18. Apr, 2019

Beehive compost bin V plastic bin

Beehive compost bins are often chosen for use in small gardens where the bin will be highly visible as  they look more attractive than conventional plastic bins. The early bins tended to be small, as where the gardens in which they were to be used and were sometimes criticized as being too small to work effectively. However, they are now available in a variety of sizes.

 On our Stokes Wood Leicester Composting site, we have chosen to use one of the small bins  a 211 litre Rowlinson Beehive, donated by GardenSite.co, comparing it with the most popular small plastic bin the  220litre black Compost Converter provided under the Council subsidised scheme.

The Blackwall 220 Litre Black Compost Converter was voted best "Budget Buy" in Gardeners' World is the UK's best-selling home compost bin. It has sold over three million sold to date. It is made out of  UV stabilised recycled plastic. This is a low-cost entry-level bin and does not need assembly. It has a removable lid which can be a little tight to remove when the empty bin is first installed. The plastic bin is quite light and needs to be set into the ground to prevent being blown away when it is empty. I must declare an interest here for as a Master Composter I have been promoting Compost Converters for years as a good entry level bin and have owned six of the large 330l bins at home and on the allotment.

Wooden Beehive compost bins are relatively expensive,  but this is the price of buying a garden feature rather than just a compost bin. The model we are testing  has to be assembled but the instructions are easy to follow  and gave no problems. It has a hinged lid with a support to hold it open. Being wood it weighs more than the plastic bin and is less likely to be blown away in strong winds.

We started both bins with approximately the same amount of garden waste and over the next month or so will be cold composting garden waste  adding  waste in small quantities as it become available. The photo shows the two bins side by side