Treated lumber for hive stand
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  1. #1
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    Nov 2014
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    Default Treated lumber for hive stand

    Looking to build a couple of hive stands and was wondering if it was ok to use treated lumber or go with untreated. I was thinking that treated might effect the hive from fumes that come off the wood.
    Truth, Wisdom, Knowledge

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    You will probably get positive and negative responses, focusing primarily on the chemicals used in treating the wood and how those chemicals may effect honey and/or bees. I have built screened bottom boards out of both untreated and treated materials and I have not noticed any difference. Other than untreated bottom boards rot much more quickly than treated bottom boards. I think it is really just your personal philosophy on chemicals and beekeeping.

  4. #3
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    Feb 2019
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    439

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    I try and buy them a few months before I use them, lets them dry out some.and if it twists you can take it back.
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BackyardBeesNC

  5. #4
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    I dont know whether we are on the same standard both sides of the border but there was quite a change over here in regard to arsenic content. I dont know what the common formulation is now but it is less bad! Probably the most meaningful exposure would be via sawing etc., when we build with it.
    Frank

  6. #5
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    Nov 2014
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    Bethlehem NY
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    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    I read a couple articles on the subject and it would take awhile for the wood to dry out. Now I’m thinking trex decking or something similar
    Truth, Wisdom, Knowledge

  7. #6
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    Nov 2014
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    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    Just checked price of trex decking, probably going to go with regular wood 2x4 and some good outdoors latex paint.
    Truth, Wisdom, Knowledge

  8. #7
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    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,234

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    Both. The stand platform is not in contact with the ground so use regular lumber. Use treated lumber for legs that are in contact with the ground.

    Here is something to think about instead.
    61CEDEDD-70D2-4798-9AD7-266381219D39_zpslffsp60g.jpgTestplug ant barrier.jpgGreased Test Pluy Ant Barrier.jpg

    This stand doesn't make contact with the ground, it sits on leveling bolts and the leveling bolts can sit on pavers or cinder blocks. It is made from 2x6 Douglas fir. The leveling bolts pass through a nut embedded in the cross member and epoxied in place. I use 4" [test caps](https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-4-...9103/100113503) for grease cups. Small screws secure the grease cup in place over the level bolt. Leveler bolts are 6" long with 1/2-13 thread. Cross members are joined to the rails with 6" lag bolts. Be sure to drill a pilot hole that is the diameter of the lag bolt shank so it doesn't split the cross member. I've now made four of these since my first one a few years ago and they work well at keeping the ants out of the hives. it'll be the basic pattern of all my new hive stands now. Ants can climb up the level bolts but that is as far as they can get. (Weeds or other items in contact with the stand nullify the stand). The stand will hold up to three hives. I finished them with four coats of boiled linseed oil, which takes a couple of weeks in the sun to cure before using. BLO is a finish that has to be renewed in about four years, but it is easy to renew. The grease is just whatever axle grease is the cheapest, and it needs to be renewed after about two years.
    Zone 6B

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
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    157

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    I highly recommend treated wood or for resistant wood like white oak....once the untreated wood starts to rot it's a gamble when it will collapse under a summer hive weight. Would you build your deck joists with untreated wood?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,355

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    I seriously doubt that the chemicals would do any harm;however, if you want to avoid chemicals when they are unnecessary,consider cement blocks. Last forever, you don't have to mow under them, they give some insulation and the holes are handy for storing your hive tool and running straps through them. They are also pretty heavy which is a plus if you want to strap your hives due to wind and bears. J

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I dont know whether we are on the same standard both sides of the border but there was quite a change over here in regard to arsenic content. I dont know what the common formulation is now but it is less bad! Probably the most meaningful exposure would be via sawing etc., when we build with it.
    They stopped using arsenic in the US to treat wood in 2003.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Bethlehem NY
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    36

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    Thanks for the pics, now the wheels are turning
    Truth, Wisdom, Knowledge

  13. #12

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    Both. The stand platform is not in contact with the ground so use regular lumber. Use treated lumber for legs that are in contact with the ground.

