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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC Canada
    Posts
    43

    Default Sealing hive with Silicone?

    Currently building a horizontal lang and was talking to a home builder. We've got a really soggy climate in here in BC and he was telling me how after building a shed or cabin he'd seal joints exposed to the elements with clear silicone (stuff you put around your sink). This prevented water from penetrating or seeping through. Could silicone be used on a hive? Can I seal all the joints with silicone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    The bees will do that for you if they don't like them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    Yes, all exterior exposuers can be sealed. The bees will not care.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Fayetteville, WV
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    I would let the bees decide, more often than not ventilation is a good thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    Make the hive waterproof, the bees will use the entrance(s) to ventilate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,714

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    The issue with sealing the hive is that bees are living creatures (hopefully), and humid air is simply a fact of life where creatures live. Your hive is likely to be more humid than the outside air. In cold weather if that humid air is not exhausted to the outside, there will be condensation inside the hive.

    So if you are referring to sealing the outside of the wood endgrain, fine. If you are trying to seal up every possible crack from air movement, then that isn't going to help keep the inside dry.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    I think vancity is worried about the near 58 inches of rain per year that will be falling on the hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,544

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    As far as I know, pure (clear) silicone does not adhere well to the naked wood. It did adhere very well to the ceramic, for instance. I would use some good primer appropriate to your weather and high quality paint on top. I assume that we are talking about exterior.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    Pure Silicone is a poor caulk for lot of jobs. Speaking as a painter. No need the bees are great caulkers.
    David

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,714

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    > I think vancity is worried about the near 58 inches of rain per year that will be falling on the hive.

    We get an average of 44 inches per year here. But regardless of the annual rainfall, all you need is a lid that doesn't leak. Tin (roof flashing) or aluminum covering the wood lid works fine to stop rain.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    You might consider paintable silicone if you want. Very useful stuff. Let it cure for a good long time. But remember, this is only for the box, not the bees. You're helping the box by doing this, not the bees. It's your decision.

    I use Titebond III on all my exterior type woodenware.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Blacksburg, VA
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    Speaking as a builder for the last 35 years, don't use silicone on wood, just like the others have indicated. If you are going to caulk, acrylic latex will bond best to dry wood. Paintable silicone caulk is for the most part latex with a little more silicone added, still it should be called latex IMO.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    I use Tite bond III glue and screws when putting hives together,never had a water problem. I also have a top and bottom entrance on my hives year round.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Sealing hive with Silicone?

    Any gap less than 1/8" will get sealed with propolis which will be much more acceptable to the bees than silicone.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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