Which budget wood hive

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Big ears 

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Hi,
Just starting out and collecting equipment for next spring. Decided on National wooden hives but cannot afford western cedar hives.
Is there much to choose between the cheap hives on STB or the British Cedar hives from Thornes?
I’m planning to preserve which ever hive with ECO wood treatment.

Cheers

BE
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
Hi,
Just starting out and collecting equipment for next spring. Decided on National wooden hives but cannot afford western cedar hives.
Is there much to choose between the cheap hives on STB or the British Cedar hives from Thornes?
I’m planning to preserve which ever hive with ECO wood treatment.

Cheers

BE
Get polyhives.
 

Big ears 

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Get polyhives.
This has been said before but I’ve looked into it and spoken to local bee keepers. As I live in Cornwall we get very few frosts and do t see the extreme temperature changes in other parts of the country. It does rain a lot though🙈
My big issue is cleaning them. Looking at videos they need immersing in washing soda in a huge drum.
For me this isn’t practical and therefore wood wins out.
 

Erichalfbee 

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This has been said before but I’ve looked into it and spoken to local bee keepers. As I live in Cornwall we get very few frosts and do t see the extreme temperature changes in other parts of the country. It does rain a lot though🙈
My big issue is cleaning them. Looking at videos they need immersing in washing soda in a huge drum.
For me this isn’t practical and therefore wood wins out.
I don’t clean mine. Just scrape wax and propolis getting in the way. To my mind if a colony is healthy why don’t I need to sterilise the box? Never immersed anything but myself. But not in a drum of washing soda
 

Big ears 

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I don’t clean mine. Just scrape wax and propolis getting in the way. To my mind if a colony is healthy why don’t I need to sterilise the box?
I was warned off by local bee keepers as there had been some EFB nearby over the last season.
 

drdrday 

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Decided on National wooden hives but cannot afford western cedar hives.
Is there much to choose between the cheap hives on STB or the British Cedar hives from Thornes?
Leaving the poly option aside, when it comes to wooden hives it's worth investing in cedar in my opinion. Your hive boxes should go on for years and years and years, and there's a big difference between pine and cedar when it comes to longevity, even if you do treat.
Have you looked at seconds in the sales? Maisemore still have a sale on at the moment. Just doing a quick bit of maths, the STBK budget hive is £85. Similar set up in Maisemore cedar seconds come to £85 (Solid floor, roof, 2x supers, 1x brood box) - doesn't include the plastic queen excluder or frame runners, but they're pretty cheap.

Edit:
Maisemore sale: Roof, mesh floor, 2 cedar supers, 1 cedar brood, 3 pairs of runners and one plastic QE = £98.38
STBK: Same as above but in fir = £84.99

£13.39 price difference, but don't forget you'd probably want to buy stain/preservative for the fir, and likely need to retreat every couple of years. Given the price of a tin of Cuprinol I'd go with cedar seconds every time.
P.S. Nothing against STBK, I use them a lot, although mainly when I can't wait for the sales.
 
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Apiarisnt 

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I am a great fan of STB and will be putting in another significant order, once the stuff I want is back in stock.

But:

there is only £1.70 difference the price of his fir BB and Maisie's sale cedar seconds BB.:


Maisie's 'seconds' are made on the same machinery as their 'firsts', but with local red cedar so have the odd knot or three, but nothing that I have found to cause any significant or insoluble issues. And you do not have the extra cost of wood treatment.

If you are looking for an 'ECO' wood treatment, it would be interesting if you can find one that is certified safe for bees. I make up my own ekes, floors and acrylic crownboards using cheapo pine/fir/deal and stain them with Cuprinol Five Year Woodstain (which these days seems to be called Cuprinol Softwood and Hardwood Garden Furniture Stain - the 'Antique Pine' flavour is the nearest to the colour of cedar). It is not these days certified as bee safe (why open yourself to liability) but I have had no problem with it.
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
This has been said before but I’ve looked into it and spoken to local bee keepers. As I live in Cornwall we get very few frosts and do t see the extreme temperature changes in other parts of the country. It does rain a lot though🙈
My big issue is cleaning them. Looking at videos they need immersing in washing soda in a huge drum.
For me this isn’t practical and therefore wood wins out.
I've not washed for eighteen months. ;)
 

Angry_Mob 

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N.B. Insulation is beneficial in the heat as well as the cold.

