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Red Cedar Wood for Hive Body??

 
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Trusty Scout
House Bee


Joined: 18 Mar 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Orlando FL

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:30 pm    Post subject: Red Cedar Wood for Hive Body?? Reply with quote

I need to build a new TBH and have ample access to red cedar wood. (Juniperus virginiana) As most know, this type of "aromatic" wood repels moths but my question is: is it bad for bees? Will it cause the bees to flee once they are placed in the hive box? Does the wood have a negative effect on the honey? Sad
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BridgetB
Scout Bee


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 355
Location: UK Cornwall, Falmouth

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is really lovely wood, excellent for hives and the bees seem very content with it. Fantastic aroma as you build the hive, but the smell does go with age. It doesn't seem to repel wax moths either. One of my empty hives was badly infected with it and needed thorough cleaning and scorching.
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Smorning
Foraging Bee


Joined: 20 Aug 2013
Posts: 150
Location: Faversham Kent UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: No problem Reply with quote

You are blessed it's the best wood for hives in the the UK if I had a supply of red cedar I would be overjoyed best of luck with your hives
Very Happy
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wood you want is Western Red Cedar, which is not in fact a cedar at all, but a member of the Cypress family.

Juniperus virginiana is aromatic and insect repellant: hardly ideal for building bee hives!
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pkalisz
New Bee


Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Mercer County, KY, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you search a variety of beekeeping forums you will find that lots of beekeepers use Juniperus virginiana woodenware. I successfully keep bees in topbar hives and regularly trap swarms in bait traps made from this species. Over the years I have also seen feral colonies in J. virginiana cavities about as often as in other tree species, proportionately speaking. The bees don't seem to mind the volatile aromatics that J. virginiana is famous for. Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) and Eastern Red Cedar are both in the cypress family (Cupressaceae).
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J Smith
Foraging Bee


Joined: 13 Jan 2014
Posts: 169
Location: New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Riversdale.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macrocarpa, or Monterey Cypress is also from the same family, Cupressus. It is a native of California, imported and grown as an exotic here in NZ.
Yes, it is insect repellent- to common wood boring insects, not insects using it as a home. It is aromatic when milled/cut/dressed, but once air dried it is quite mundane and neutral smelling, but the high aromatic resin content is unliked by wood boring insects.
Macrocarpa would be one of the most used hive timbers here, because it is exotic (cheaper and easier to get than Native timbers), readily available, weather resistant (to a degree) and does not require further treatment to protect from wood boring insects- a process that can cause great harm to resident bees.

Having worked with timber all of my professional career, I would not hesitate to use Cypress type untreated timbers for hive construction. In my opinion they are a much better choice than some of the untreated Pine species.
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ourMikeGeorge
House Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2014
Posts: 17
Location: UK, Leics, Burbage

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may be able to get some untreated oak at a good price. Would that be suitable?
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oak is prone to warping, twisting and splitting, and it is very heavy.

Apart from that, it's fine!
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