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Author Topic: Cedar for hives?  (Read 10484 times)
greenbtree
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« on: March 21, 2010, 10:49:28 AM »

Is there anyone who has had experience using cedar to make hives?  Was just wondering if the bees wouldn't like it since it does seem to repel some insects.
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2010, 10:58:41 AM »

It is toxic to chickens and reptiles and would not recommend it for bee hives in the least.


...JP
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greenbtree
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2010, 12:01:38 PM »

Thanks, I was leery of trying it.
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Pink Cow
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2010, 07:51:13 PM »

There are issues when cedar shavings are used for bedding for certain creatures, but cedar is popular in the UK as hive material. Maybe if left solid rather than shaved it is OK. Maybe their cedar lacks whatever toxin causes problems here?
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beee farmer
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2010, 10:36:44 PM »

I have had four tree removals in the last year .,.. all were cedar trees, and cedar are not all that common in this area.  Derive from that what you want to. 
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greenbtree
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2010, 12:56:19 AM »

Well, this is getting interesting.  Although I don't know that much about bees yet, I do know a lot about trees - I majored in Horticulture in college.  There just is almost no difference in the wood of European and American cedar.  Maybe I can try a Nuc box and see what happens -  wouldn't lose as much then if something went wrong.  The shavings versus solid idea has merit too - I know that if you want your cedar chest or closet to repel moths you should sand the inside occasionally to expose new wood.
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2010, 01:48:02 AM »

Just finished a new Top-bar Western Red Cedar hive.
Western Red Cedar is popular as a hive wood. Light, and good looking.
Tip: It is often sold as fence boards wet. Just stack flat with spacers every 10-12" and let air dry in garage/workshop. when dry cut to size, glue and screw together.
Tip: Seal  :evil:outside with a Clear finish.

... Rob
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contactme_11
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2010, 09:54:56 AM »

Although I have never personally used it due to cost, I can tell you for a certainty that cedar is fine for hives. Some reasons why I believe this:

I know many people that have used cedar in hives and they were better colonies than many I've seen in pine.

Bees and wasps live in cedar trees all the time.

As far as I know mites don't like cedar, and I know all moths hate it. Which can't be a bad thing if you're not treating.

Bees will propolise the whole inside in a couple of years anyway.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2010, 01:47:27 PM »

I used some cedar tongue and groove car-siding that I removed from a room I was remodelling, and other than being a tad too thin and slightly weaker than desired, it works great.

The bees propolize over everything anyway.  It won't repel anything, including wax moths.

If you've got it, use it.  If you are buying it more expensive than pine, then don't bother.
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Jahjude
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 08:41:12 AM »

I've got a few cedar hives and found no prob so far,got some lumber stacked at home and my intention is to have more hives made from them-Red cedar BTW
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 10:40:25 PM »

Eastern red cedar is all i use never had a problem.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 11:05:20 PM »

I have quite a few made from scraps of both cedar siding and aromatic cedar.  The bees don't care.  The wax moths don't care.  The Varroa don't care.  Cedar works fine.  But no better than pine unless it's touching the ground.
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Colorado Bee Man
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 02:29:21 PM »

Before I bought my western cedar beehive I was worried about the same thing. I've had both of western red cedar beehives for about 2 years now, untreated, and they look and work amazingly. I bought them from Legacy Apiaries. They sent me out a sample of the wood they used and it was very clean. So I decided to pull the trigger. Great choice. I still give them picture updates because they love to see my hives in action. They come up on google if you search for cedar beehives.
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carlfaba10t
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 02:59:32 PM »

 I think i can clear up some things about cedar,I use both western red cedar and also just plain ole red cedar for my hives.Looks good easy to work and will stand up to moisture,i paint the outside white.I will not use portOford cedar the smell is altogether different and repels most insects.  grin
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Riggs
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 03:34:56 PM »

http://www.evanscedarbeehives.com/

I doubt they have any problems.
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affreux
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2012, 08:04:36 PM »



They like.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2012, 11:36:19 PM »

I use "incense cedar" fence boards for mediums.  These are sold as a loss leader (about 1.50/piece) by the lumber yards.  Bees seem to care a whit about the odor -- I have had new mediums attract swarms, over pine wood nucs.  The incense cedar is brittle, light, marginally rot resistant, and gets "pecky heart rot" which leaves pockets in trees older than about 90 years.

Eastern Red Cedar is Juniperus virginiana in the Cupressaceae family.   European "cedar" is Cedrus species in the Pinaceae family (include Deodar, Cedar of Lebanon, Atlas Cedar, etc).  Western Red Cedar is Thuja plicata in the Cupressaceae, and most closely related to Arborvitae -Thuja occidentalis (northern whitecedar in the trade).  Incense cedar is Calocedrus decurrens (recently changed from Libocedrus decurrens).   I have never seen wood cut from "western Juniper" (typical tree in the Great Basin ranges), but OSU sponsors a "juniper commercialization project".

I point out the nomenclature because these woods are not especially closely related and specific effects and working properties are not shared. I believe some of the "cedar oils" are not the same among the species, for instance, you should not make gin from Western Junipers or the West Coast Cedars.  Eastern Juniper makes fine Gin.

The fragrant oils in the western red cedar (and other woods) develop in the heart wood and is strongest in old growth.  Most modern western wood is from young trees and has relatively little oil.  Old Growth Western Red cedar has become nearly impossible to obtain-- it is used to create shake and shingle roofing.

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brooklynbees
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« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2012, 06:10:04 PM »

I have used an Evans cedar hive for two years now, and the bees have never had any problem that I can tell.
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oregonbeeman
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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2012, 12:40:26 AM »

I just did a cut where the bees where in the eves of a ceader sided house. There nest was up against the ceader boards on the eves. They survived there for a year on there own. I know several  guys with ceader hives with no problems. Plus its fairly root resistant.
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2012, 01:22:47 PM »

I've been using Legacy Apiaries for a while now and the bees LOVE the western red cedar.

My experience with the the northern white cedar hives is that they are glued together because they have so many knots since they can't make a nice board big enough for a hive. Mine fell apart after a year even with sealant. They eventually shift and warp making the hives fall apart which is why I only use the western red cedar. It's been going on 3 years now and still looks brand new and I didn't even use chemicals to seal!
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