Bee equipment's sale started this morning, they have WRC parts which looks to be reasonable prices however they dont seem to have WRC floors or roofs but instead you could maybe buy a pine floor and an original style Abelo poly roof.
 

madasafish 

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I've not washed for eighteen months. ;)
I can smell you 250 miles away. :devilish:

With the threatened rubbish strike in Scotland, no-one will notice :eek:
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
I’ll second the Abelo roof. Much better than a wooden one.
I'll third the roof, but why stop there?
@Big ears could always use vinyl wrap to make it look like cedar, and I haven't specifically heard of anyone having problems scorching polyhives. ;)
Using wood in anticipation of serious disease problems is about as optimistic as playing tiddlywinks with goggles on, just in case one of the pieces should get you in the eye.

 

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My big issue is cleaning them.
The cleaning you describe refers to sterilising in a dilute bleach solution in the event of infection by EFB or AFB. In that case, a plastic box big enough to fit and rotate the parts would do the job.

Otherwise, no cleaning is needed. Sure, you may scrape burr comb or slug remnants or whatever else gets in, but that's no more than you'd have to do with wood.

Poly wins on thermal efficiency, weighs far less, lasts 40 years and can be recycled. As AM pointed out, thermal efficiency works to benefit the colony at at all times. Poly will save on assembly and painting and can be put to work straight away. Have a look at Abelo, easily the best out there.
 

Ian123 

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Check out maismores sale currently on they’ll also be on offer at Xmas from Thornes, few can compete with those prices for English cedar boxes. I’d also pick English cedar over pine any time! As for cleaning boxes mine only ever get done if something died in there over winter and that’s the same for poly or wood. For poly cleaning you realistically need little more than a decent plastic potting tray. When I first brought poly it was priced at a few pounds more than seconds cedar, prices now and extra complicated boxes mean there’s a significant saving between English cedar and poly atm. There are benefits to poly but good and some not so good beekeepers have been keeping thriving hives alive in wood for many many years.
 
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Big ears 

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I am a great fan of STB and will be putting in another significant order, once the stuff I want is back in stock.

But:

there is only £1.70 difference the price of his fir BB and Maisie's sale cedar seconds BB.:


Maisie's 'seconds' are made on the same machinery as their 'firsts', but with local red cedar so have the odd knot or three, but nothing that I have found to cause any significant or insoluble issues. And you do not have the extra cost of wood treatment.

If you are looking for an 'ECO' wood treatment, it would be interesting if you can find one that is certified safe for bees. I make up my own ekes, floors and acrylic crownboards using cheapo pine/fir/deal and stain them with Cuprinol Five Year Woodstain (which these days seems to be called Cuprinol Softwood and Hardwood Garden Furniture Stain - the 'Antique Pine' flavour is the nearest to the colour of cedar). It is not these days certified as bee safe (why open yourself to liability) but I have had no problem with it.
Thanks , this is the wood treatment I was thinking of using
 

Ian123 

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It appears our resident forum sponsor/advertiser Bee Equipment has some well priced cedar boxes/equipment, they are also a few pounds cheaper than seconds from the main suppliers. I gave him some stick regarding prices earlier he’s clearly come up with the goods😂
 

Wilco 

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If set on wood and if you're able to do some woodwork, buy the WRC and make them yourself. Might not be as perfect as one you've bought but can be significantly cheaper.
 

Big ears 

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If set on wood and if you're able to do some woodwork, buy the WRC and make them yourself. Might not be as perfect as one you've bought but can be significantly cheaper.
I did look at that but when I priced it out it was not much different.
 

Apiarisnt 

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Thanks , this is the wood treatment I was thinking of using
It could well be safe, who knows? As they do not say what is in it, let alone that it is safe to use for bees, it is not possible to say. One always has to bear in mind that generally, wood preservative prevents infestation by insects, if it works, by killing them.

If, as has been suggested elsewhere, it contains some mixture of disodium octoborate tetrahydrate / boron / boric acid then it is good for killing termites, powder post beetles and carpenter ants. It is an American product and I suspect may not be licensed for use in Europe (Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate). A European assessment of one of the main consituents merely states:

1634328031038.png

There was a paper published back in 1987 suggesting that the L50 dose (enough to kill 50% of the bees in the experiment) for boric acid was around 362 μg / bee (Atkins EL. Laboratory Bee Adult Toxicity Tests (BATDT) for boric acid, powdered, 100% technical. MRID 40269201. 1987.)

It would be interesting to see how you get on with it. Meanwhile, I may choose to stick with the natural protection afforded by (even UK grown) western red cedar.
 

Apiarisnt 

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It could well be safe, who knows? As they do not say what is in it, let alone that it is safe to use for bees, it is not possible to say. One always has to bear in mind that generally, wood preservative prevents infestation by insects, if it works, by killing them.
...
It would be interesting to see how you get on with it. Meanwhile, I may choose to stick with the natural protection afforded by (even UK grown) western red cedar.
But the good news, you will have less of a problem with wax moth.
 

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