Wooden beehives vs. Plastic beehives
Beekeeping is a fun and rewarding hobby. However, there is quite a lot to learn if you decide to begin beekeeping as a hobby. For example, are wooden or plastic beehives better? Traditionally, wood is preferred due as it is natural, and bees take a greater liking towards them. On the other hand, plastic has also proven to be very applicable in the making of beehives. There are also a number of factors to consider before settling on the material for your hive. These include insulation, long-term beehive integrity, pest control, food safety, bee attraction, expansion of the hive, durability and adaptability.
Here is a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of a wooden versus plastic beehive:
Plastic beehives usually come molded or in parts of plastic 10-frame and 8-frame available with deep, medium and shallow boxes. They usually have a life of 30 years. Most plastic beehives also come molded with feeder slots, entrance reducers and screened bottoms.
· Low maintenance.
· Resistance to large or small predators that might try to break it open due to rigid hive connectors.
· Better insulation due to double thin walls of plastic beehives.
· Not suitable for use in colder climates.
· Flimsy parts can easily fall apart and disrupt your colony.
· Condensation accelerates the growth of mold or unwanted organisms.
· No or low resale value should you wish to sell your beehive.
Wooden beehives have been used for a very long time. With many different sizes available, it can be manipulated to suit each beekeeper’s preferences. To keep a wooden beehive longer, you should build a shelter to prevent rain and snowfall from damaging the beehive. Cost of wood usually varies from different tree species.
· You can easily make your own strong and durable beehive with some basic woodworking skills. Wooden beehives are also inexpensive.
· You can extend the life of your wooden beehive by sheltering and painting them.
· Wooden beehives can usually take heavy weights without being destroyed.
· Easily modified if needed.
· Humidity control with the absorb and release of moisture to help bees live in dry conditions.
· Works well with most beekeeping tools.
· Naturally attractive to bees.
· Easy repair and replacement of worn out, damaged or broken parts.
· Might get rotten and brittle over time if it’s not maintained properly.
· Pests or parasites might lay eggs at the joints and seams.
Wood has been the material of choice for years of seasoned beekeepers and rightfully so. As you can clearly see, there are more advantages to using a wooden beehive as compared to a plastic one. It is all-natural which attracts bees with no problem. Organic beekeepers also prefer wood materials. While there are additional steps to secure when using a wooden beehive, its advantages are no match for a plastic one. Nonetheless, plastic beehive manufacturers are coming up with innovative blends of plastic that will give wood beehives some competition. Plastic beehives need to address issues of food safety and condensation as well as availability of interchangeable parts and beehive compartments.