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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    I inherited a pile of lumber. Much of it was rough cut pine. I am about out of that now and was wondering if anyone had used black walnut to build hives. It is all that I have left. Would it cause any issues with the hive? I can't foresee any, but wanted to check with some that may have more experience than I have.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    Somebody here has done it, but I don't remember who.

    Walnut contains Juglone which is toxic so don't breath the sawdust... I do not know if it would harm the bees.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    knoxville, tn
    Posts
    646

    Default Re: Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    I would say they will not stay, just a guess. Walnut has a very strong odor to it and could cause them to abscond.

    I would trade the walnut for pine, you should get more pine boards.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Default Re: Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    I'd look at the Walnut good before I'd cut it up for hive's,
    With the price of Walnut,you may put it on CL,& sell it to wood works,Shuld get enough for it to buy some hives.
    But to answer your Question yes it will work for hives,I've seen bees build in a 55 gal metal drum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    642

    Default Re: Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    It works fine, I made three garden hives out of walnut years ago and see no difference as far as the bees are concerned. As far as aroma being an issue I have not seen it and occasionally I find feral colonies in walnut trees.

    Some physical difference are:
    Heavy - feels like twice the weight of pine
    Can't use nails or screws with out predrilling
    Strong enough that if it's inclined to warp, something will fail (nails or screw will pull out or the wood will split)
    Very important to paint or finish boxes, because excessive changes in moisture content will increase warping



    Don

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    779

    Default Re: Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    Black Walnut is valuable enough that "rustlers" steal live standing trees out of front yards of farm houses (happened to my father-in-law's neighbor in PA).

    It burns slow and evenly like coal. When I lived in AR and KY, Black Walnut was the wood of choice for kitchen stoves. You could split a couple of little pieces, and cook an omlete on the coal-like flame without heating up the kitchen for the rest of the summer day. (( This was 40 years ago, and Black Cherry was cut for railroad ties and Black Walnut was kept to heat the creosote kettle to dip the ties. In a fit of entrepeneurship, I tried to truck a load of Black Cherry and Black Walnut to the urban east-coast to sell for furniture wood, but the weight of the load killed the truck somewhere in Va.))

    BW is very heavy and very brittle -- it splits with the grain.

    I had a good friend, who when the Walnut nut orchards were bulldozed in the Sacramento to make room for almonds, scavenged up the root burls below the nut grafts, sold them to Europe for burl veneer and retired to a South Seas island.

    Sell the Black Walnut -- buy hives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    You could sell the wood and buy a lot of pine that is more fit to bee hives.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Johnson City, TN, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Using Black Walnut as Hive materials

    Thank you all. I think I will be selling it and buying some pine.

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