Tung Oil Inside The Hive?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Tung Oil Inside The Hive?

    I've used tung oil on the outside of my hives for years and never considered using it on the inside? Recently, while searching for some online I saw several sites that said it was safe to use on the inside of the beehive. So that leaves me wondering (1)Has anybody here ever done that? (2)Would it be of any benefit?

    Naturally, I wouldn't do it on any hives just before putting bees in there. I have two empty hives that died out so the beehives would sit until next spring to air out before any bees would be installed.
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,136

    Default Re: Tung Oil Inside The Hive?

    Most of the products labeled "Tung Oil" in the paint aisle at most home centers are not pure tung oil. Tung oil is made from the Chinese tung nut and retail tung oil is as adulterated as Chinese honey. They are a blend of polyurethane, boiled linseed oil, with a bit of tung oil. They may also contain metallic drying catalysts. Once cured it's probably OK but oil finishes take months to cure. Bees will finish the inside of a hive themselves with propolis. Propolis is a natural microbial. Why do an artificial finish over just letting the bees propolize it over time as they will do anyways?
    Zone 6B

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    655

    Default Re: Tung Oil Inside The Hive?

    Bees "varnish" the inside as they see fit. I see no benefits in tung oil on the interior - just risk without reward.
    Beekeeping 6 Years - 12 production hives and about 12 nucs - Treatment OAV Only

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Hall, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: Tung Oil Inside The Hive?

    +++ to what JConnolly said. Most Tung in the big box is filled with drying agents which have heavy metals in them. Nasty. If you can find "real" tung oil, it will cure up completely natural and inert... but they will propolize anyway and just cover up all your work. Just rough up the inside walls with a rasp and let them coat the walls with tree resin. They will be happier and you will save the money. (The rasp is because they will propolize a rough wall a little better than a smooth one). Good luck!

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