I am a new/aspiring bee keeper and am building my first two hives myself out of untreated 2x4's left over from another building site.
My carpentry skills are not very strong - 7th grade woodshop class and a new saw and drill are all I have going for me...
I can see that there are going to be some "gaps" in my hives... between the warping of the wood, and nailed together pieces. Is this going to be something that the bee's can "fill in" themselves with propolis, or do I need to take steps to make sure that my hive is more "air tight?"
Also - do you have a recommendation for reducing water into the hive - I live in rainy Seattle, WA.
I have heard that painting the hive is not a great idea because it can't breathe.
I was thinking of either
1) scorching the hive (a la parone method) with some kind of torch that I don't have yet.
2) Putting the hive inside my 60 sf chicken run to have it be under roof (can they fly through hardware cloth?
3) Sealing it with some sort of "natural" wood preservative.
They can seal huge holes with propolis, but anything you can do to reduce the gaps gives the bees more time to work on making honey.
For rain, build a mini bee hut as tel suggested.
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