2nd’s pine boxes

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madasafish 

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Some old beekeepers used to immerse new hives in creosote for 6 months before removing and leaving to dry..

One Alpine beekeeper using warres did that iirc.
 

BeeJam 

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Other than buying cedar boxes any advice welcome on how best to preserve & protect these boxes.
Thanks
Buy Cedar seconds? Far cheaper than first quality if you pick them up in the sales (from memory I got a number of supers for ~£16 a couple of years ago). Yes they'll have knots in but a couple of coats of cuprinol shades or equivalent seems to do the job ok. (If you can wait til the end of summer/start of autumn the supermarkets usually have it at half price - around £4 a tin).
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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a couple of coats of cuprinol shades or equivalent seems to do the job ok.
They don't need it, they're cedar, just the more sustainable British rather than Canadian stuff.
 

Antipodes 

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Some old beekeepers used to immerse new hives in creosote for 6 months before removing and leaving to dry..

One Alpine beekeeper using warres did that iirc.
Copper naphthenate is used here on the pine.
 

Antipodes 

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Buy Cedar seconds? Far cheaper than first quality if you pick them up in the sales (from memory I got a number of supers for ~£16 a couple of years ago). Yes they'll have knots in but a couple of coats of cuprinol shades or equivalent seems to do the job ok. (If you can wait til the end of summer/start of autumn the supermarkets usually have it at half price - around £4 a tin).
Good idea to get the seconds.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Some old beekeepers used to immerse new hives in creosote for 6 months before removing and leaving to dry..
They still creosote their hives in South Africa - you have the option of buying them pre creosoted with some suppliers out there.
 

Ian123 

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Paint is the worst thing to put on any box I’ve never seen anything more likely to make them rot. Many suggest cedar needs nothing but particularly with seconds, box’s do shrink pull and some of the very soft wood in seconds deteriorates quickly. Some boxes/production is better than others. The best finish I’ve found over the years is sadolin classic.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Many suggest cedar needs nothing but particularly with seconds, box’s do shrink pull and some of the very soft wood in seconds deteriorates quickly.
define 'quickly' I have second quality cedar kit which has been outside for over ten years and look none the worse for it.
 

bobba 

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I have been painting my stuff with clear epoxy 2 part resin. (an unusually expensive choice for me I know).

Its expensive, its a pain in the **** hole to work with. You must mix small batches as it goes off so fast. You need the right temps/humidity to work it too. And 30 days to dry/cure so no fumes will be near bees. So its clearly not for everyone.

But I think the protection it provides is first class. Its 100% water proof, very UV resistant and will make your boxes stronger. I think it will last a long time.

I have mostly home made ply stuff. I have had some ply stuff outside for 2 summers and one winter. And its like new still.

Oddly enough its my ceder equipment that is showing a little ware. I try to be careful, but cracking the boxes apart with the hive tool has left a few marks.

I know its not exactly been the longest experiment, but so far my money says the ply boxes will last the longest.

Both types of wood stand up to the elements just fine once epoxied. But the ply seems far better at withstanding mechanical damage.

I have not had bees for long and have never tried other coatings. So have nothing to compare too, but I am happy with the resuts so far. But am still curious to see if they will stand the test of time.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I know its not exactly been the longest experiment, but so far my money says the ply boxes will last the longest.
We'll see forty years down the line whether your ply will have outlasted the cedar. seen pre war cedar boxes at auctions before now which still look as if they had at least another 40 years left in them
 

Newbeeneil 

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I have been painting my stuff with clear epoxy 2 part resin. (an unusually expensive choice for me I know).

Its expensive, its a pain in the **** hole to work with. You must mix small batches as it goes off so fast. You need the right temps/humidity to work it too. And 30 days to dry/cure so no fumes will be near bees. So its clearly not for everyone.

But I think the protection it provides is first class. Its 100% water proof, very UV resistant and will make your boxes stronger. I think it will last a long time.

I have mostly home made ply stuff. I have had some ply stuff outside for 2 summers and one winter. And its like new still.

Oddly enough its my ceder equipment that is showing a little ware. I try to be careful, but cracking the boxes apart with the hive tool has left a few marks.

I know its not exactly been the longest experiment, but so far my money says the ply boxes will last the longest.

Both types of wood stand up to the elements just fine once epoxied. But the ply seems far better at withstanding mechanical damage.

I have not had bees for long and have never tried other coatings. So have nothing to compare too, but I am happy with the resuts so far. But am still curious to see if they will stand the test of time.
Having worked with epoxy, polyurethane and MMA resins for over 30 years I agree they are extremely hard wearing but they all have their week points. I would say that the main problem with epoxy is that it is generally very hard so excellent for concrete, stone or brick but not good on wood. Any flexing of the substrate or denting can cause minute cracking and long term penetration. Once this has occurred any penetration into the ply will cause rapid delamination. If you really want to use expensive resin coatings on ply I would suggest a flexible polyurethane.
As others have said, if you want a cheap long lasting wooden hive buy seconds in the sales.
 

fiat500bee 

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....but this thread is about seconds pine boxes and how to deal with them and not about ply, cedar or poly. Stupid, ignorant, falsely economising, mean, mistaken or whatever, I bought an "instant decaying", pine hive and it's useful that some people are offering constructive suggestions of how to deal with this. :)

The bit that puzzles me is that effectively, my pine hive isn't fit for purpose; I would have thought that a responsible supplier would either have stopped selling such carp or done something about the quality. You could make hives out of cardboard and they would work for a few days in a dry summer...paint them with epoxy and they would probably have survived without mould and warpage as long as my pine one has.:banghead:
 

understanding_bees 

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Additive free, it is odourless, colourless and tasteless; but as a petroleum based product the purist would probably object.
If we think that petroleum based products should be avoided, then that would eliminate polystyrene boxes, paint (both oil and water based), creosote, and (heaven forbid) "old engine oil".

