For the last few years we have been gradually fading out the old wooden brood boxes and supers in exchange for poly boxes. The weight difference has been really noticeable especially when the supers are full. Sally particularly notices the difference and is happy to carry a full poly super compared with a wooden one so this is a great help to me during clearing and extraction.
There has been a slight modification with the supers which we have made as they come with just plain plastic runners. These are fine if you use SN4 frames as these have Hoffman sides for spacing the frames or if using Manley frames as these also space themselves in the box.
When assembling the boxes the frame runner is left out and a ten frame castellation is gorilla glued in its place. Buying ten frame castellations does not seem to work as they are made to fit wooden supers and as these poly’s have slightly thicker sides, it means the castellations do not fit. So to solve the problem, we found that cutting eleven frame castellations works well. The cut is made between the last frame gap and the end.
After assembly the supers are stacked up and sprayed with a masonry paint. Two coats are all that is needed and with the help of a spray gun is just a few hours work including drying time. I have coated the top and bottom parts of the supers that come into contact with each other when on a hive with polyurethane varnish. This is so that the surfaces do not stick too much and also the hive tool will not dig into the poly as easily as before so meaning they should last a life time.
We have another forty-five to assemble ready for next season and I am sure we will have a few more bought by then as well. The old supers, especially the ones I made years ago that are made of plywood have started to de-laminate, but they have served their purpose. Hopefully this time next year we will have changed all three hundred odd supers to poly’s.