Rough sawn hives

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by hooday, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. hooday

    hooday New Member

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    Apparently, painting hive boxes traps moisture in the hive, contributing to hive box rot - (especially with box-joint corners.) An unpainted body surely is more breathable; a better thing both for bees and the box.

    However, smooth, planed surfaces do not last long in outdoor conditions; (which is the major reason beekeepers paint them.) A planed surface will last maybe three years before totally succumbing to deterioration.

    Seeing as how rough sawn planks last decades in barns and out-buildings - in full sun and rain - wouldn't they last just as long as hive bodies?

    Has anyone ever used rough-sawn lumber for hive boxes? I would really like to know.

    Also, different wood apparently has different longevities. I've heard some say poplar is a very poor hive box wood, but others say it lasts a long time on barn walls and the like. I think the naysayers are judging the painted, planed boxes, (which likely deteriorate quickly from the inside.)

    I've also heard pine - both white and yellow - are good box wood choices. Again, does anyone have any experience using these woods - rough-sawn and unpainted - as hive bodies?
     
  2. rast

    rast New Member

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    Hooday, first welcome to the forum.
    Most of the time you will not see a rot problem on the inside of the boxes inhabited by bees for years. They do a pretty good job of keeping it temp controlled and sealing it up.
    The problem with rough sawed, unfinished wood is the expansion and contraction process it does continuously. Never bothered us on the barns. Long enough nails and they won't fall off or twist the barn out of square (if it was to start with :) ).
    You really don't want a hive body twisting up on one side and coming loose at the corners.
    Of course different species of wood have different rates of moving with moisture and temp.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I've seen 30 year old painted pine hive bodies in good condition, so I can't agree with your thoughts. The inside of the hive is not painted, giving the wood plenty of breathing surface.
     
  4. scdw43

    scdw43 New Member

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    I use rough lumber for boxes, screened bottoms, rails on tele covers, feeders, everything I use. If the lumber is allowed to dry 3 to 6 mons it will not warp anymore than the green stuff you pay 10 times more for at Lowe's or Home Depot. Warpage has nothing to do with the planing of the wood. As far as building boxes with rough lumber I don't worry about outside measurements just the inside. Trees are not the same inside or out. My 2 cents
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    almost all the wood at Lowe's and Home Depot is kiln dried down to a very low moisture content. you cannot get it that dry by stacking and ricketing it in a pile in some barn... close but in this case no banana. excess moisture levels in a rough sawn board will typically equate to the dimension of the board changing as it gives off or absorbs water. this is only important if you think bee space is a concern.

    wood rots via a process called wicking. that is the grain absorbs water which creates a bit of biological activity internal to the board and the board then slowly deteriorates. anything you can do to first lower the initial moisture in the board and then seal the end grains will highly retard rot.

    depending on the kind of wood and how it is milled (quarter sawn in what furniture makers use... hint, hint) directly effects warping and checking.

    technically if you wanted to totally seal a board and not trap in moisture you would first paint all surfaces with a primer (primers by definition is porous) and then paint the outer surface and end grains.
     
  6. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Gotta beekeeping friend, no really I know people, who paints all of his wooden ware w/ silver paint which he buys by the 5 gallon bucket. He paints ALL surfaces inside and out and he has had some of them for 50 years.

    He has comb that is older than that. Though maybe he shouldn't.