Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Another dumb question from the new top bar keeper...

I decided to buy cedar lumber to build my top bar with the hope that I can avoid painting. These boards are smooth on one side and rough on the other. I assumed I should put the smooth side towards the bees, but then I got to thinking (dangerous). I feel like I read somewhere that some people specifically use rough wood to promote the bees coating it with propolis. Would the rough side also absorb more moisture in the winter? Or would the rough side encourage them to connect the comb more to the sides.

I'm sure I'm overthinking, but welcome an answer.

Thanks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,070 Posts
Rather than directly answering your questions,:) I'm going to suggest that you put the rough side inside and the smoother side of the board on the outside of the TBH.

If there is excess humidity in the hive, you want that humidity vented to the outside, not absorbed into the wood. My TBH's have top entrances similar to those at the link, and I don't see humidity issues.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
I build with cedar as well for the same reason, I don't want to paint them. I put the rough side in. I do go over it with sandpaper to take off large burrs but i don't make it smooth by any means. Seems to work well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I don't know if it matters. I haven't seen the inside of many trees that was smooth?

I use rough cut when I can get my hands on it because of cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
721 Posts
For looks only, rough side in.

They may tend to over propolize the rough side in. If you seal the exterior side with a protectant, it really does not matter which side with the moisture.

I use bandsaw cut, red cedar which is rough on both sides. I always put the roughest knots or scars on the inside for pretty's only, not because of the performance of the board.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the answers. Seems that rough side in is the consensus, so that's what I'll do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Not me, I want it smooth as a babys behind inside so the SHB cant hunker down in a crack, burr or knot hole. I've seen em hide in the wierdest places. Years before the beetles I could have cared less which side but I do now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Luckily we don't have any shb in theses parts, at least not yet. (Knock on wood) so I should be safe on that front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Pics when you're done! I love how our cedar TB looks untreated.
I'll get some pics soon.

The first try was a disaster. I put too many nails connecting the bottom to the sides. When I tried to spread them the bottom board split. I guess I learned my lesson, but cedar 1x10s aren't cheap. I also destroyed a 1x12 trying to get the nails out. Live and learn I guess.

The second I only put 3 nails in each side and that worked better. But I should probably put some screws in now to attach them more permanently. It looks good and michaels method is super easy once you learn not to use too many nails.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,108 Posts
Cedar splits more easily than pine. If you dull the points on the nails it helps. Turn them upside down, put the head on something hard and tap the point until it's blunt. Then turn it over and nail it in. If you wet the wood it helps with splitting also. Worst cases you can drill pilot holes for the nails or screws.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top