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Author Topic: Cedar hives  (Read 3471 times)
preston39
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« on: May 15, 2011, 10:57:37 PM »

Are there reasons why I can not find anyone talking about using cedar as building material for the boxes?
Are there cedar hives available?

It seems the material would give longer life to a unit.
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I'm  Preston
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011, 11:12:11 PM »

Cedar makes very good bee hives. I have about 20 hive body's , supers tops and bottoms. The only reason i am not using eastern red cedar now is i ran out of lumber.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 07:06:15 PM »

Bee hives have been made out of every kind of wood out there.  Cedar is not used much because of its price.   But there are quite a few cedar boxes out there (when the price was right).
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preston39
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 10:07:47 AM »

This one seems pricey...but, looks good.

http://cgi.ebay.com/CEDAR-BEEHIVE-BEE-HIVE-BEEKEEPING-HONEY-BEES-HONEYBEES-/190515812284?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c5ba097bc
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brooklynbees
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 07:39:06 PM »

I bought a cedar hive from the place AllenF gave the link to. I think the price is less if you go directly to their website. The company is based in NJ, which I liked as I want to buy local. The owner was very helpful and I thought the customer service was excellent. I was in a bit of a hurry to get it and he actually drove to meet me 1/2 way so I didn't pay for shipping or have to wait for delivery. Had it in my living room until I set it up outside. Made the whole house smell like a hamster cage but the bees don't seem to mind. They took to it immediately. I got cedar because I didn't want to have to paint or stain it. Should weather nicely he said. I'll let you know.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 11:23:26 PM »

Cedar works fine.  But pine is cheaper and works just as fine.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 09:02:18 PM »

my uncle used cedar for all his hives and for swarm traps. ( he said the bees loved it and would go to cedar before anything else) I use cedar closet liner on some of inner covers and strips on the bottom borads. (cost factor ) it saved one swarm. I leave a empty one in the yard at all times with the cedar. the hive in the back yard swarmed and when I gat home from work found the swarmed moved in to the cedar box. Works for me  grin
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David McLeod
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2011, 11:30:05 PM »

There's cedar and then there's cedar. The three most seen are western red, white aka Atlantic or eastern, and eastern red sold as aromatic (not a true cedar but a juniper). Of the three western is my least liked as it is soft and in thinner stock will weather poorly without treatment (look at your average cedar sided home that has not been maintained). The white is probably the best of the lot but the eastern red is my favorite being almost immune to rot (at least the red heartwood is) the difficulty is finding stock large enough for anything other than shallows and it can be prone to knots, checks and cracks if not seasoned well. When found it is costly.
Speaking of cost don't fall for Spanish cedar (a mahogany, go figure) which is the wood of humidors and cigar boxes.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 02:03:31 PM »

On the west coast, Incense Cedar is often sold as very cheap fence board.  Libocedrus decurrens is aromatic and dimensionally stable. Incense cedar gets a pocket rot that leaves  holes in the material, but many boards are defect free and can be selected from the stack.   Fenceboards are frequently available as in (actual) 5/8"th by 7-1/4" dimension.  These can be ripped to produce the 6-5/8th Medium.  The 5/8th dimension is smaller than the 3/4th thickness most hive plans are designed around. In previous decades you could get rough-sawn incense cedar with a nominal 7/8th or greater.  That had the opposite dimension problem.

Fence boards can be frequently located on loss leader at 1.50/pc.  That contrasts favorably with the high cost of #2 (or better) pine. 

I use cabinet making biscuits (size 10 or 20) to join butt jointed pieces. I use Titebond II or III and galvinized drywall screws in the build-up.   I compensate for the undersize by cutting the 19 7/8"th long side just a little short.  I don't seem to burr on the slightly greater than nominal end gap, and the sidewall frames fill well.  In full dimension boxes, the sides of the 1st and 10th frames facing the walls frequently were left undrawn, the slight oversize seems to help and avoids the burring and bridging that happens with 9 frame spacing.

The butt joint join makes using a 6 foot fence board possible as you gain 1 1/2 inch on each end piece. total dimension required is (2)x19-7/8 + (2) 14-3/4=69-1/2"  You actually have enough length to use "dog ear" pattern boards.

I am now into my 5th year with biscuit joined boxes, and no breakage.  I square the boxes with a carefully cut diagonal stick during glue up.  The screws are mainly to avoid need for clamping and give a little extra tightness to the rabbet top area.
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showme bob
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 12:10:46 AM »

I have been making some things out of cedar lately including hives bodies and bottom and top boards.  I am also considering making them to sell.  Any thoughts on what I could get for (Ozark) Eastern Red Cedar hive parts?  I use nearly all heart (red) wood especially for the bottom boards.  I would recommend painting or at least sealing the outside exposure of the hives. 
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 12:25:46 AM by showme bob » Logged
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