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Abelo/Lyson National Poly Nucleus Hive.
Any members who has heard me speak about hive or nuc choices over the years will know I am an advocate for poly hives and nucs. I now have several types of hives and nucleus hives. And I have my preferences. Hovever unlike “traditional” wooden hive design, poly hives is constantly under development and changes implemented, some are improvements some not so much in my opinion.
However I have recently a new favourite brand which is Lyson supplied by and now branded as Abelo. I have been using these for maybe 2 years and already major changes have been made to the design.
The reasons I prefer this to some other brands are:
- Hard plastic edges on top and bottom of boxes with integrated frame slide.
- Ventilated brood and super boxes. Supplied with removal stoppers and hard plastic ventilator blocks. For those wanting more ventilation or additional entrances.
- Entrance block which can be open, closed or as queen excluder/mouse guard
- Crown board with a choice of ventilation holes. (This is now changed in the new design)
- Poly Ashforth style feeder available
- New design has option of integrated hard plastic mini Ashforth feeder in the roof.
- Deep poly roof two designs available.
- Built to National box external dimensions so integrates with wooden boxes well.
- Hard plastic varroa tray on new design
- Available unpainted or pre-painted
- Come ready built!
Recently I became aware that Lyson/Abelo had added a National nuc to the range. Basically its a cut down version of the full hive taking 6 frames. It has a loose bottom, crown board/roof/feeder arrangement taking the same ashforth mini feeder.
Notice the ventilators in the roof, hard plastic floor with integrated compact landing board and entrance reducer.
The following are sets of images arranged in “galleries”, the images are quite small when viewed together, however if you click on an image it should open in a new tab in your browser with controls to view the remaing set of images and view even bigger if required.
- Hard plastic edges on boxes:
- More resilliant than poly
- Easier to clean
- Separate Hard plastic floor:
- Easier to clean
- Ventilation choices
- Entrance block and closure
- Roof Ventilationwith options
- Integrated feeder
- Attempt to prevent bees drowning!
- Hard plastic feeder easy to clean
- Ventilation options
- Additional Brood boxes available
- Floor appears very loose, will need strapping. Not suitable for swarm collection!
- Although lots of floor ventillation options will require brood box to be removed to make changes.
- Bees tend to fix stoppers in place given half a chance. May not prove that useful.
- Roof design requires supplied crown board to be used not quite so flexible.
- Crown board has several ventilation and access options, but if bees have access they will fill any gap and holes in ventilators.
- Designed to be used with supplied feeder may not work well with other types of feeder.
- No super available at present
- No 14×12 eke available
- No Top bee space option!
- Recommend painting Stoppers or covering edges with petroleum jelly
I haven’t of course had an opportunity to test this nucleus out, however experience of similar loose bottom nucleus hives, and Abelo/Lyson poly hives gives me a little insight into to possible advantages and disadvantages.
As is often said how well this works in practice “DEPENDS”! on:
- Beekeeper expectations
- Beekeeper willingness to try things out
- Beekeeper confidence
- Beekeeper preparation
- How the beekeeper expects to use the hive
- Good fortune
Just because there are options doesn’t mean we have to use them. I would expect this nucleus to perform as well as, and better than many others. Whether beekeepers will want to mess with opening and closing ventilation holes I am un sure. However, ventillation is an issue in beekeeping, too much could cause chilling, too little can cause condensation and is a risk factor for Chalk brood and other fungal diseases. I confess I was drawn to this design because I had been considering if my existing nucs oaght to have the floor ventillation reduced and if so how that could be achieved. This at least is a step in the right direction. I guess it has been tested and found useful (I hope!!!)