There is no doubt that most beekeepers care very much for their bees, and one of the most important things is that the bees have secure housing. It is, of course, beneficial to the beekeeper as well, because bees which are well provided for are more productive.

There is a choice for beekeepers today to use hive boxes constructed from plastic foam, instead of boxes constructed from wood. A choice could also be made to use timber such as cedar which contains natural preservatives. Both of these types of boxes come at a cost.

For those who want or need a more affordable alternative, cheaper species of timber such as pine are used widely. These cheaper varieties of timber have a disadvantage, in that they are not naturally durable, but need to have some form of protective treatment.

There seems to be a lot of variety in people’s choices, when it comes to providing weather-proofing treatments. Paint is the most frequently chosen option, but oiling, timber preservative, and even creosote have been mentioned recently on the forum. I would like to ask if there is good evidence that timber preservative chemical treatment, or creosote, are free of toxic effects on bees?

Painting or oiling certainly works, but this process needs to be repeated over the lifetime of a hive box. The initial painting takes time to apply the required number of coats, and it also takes time to clean, prepare, and apply paint when restoration is required. In any case, the cost of the paint (or oil, preservative, or creosote) as well as the time that it takes to apply that treatment needs to be taken into account.

There is another way!

I have made comments about the advantages I believe can be experienced with wax dipped boxes. I realise that each beekeeper has a choice. The choices we make are usually based on the information we have. To enable a wise choice to be made, we need to have suitable information. I have no vested interest whatever in wax dipping. All I want to do is provide information which may assist people to make a beneficial choice.

There seems to be a reluctance (and even opposition to the idea) of using wax dipping. As you can tell, I believe that it should even perhaps be the preferred method of preserving hive boxes. In my opinion, wax dipping does not cost any more by way of materials or time than these other methods. It does require the initial investment of a suitable wax dipping vat, but that does not need to be great unless large scale processing is required by a commercial beekeeper. Wax dipping preserves hive boxes more thoroughly than is possible with painting, and requires much less preparation and effort if re-waxing should be required.

There are people who wish to paint their hive boxes, even after the boxes have been waxed. I have found clear reference to the possibility and practicality of painting hive boxes immediately after they have been dipped, while they are still hot. I understand that oil based undercoat paint (and not acrylic paint) should be used in contact with a waxed surface.
 

Newbeeneil 

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....but this thread is about seconds pine boxes and how to deal with them and not about ply, cedar or poly. Stupid, ignorant, falsely economising, mean, mistaken or whatever, I bought an "instant decaying", pine hive and it's useful that some people are offering constructive suggestions of how to deal with this. :)

I also think the comments about treatment offered in this thread have been constructive. Saying you should have bought cedar seconds is a bit like some one asking "how to get somewhere" and the other person saying " I wouldn't start from here".
I think most comments, including mine, have been warnings for people who might be tempted to buy pine in the future not specifically for the OP.



The bit that puzzles me is that effectively, my pine hive isn't fit for purpose; I would have thought that a responsible supplier would either have stopped selling such carp or done something about the quality. You could make hives out of cardboard and they would work for a few days in a dry summer...paint them with epoxy and they would probably have survived without mould and warpage as long as my pine one has.:banghead:

Suppliers like to appeal to all pockets and hence a cheaper range of hives. From memory I think its only the "big boys" who offer cedar seconds as their budget range and the smaller suppliers, that probably don't have the supply of seconds, who offer the pine.
 

Tim.S 

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I have used Osmo decking treatment which seems to work wonders on ply boxes - the Osmo is free to me as leftovers from decking jobs (I am a landscape contractor) and I can put up with the extra weight of ply because for me they are cheap. I have just done a quick back of fag packet calc and a national brood box costs me just under £6 each. My labour is free as I am just using up time that I cannot work and I have the woodworking equipment on site. The key with preservation of any hive box is always the edges and where the timber joins, really soak them which of course is where dipping with wax if it is practical is such a brilliant answer as it gets everywhere. IMHO wax dipping however desirable just isn't practical in the UK on a small scale, sadly. Too many garden shed bonfires!
 

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Too many garden shed bonfires!
Never, Never, NEVER do hot wax dipping inside a building. Wax dipping is safe if you keep within the safe temperature range. For safety reasons, a wax melting vat should have a hinged lid, which can be flipped down easily, and which fits closely over the top of the vat. In this way it would be easy to smother a fire if the wax was accidentally ignited.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Never, Never, NEVER do hot wax dipping inside a building. Wax dipping is safe if you keep within the safe temperature range. For safety reasons, a wax melting vat should have a hinged lid, which can be flipped down easily, and which fits closely over the top of the vat. In this way it would be easy to smother a fire if the wax was accidentally ignited.
Seems to make using a GasVap safe in comparison 😱
 

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