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Author Topic: Hemlock  (Read 1551 times)

Offline hankdog1

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Hemlock
« on: May 03, 2009, 07:06:06 PM »
Hey guys i'm thinking about building some deeps, mediums, and bottom boards out of some hemlock i got for 50 cents a board foot.  Anybody ever used hemlock?  I hear it's the best stuff i can use around here.  Just looking for some info and suggestions.  Thanks before hand for your imput.
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Offline contactme_11

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 07:51:42 PM »
I don't see any reason why you shouldn't use it.

Offline slaphead

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 10:31:05 PM »
Hemlock rots relatively quickly where it touches the soil but should be fine as long as its painted and kept on freely draining blocks.  In contrast cedar is relatively rot resistant and can last for several years with no treatment at all.  Not that I'd recommend not painting it   :roll:

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Offline hankdog1

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 10:37:36 PM »
I have thought about cedar before but i assumed since other insects don't like it bees probably wouldn't care for it eigther.
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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 01:20:13 AM »
I have thought about cedar before but i assumed since other insects don't like it bees probably wouldn't care for it eigther.

One of my mentors, a Cherokee Indian, wouldn't put his bees into anything but cedar or cypress.  Since getting cypress out here in the PNW is a near impossiblity it was cedar.  He began manufacting bee equipment after he retired and built up quite a business.  Up until I went in the Army in 68 I got all my equipment from him.  Unfortunately he died while I was overseas.
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Offline slaphead

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2009, 02:00:19 AM »
My home built hives are made from recycled cedar siding and fences.  The siding is typically 1" to 1.25" thick and the bees seem to love it.   No problems as yet with colonies absconding.

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Offline hankdog1

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2009, 12:00:05 PM »
I'm gonna have to give cedar a try then i've been thinking about buying a saw mill and i've got alot of cedar on the farm.  So i suppose i'll cut some into boards and give it a try.
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Offline Irwin

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2009, 10:12:58 AM »
I wouldn't try it like slaphead said it will rot. Around here with all the rain I wouldn't trust it. I run an LT 10 woodmizzer saw mill I think it's the smallest that they make you can cut up to 12 feet but it's a pain. It makes a real nice board.
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Offline Rosco

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2009, 11:08:43 AM »
I've been wondering about cedar hives and the control of varroa or any other pest. Do you get these with cedar hives? Anyone have any experience with this?
Don't mean to hijack your thread but it seemed like a good place to ask since it has been mentioned and I'm really interested.

Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2009, 10:45:23 PM »
I've been wondering about cedar hives and the control of varroa or any other pest. Do you get these with cedar hives? Anyone have any experience with this?
Don't mean to hijack your thread but it seemed like a good place to ask since it has been mentioned and I'm really interested.

I sort of remember an admonishment about being aware of the difference between eastern and western cedar. I can't recall anymore than that.
...I did a search to see if I could find the distinction between eastern "white'' cedar, and western red (for hive building).
  it seems that western red cedar is a pretty big deal in the UK for hives, but I didn't see a mention of eastern, and I can't swear someone isn't fibbing a little about what kind of cedar they are selling to the hive manufacturers.
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Offline TimLa

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2009, 06:12:58 AM »
Here, we have western red cedar (WRC) (and hemlock, which is only used for framing houses and as pressure treated wood.  If it gets wet, it rots, unless treated).  Has this hemlock been kiln dried?  Just curious, as it affects pitch and insects...

I also have a sawmill, and have cut a few logs - hemlock, doug fir, alder, broadleaf maple, cherry, even tried the evil cottonwood ( AKA black poplar ).

WRC is unmistakable - it is usually very dark red in color, and very aromatic.  I have cedar stumps here that were left over from logging 90 years ago, and if you cut into one, it *still* smells of, well, cedar, and is usually still structurally very strong once you get past the exterior.

At the mill, WRC sells (even in these times) for about double of what they pay for doug fir, and alder is just above doug fir in prices these days.

Personally, I wouldn't waste my time with hemlock for any outdoor use, it just doesn't last when it gets wet.  I've not used it for hive bodies, so it may pan out for you if you seal the wood (couple of coats of paint) - my deck is over 20 years old, and the decking is 2x6 clear fir and is in pretty good shape.  The railings are 2x4 hemlock, and you can push a finger halfway through them.  The siding on the house is T&G rough cut cedar, and looks like the day it was milled, which was back in 1983.

Just a few points to ponder...

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Offline fermentedhiker

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2009, 08:29:07 AM »


I sort of remember an admonishment about being aware of the difference between eastern and western cedar. I can't recall anymore than that.
...I did a search to see if I could find the distinction between eastern "white'' cedar, and western red (for hive building).
  it seems that western red cedar is a pretty big deal in the UK for hives, but I didn't see a mention of eastern, and I can't swear someone isn't fibbing a little about what kind of cedar they are selling to the hive manufacturers.
[/quote]

I can't imagine much difference to a hive between eastern white and western red cedar.  Eastern white is a superior wood on all counts from a construction standpoint, but I'm not aware of either of them having a higher or more noxious resin content.  Either one would work fine for hive bodies I'm sure.  Whether or not they are worth the added cost is another question entirely.  I would think if any cedar is a problem for the bees it would be aromatic, like what's used in making cedar chests and those cedar moth ball things for putting in you dresser doors, but even those probably stop giving off a strong odor if they are outside and ventilated(like in a hive) fairly quickly compared to being closed up in a chest.
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Offline eri

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2009, 08:37:29 AM »
I also have a lot of eastern red cedar - yes, the aromatic kind - rough sawn and ready to plane, that I want to use to build boxes. I've seen conflicting opinions as to its adverse effects (couldn't find any studies specific to bees, only to morbidity of certain ants and moths). I seem to remember someone on this board saying they'd built from eastern red cedar with no problems to the bees -- I'd like that reassurance from someone experienced if you're out there.
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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Hemlock
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2009, 09:41:02 AM »
I have many boxes made from cedar and it is just fine.  Keep in mind that even if it were repellant, the bees coat the inside with their propolis so doesn't release much aroma anyway.  Which means it won't repel moths either  :roll:

My problem is that it was recycled 5/8 siding and being quite soft it breaks easily.  But those ones didn't cost me a dime so I don't mind and just try to take care.

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