    Here is something to think about instead.
    61CEDEDD-70D2-4798-9AD7-266381219D39_zpslffsp60g.jpgTestplug ant barrier.jpgGreased Test Pluy Ant Barrier.jpg

    This stand doesn't make contact with the ground, it sits on leveling bolts and the leveling bolts can sit on pavers or cinder blocks. It is made from 2x6 Douglas fir. The leveling bolts pass through a nut embedded in the cross member and epoxied in place. I use 4" [test caps](https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-4-...9103/100113503) for grease cups. Small screws secure the grease cup in place over the level bolt. Leveler bolts are 6" long with 1/2-13 thread. Cross members are joined to the rails with 6" lag bolts. Be sure to drill a pilot hole that is the diameter of the lag bolt shank so it doesn't split the cross member. I've now made four of these since my first one a few years ago and they work well at keeping the ants out of the hives. it'll be the basic pattern of all my new hive stands now. Ants can climb up the level bolts but that is as far as they can get. (Weeds or other items in contact with the stand nullify the stand). The stand will hold up to three hives. I finished them with four coats of boiled linseed oil, which takes a couple of weeks in the sun to cure before using. BLO is a finish that has to be renewed in about four years, but it is easy to renew. The grease is just whatever axle grease is the cheapest, and it needs to be renewed after about two years.
    Where'd you get those leveling feet? I like those!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Bellflower,Montgomery County, Mo
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    44

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    I second JConnely's opinion about treated in contact with the ground. 2x4x4 if you are going with a 2 hive stand, 2x6x10 if you are going for a 6 hive stand.

    I painted my porch with a good latex paint 2 years ago and it did a great job of peeling in the first year. I noticed the same thing with my bee boxes. From now on I'll take the time to clean my rollers and brushes with paint thinner. The good paint stores say oil based paint lasts 7 years as the oil penetrates the wood and latex floats on the surface. I have one top cover that I won at my beginning bee class in 2012 and I just noticed that it has mushrooms growing under the parts that the bees have not used propolis to stick down. So all of my top covers get made out of treated plywood from now on.

    Good Luck on your stands.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    1,798

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    All of our stands are made the same way. We drove fence posts first, I used the old ones that came out when we replaced an old fence with the new one you see behind the hives. two posts 8 feet apart, then two more beside them. Cut the posts all off level, then set a 12 or 16 foot 4x4 on top of the posts, drove a spike thru to hold it in place. All the wood is treated.


  16. #15
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    May 2017
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    287

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    I use treated for hive stands. I have not noticed any problem. I would not use treated for the hive bottom.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    2,613

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    Quote Originally Posted by lockdown199 View Post
    Looking to build a couple of hive stands and was wondering if it was ok to use treated lumber or go with untreated. I was thinking that treated might effect the hive from fumes that come off the wood.
    I try to avoid treated lumber. I would use cedar, redwood, or cypress, depending on what was to hand.
    David Matlock

  18. #17
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    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,234

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    Quote Originally Posted by neosolace View Post
    Where'd you get those leveling feet? I like those!
    The levelers are just 6" bolts, 1/2" diameter, that run through the nut embedded in the cross member. That stand in the photo is sitting on granite posts but anything else works fine. The steel leveler bolt is what holds it up and the only path for ants to climb onto the stand is to ascend the leveler bolt where it runs into the grease cup.
    Orienting from that picture, there is another hive stand to the left that is the same design but sized to hold just one stand, then a three hive stand behind where I stood to take that picture. That was where I ran out of granite posts. To the right, if you turned the corner on the gravel path, is another single hive stand with the levelers on cinder blocks, and then next to it a 3 hive stand of the same design that sits on landscaping timbers. Anything hard that the ends of the leveler bolts can rest on works.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 02-07-2020 at 12:33 PM.
    Zone 6B

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Meridian, MS USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    There are different grades of treated pine at the big box stores. Look at the tag on the end of the board, I'd only use the ones labeled "ground contact". The other grade will not last nearly as long.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    4,567

    Default Re: Treated lumber for hive stand

    My hive stands are cinder blocks stacked two high with a pair of 8' PT pine 4x4s laid on top. I have not noticed any problems. I would not use PT for anything inside of the hive. Besides, ever since they stopped using CCA, you have to use special coated fasteners in today's treated lumber.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ridgeville, SC, USA
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    560

    Default

    Keep it simple. Think about making single hive pallets. A simple hand truck with 2 x4 forks screwed to bottom plate and now you can move hives with ease. There is nothing permanent when it comes to bees. You will have to move them at some point in time. If not you can still move them out of way and mow underneath then move back. They are lower to ground so when you place supers on they are not too high to work. Very versatile. I have changed from cinder blocks to 4x4 on blocks to adjustable wood frame multiple hive, hive stands and finally settled on pallets. They are the best most versatile and very mobile. I am not far from going all out 4 way but not yet. I run 150 hives now and just cant push my self for extra expense of a loader , flatbed truck and trailer to carry the loader. I run very simple , utility trailer ,pick up truck and my effort. You never know where you are headed with bees, so always keep things simple ,mobile and versatile. You never know when the time will come and it will ,you will have to move your hives. With a single hive pallet it's simple as a ratchet strap, scoop and go with hand truck. Also works with loading full honey supers on trailer. I move my hives around for different floral sources for times of year and I work by myself. Just my 2 cents. Good luck remember the bees dont care about stands.

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