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oiling hive for longevity

 
Risa Sibbitt
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We so Just bought our first hive--bees arrive soon. We were thinking of oiling it so it will last longer through the snowy and rainy months (we live near Canada) and not breakdown.

Is there any non-toxic oil that doesn't damage the bees, hive or wood?
Thanks!
 
tel jetson
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Location: woodland, washington
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pure tung oil has become popular over the past few years. some folks cut it with a solvent to help it penetrate further into the wood. takes a long time to cure, but it looks real nice, and it shouldn't harm the bees at all. I've also used limewash and kakishibu on hives. limewash is real cheap, but would probably need to be reapplied periodically. kakishibu is definitely not cheap, but it's neat stuff.
 
Risa Sibbitt
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for the tung oil, you said it takes a long time to cure. roughly how long? more than a week?

and you said the limewash needs to be reapplied periodically. can you do that with the bees in there? does it piss them off of you just reapply the outside and they don't mind? thanks!!!
 
tel jetson
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Risa Sibbitt wrote:for the tung oil, you said it takes a long time to cure. roughly how long? more than a week?


I would guess around a week. it might take longer than that to be completely cured, but it should be far enough along after a week that handling it would be fine.

Risa Sibbitt wrote:and you said the limewash needs to be reapplied periodically. can you do that with the bees in there? does it piss them off of you just reapply the outside and they don't mind? thanks!!!


you could do it with the bees in there, but you wouldn't have to. you could reapply it to boxes after harvesting before they go back in the stack, for example. or, apply it in the evening after the bees are inside for the night. or on a dry day in the winter when they aren't flying. I wouldn't do it while the bees are active, because lime can be a bit caustic before it cures and I wouldn't want them to burn their little feet walking across it.
 
Risa Sibbitt
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THANKS!
 
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