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Author Topic: cedar?  (Read 1574 times)
FRAMEshift
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« on: August 02, 2010, 11:23:30 PM »

I am wondering about the effect of cedar wood (and cedar oil) on honey bees.  I have heard some people say that cedar should not be used to build hives, but I've seen others recommend western red cedar as the best wood for hives.  I know that cedar has a reputation for repelling insects and I have found the following description of the effects of cedar oil:
Cedar oil works on pheromone (odor) driven insects by disrupting the octopamine neuron receptors of these pests. The aroma of cedar to an insect is the same as ammonia to a human—repelling the insect away from the site.

But nowhere do I see a direct statement that cedar affects honey bees.  It apparently does not affect butterflies or lady bugs.

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"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
gunner7888
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 05:55:38 AM »

  The questions never stop coming for a new beek  lol  The people I bought my first hive from, told me to use ceder chips in the smoker, he didn't really give me a reason but says its what he used and gave me a bag to go along with my "starter kit". I have very docile bees and I use a little smoke most times I go into hive. Now the question arises, is this bad for the bees? I havn't seen any bad reaction to the ceder smoke, but makes me wonder.
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 02:09:05 PM »

Cedar is fine for hives.  The only type I would even worry about at all is aromatic cedar(the kind used for those wooden moth balls and cedar chests), but I've heard of at least one person say that they use it with no problems.  To be bothered by the cedar the bees would have to be trying to eat it
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 02:40:32 PM »

I had planned to use some cedar boards left over from building my sauna.  I think it's just common eastern cedar.  It's pretty aromatic.

I have found several articles on octopamine affecting the bee dance, recruitment of foragers and division of labor.  Seems to be pretty important to the signaling system. Might not drive them off but I'm concerned that it could mess them up in more subtle ways.
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iddee
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 04:35:05 PM »

Build one frame out of the cedar. If it sets in the hive for a couple of years without the first spec of wax put onto it, you should have your answer.
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 09:17:16 PM »

OK iddee; this usage of common sense has to stop NOW!  grin
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 10:19:23 PM »

Well yeah.   grin  But I was hoping someone might have already tried it.  In a couple of years I will probably have found something else to do with my cedar boards.  evil
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hardwood
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2010, 10:26:41 PM »

Brown cedar has been talked about here before...maybe try a search? Red cedar is not a true cedar, but a juniper. I personally wouldn't use either.

Scott
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2010, 10:40:29 PM »

Brown cedar has been talked about here before...maybe try a search? Red cedar is not a true cedar, but a juniper. I personally wouldn't use either.

Scott
Why would you not want to use either?  Yes, I can believe that western red cedar is not really cedar because I saw some boards that looked and smelled very different.   The reason I ask is that Dave from davesbees.com uses western red cedar as his first choice.  I think I agree with you about eastern cedar (is that brown cedar?)  but I would like to know how you arrived at that conclusion.
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iddee
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2010, 10:42:56 PM »

I can't speak first hand. A beek friend of mine showed me a super of red cedar "juniper" frames that he said had been on a hive under another super of pine frames for 2 years. The pine super was drawn out and used. They had traversed the cedar frames and split the hive in order to use it. There was not a sign of wax anywhere on any of the cedar frames.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2010, 10:47:14 PM »

Ok.  Thanks iddee.  I think I am convinced now.
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 04:01:08 PM »

Actually it's eastern red which is in the juniper family, western red is in the a Thuja species as is eastern white.  Alaskan yellow cedar is another one that isn't a true cedar but has similar qualities for construction purposes to eastern white.  I've never heard of brown cedar before.
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jgaito
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2010, 10:39:48 AM »

i have two cedar hives and they're doing fine.   this is not the cedar you find lining closets.   where i've trimmed my front porch with the same material the carpenter bees have had no problem with it either.
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pembroke
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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2010, 07:07:45 PM »

well!!! make me wonder about cedar. I have make a couple screened bottom boards and am useing one now at another location. believe I'll go and check on them to see how they're fareing. more to come.....................pembroke
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super dave
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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2010, 08:28:15 PM »

ive bin using cedar boxes for 2 years now and they seen fine, but that is all i use the cedar for
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lets throw it in the air and see which  way it splatters
Storm
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2010, 08:33:29 PM »

I've used cedar frames on several hives with no problems.
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bugleman
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2010, 03:22:42 PM »

Ok Goofballs!   

Western Red Ceder first of all is a true cedar.  I have made many nuks from it and the bees do just fine.  Just let them air out for a week or two before putting bees in them.
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