Lime Wood Frames

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Jun 20, 2009
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Kingsbridge, South Devon
Hive Type
Number of Hives
0 - Now in beeless retirement!
I am getting some frames made and the supplier is going to make them out of lime wood. The samples he has sent me have a very close grain and look excellent but these are the first frames I have seen made of this wood. Can anyone think of reasons why it should not be used - apart from the obvious one that somewhere a lot of lime trees are being chopped down.
Hi rooftops
i have never heard of it before , but im sure the bees would like the scent of the lime.

in my humble novice opinion.
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an extremely stable hardwood. Quite light with almost no discernible grain. A major favourite with wood carvers and some furniture makers. In this country (esp Scotland) usually taken from sustainable sources these days. I've got an ancient one in my garden which is about 40 feet high at the crown, but it ain't getting chopped down.
My father's hobby was carving and turning wood and he was very fond of Lime. I still have a few pieces. It is very light and soft. As for reasons why it shouldn't be used I don't know any. It is native to this country and was once very widely used. I think it is still used in pianos.
A lime can grow to 20 feet in 10 years or so. Does this make it a sustainable crop?
an extremely stable hardwood. Quite light with almost no discernible grain.

Pretty much says it all! A throw-back to the days of the basswood sections....
Obvious question (which you probably can't answer at the moment) is how it compares in cost.

Lime is used for making the english square sections from.....also known as been used in hives for decades....not sure if it would be as strong as pine for frames though,especially the ends of the top bars,and thin bottom bars may warp.
Thank you for all your replies. Strength could be an issue but the narrow bit where the side bars fit either side of the top bar is being made as wide as possible so this potential weak spot will be at least reduced.

After doing a bit of Googling I discovered lime is not supposed to be very stiff but the bottom bars seem much stiffer than normal frames - which are made of softwood. I suppose the "low stiffness" is a relative thing. Low for hardwoods.
still stiffer than the 'normal' frames from Th***s et al I suspect. Most of those seem to be pine or something similar. very bendy.
I've used lime (basswood to the Americans) in model aeroplane making and as long as the grain runs along the length of the piece rather than across (on the diagonal) it is quite strong- certainly strong enough for frames.Rather better than some of Mr T-----s offerings in fact.
My only comcern would be regards stabilty if the water % was a little high on assembly.

I know some cheap pines can be a sod for bending when losing an extra percent or so of moisture after assembly if not kiln dried.

Is it being kiln dried first Rooftops ?
I was hoping that one of our resident artisan wood workers like Tom Bick might have happened by with his wealth of knowledge by now.

Must be having an early night.
They sure do, some limes outside my house and the noise is deafening for a couple of weeks in summer (sadly just a couple of days this year due to the weather)

I've got a HUGE Lime tree about 20 feet from my hives. The bees ignore it completely. Weird. One of the main drivers for me getting bees in the first place was the blasted Lime tree. (my house is called Lime Tree House). Oh the irony.:banghead: