soda solution, heated to a temperature of + 50 ... + 60 ° C. If necessary, steam can be used on individual parts.
- Disinfection is carried out only by special means that are allowed for this material.
- The bottom is also cleaned with a chisel and a solution of soda. Before cleaning, remove the mite and ventilation mesh to get to the attachment points.
- As the paint exfoliates from the outside, it needs to be updated.