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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    35

    Default Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    Hi guys,

    I was wondering what beehives are generally made out of and what they can be made out of and what are the benefits out of the different materials including the different types of woods? I also notice there aren't too many plastic beehives out there, does it add a bad taste to the honey?

    Thanks again,

    Imperial

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    569

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    I would say that most hives are spruce, pine or fir. I recently ordered one made from Cedar and have also found some made from Hickory, that interest me. I think a few guys on here use Cypress also. It seems to be wide open and if you are building your own hives, use the wood that you can purchase locally at the best price. Good luck and have fun!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Richmond, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardS View Post
    ... and have also found some made from Hickory ...
    I have no experience building beehives, but I worked in the furniture industry for years and I can tell you that hickory is a BEAR to work with. Nails won't drive, staples collapse, etc. Plus, it weighs twice as much as pine, if that matters to you. But if you know what you're doing I'm sure it's OK.

    Anyway, back to the OP - is plywood an issue as far as chemicals or adhesives harming the bees?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    569

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    I don't think you will find too many fans of plywood for constructing hives. It will work, but I don't think it will last as long as regular wood. If the plywood is free, then it may be worth considering.

    Good to know on the hickory! I would buy them assembled and I was interested because of the nice look when using marine varnish on them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clintwood VA USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    If you buy I would advise Cypress for longevity. I am now replacing hives that I bought about 15 years ago due to decay. If I had known then what I know now my hives would still be good!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    What about plastic beehives? Anyone had any experience with them? Does it effect the taste of the honey?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    The bees will coat everything inside the hive with propolis anyway, so the only material I would avoid is any type of treated wood. I use pine boards, good grade of glue (like Titebond III), long screws, and a good coat of paint. Covers are plywood and pine covered with aluminum flashing.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Upper Kingsclear, NB, Canada
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Beginner Question: Beehive materials?

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial View Post
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering what beehives are generally made out of and what they can be made out of and what are the benefits out of the different materials including the different types of woods?
    Imperial
    I made mine of eastern hemlock. There is some wastage due to ring shake (internal delamination) but it's cheap and weather resistant and pretty light. May try some eastern white cedar , it's nice too but pricier. I have a local mill that will saw both of these up.

    Rob

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