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I inherited a pile of lumber. Much of it was rough cut pine. I am about out of that now and was wondering if anyone had used black walnut to build hives. It is all that I have left. Would it cause any issues with the hive? I can't foresee any, but wanted to check with some that may have more experience than I have.
 

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Somebody here has done it, but I don't remember who.

Walnut contains Juglone which is toxic so don't breath the sawdust... I do not know if it would harm the bees.
 

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I would say they will not stay, just a guess. Walnut has a very strong odor to it and could cause them to abscond.

I would trade the walnut for pine, you should get more pine boards.
 

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I'd look at the Walnut good before I'd cut it up for hive's,
With the price of Walnut,you may put it on CL,& sell it to wood works,Shuld get enough for it to buy some hives.
But to answer your Question yes it will work for hives,I've seen bees build in a 55 gal metal drum.
 

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It works fine, I made three garden hives out of walnut years ago and see no difference as far as the bees are concerned. As far as aroma being an issue I have not seen it and occasionally I find feral colonies in walnut trees.

Some physical difference are:
Heavy - feels like twice the weight of pine
Can't use nails or screws with out predrilling
Strong enough that if it's inclined to warp, something will fail (nails or screw will pull out or the wood will split)
Very important to paint or finish boxes, because excessive changes in moisture content will increase warping



Don
 

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Black Walnut is valuable enough that "rustlers" steal live standing trees out of front yards of farm houses (happened to my father-in-law's neighbor in PA).

It burns slow and evenly like coal. When I lived in AR and KY, Black Walnut was the wood of choice for kitchen stoves. You could split a couple of little pieces, and cook an omlete on the coal-like flame without heating up the kitchen for the rest of the summer day. (( This was 40 years ago, and Black Cherry was cut for railroad ties and Black Walnut was kept to heat the creosote kettle to dip the ties. In a fit of entrepeneurship, I tried to truck a load of Black Cherry and Black Walnut to the urban east-coast to sell for furniture wood, but the weight of the load killed the truck somewhere in Va.))

BW is very heavy and very brittle -- it splits with the grain.

I had a good friend, who when the Walnut nut orchards were bulldozed in the Sacramento to make room for almonds, scavenged up the root burls below the nut grafts, sold them to Europe for burl veneer and retired to a South Seas island.

Sell the Black Walnut -- buy hives.
 
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