I can't speak to oil on shakes. It is common practice on boats to do the saturation for small parts that will see lots of wear, where a film like paint or varnish would quickly be lost. Things like cleats, wooden blocks, skid plates...these parts are usually small enough that prolonged soaking is practicle. The resulting surface is almost waxy to the touch and polishes nicely. It also nearly eliminates future surface checking by displacing the bound water in the wood.
The heat helps in lowering the viscosity of the oil, but more importantly it causes air in the wood to expand and outgass, when the wood cools you get mild vacuum internally and oil is pulled in deeper. Usually what we do is heat the pot for a few hours each day. Even after weeks of this treatment, a cut sample will show penetration of no more than 3/8-1/2" in pine or cedar and as little as 1/8-1/4 on dense closed grain woods like white oak.
Hot oil and turps are often brushed onto the planking of boats, often with the addition of pine tar which may well have some preservative qualities. This concoction is usually called "boat soup". Folks use it because it is easy to apply and maintain. Temps and dust are not an issue (like they are with paint) and all the boat needs each year is a scrub before another coat goes on. Whereas paint requires full cleaning and sanding/scraping. It also makes for a surface that doesn't get as slick underfoot when wet. But it doesn't protect the wood near as well...life is full of compromise!
I have no idea how bees would take to saturated equipment, but even if they did, I can't imagine it would be worth the effort. I just put this info out since oil came up. In general I don't have much to contribute yet on this site...still in learn mode, but this was something I know a bit about.