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Recipe for Shellac coating for inside my topbar

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New Bee

Joined: 05 May 2016
Posts: 6
Location: Welwyn, Hertfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:01 pm    Post subject: Recipe for Shellac coating for inside my topbar Reply with quote

I'm waiting for my top bar to arrive and I'm all a bit excited. I understand that coating the inside with shellac will make it more homely.

I've hunted and hunted and found odd parts of a recipe but I'm a bit confused.

I've bought 250g of blonde shellac flakes. If I buy Methylated Spirit is that ok for the denatured alcohol and should I ask a fellow beekeeper for a bit of propolis as if I google propolis I get loads of adverts for beauty treatment stuff and what quantities should I use please?

And finally, should I add a little citronella oil?

Sorry for the long list of questions!!!

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Silver Bee

Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may be in danger of gilding the lily.
There is very little you need to do, in the long run they will propolise the inside themselves. If it was winter and you were getting it ready for next year I would say go for it BUT if you want it ready for this year strong solvents on fresh wood will only put bees off (in my opinion).
If you have a beekeeper friend then ask them for old brood comb, the darker the better.
Give the inside of the hive a good rub over with some beeswax (the blocks available cheaply on the internet are fine) and hang the old brood comb in there. A small amount of lemon grass oil on cotton wool in a small ziplock bag can help.
If you can only get scraps of brood comb or can't hang it then melt it in some vegetable oil and then as it cools add a little lemon grass oil and mix it up. Smear some of the resulting paste around the inside of the hive and this is an excellent attractant.

If you can bring yourself to do it a light scorching of the inside can remove the fresh wood smell.

He is a post I did on catching swarms, some of the same principles apply for preventing absconding on installation.
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