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Author Topic: type of wood?  (Read 1614 times)
11nick
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« on: August 12, 2011, 11:04:44 PM »

Looking at types of wood that hive bodies are made out of.  There is a small variety, but cypress and pine seem to be popular.  Is cypress that big of a deal?  Assume that you paint the exterior of the hive, are the water/rot resistant qualities of cypress so much better than pine or other woods that it is worth it to shop specifically for cypress hives?  Or, as long as the hive is painted and maintained, it doesn't matter?
Sorry for the rookie question.
Thanks
Nick
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2011, 11:30:45 PM »

"Free" is the best kind of wood. "Cheap" is the next best.  Usually pine is the cheapest...  If one could get old growth cypress perhaps, it would be "that big of a deal" but since you can't I doubt it matters at all.  Anything on the ground (stands etc.) it would help if they don't rot, but anything above that should keep fine.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 07:21:32 AM »

Being a woodworker I think cypress is better for exterior applications than the standard white pine in common use. White pine will soak up water and decay faster if not sealed with a coating such as paint. Cypress on the other hand is not as dependent on a coating to resist water damage. To me it boils down to maintenance. White pine equals regular maintenance cypress requires maintenance as well but not to the degree of pine. It is not as dependant on coatings.
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Grieth
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011, 09:48:28 AM »

I reckon that wax dipping is more important than wood type, if you want them to last.
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11nick
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2011, 10:24:53 AM »

I'm not familiar with wax dipping.  Is that a longer solution than painting?  I'm assuming it isn't a "permanent" solution, as nothing lasts forever.
I'm not familiar with Cypress wood, either.  I take it that the water/rot resistance qualities of Cypress might be worth my effort shopping for it over pine?  Especially if it is painted or dipped?
Thanks for your replies
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yockey5
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2011, 11:02:33 AM »

Cedar works very well.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2011, 11:12:01 AM »

Wax dipping is treating raw wood with a paraffin/rosin mix, usually by immersion of the wood in a heated wax. The depth the wax/resin penetrates into the wood will determine longevity. Suffice it to say though even a poor penetration will outlast most other coatings as it is in the wood as opposed to on the wood. Paint depends upon surface adhesion wax and oil finishes enter the wood and and actually bond with the wood as they dry. Paint or coatings can peel penetrating finishes can not.
I like my cypress with two coats of tung oil.
The way I look at it first I choose wood that is best suited to particular application. For exterior use I want a wood that isnaturally stable and resistant to rot and water damage. Cypress has these qualities. So does other woods such as teak, white oak, ironwood, redwood, cedar, mahogany and even your better grades of yellow pine. Most of those have other factors such as cost or weight issue though.
Next choose a finish that will provide good service and be sure to apply it properly and maintain it to get the best service life. Whatever finish you choose your preparation is probably the most important step and most overlooked. Ask any house painter and they will tell you that a good paint job is ninety percent prep work and ten percent paint. Skip the prep work and even the best of paints will peel. All milled lumber (which is all bee equipment as well) should be surface banded to remove the mill glaze prior to any coating or finish. Mill glaze is the result of heating from the milling process (planing, shaping, cutting, surface finishing, etc) that cause the natural wood sugar to glaze over and seal the pores and cells of the wood fibers. Basically a slick coat that prevents paints from "grabbing" or oils from penetrating. You remove the mill glaze with simple sanding to get back to bare wood. Be careful to only remove the glaze as oversanding or using to fine a grit create heat and tor right back to glaze. Your only sanding the surface not polishing. Properly prepared even the cheapest of coatings can get good enough adhesion to protect even the rot prone woods.
I see beeks on here talk of painting everything every year. They shouldn't have to if they dis the prep work. With good adhesion peeling should not be an issue and the paint will only need to reapplied when surface wear and/or uv damage dictates.
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Grieth
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2011, 08:07:02 PM »

There is a good paper from the department of Primary Industies on wax dipping.  It was written after talking to a lot of Australian beekeepers.

Link to wax dipping DPI paper

I see there are quite a few threads on it here and some good YouTube videos.

The real problem is finding someone to do it for you if your operation isn't big enough to justify building a tank.  I have this issue as I am only a small hobby beekeeper.
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"The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages and kings”
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11nick
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2011, 09:07:45 PM »

why couldn't you dip each piece of an unassembled hive box, then assemble after it cooled?
Is dipping the final treatment for a hive, or do you paint over the wood after it is dipped?
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Sundog
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2011, 11:52:23 PM »

why couldn't you dip each piece of an unassembled hive box, then assemble after it cooled?
Is dipping the final treatment for a hive, or do you paint over the wood after it is dipped?

If you dip it before assembling, any glue you use will have difficulty penetrating the wood.  So will paint.

Have fun!
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 12:14:43 AM »

Though I'm a little late for this thread...

Also when you dip the boxes, the moisture is boiled out of the wood.  The idea is to replace the moisture with the wax, rosin or microcrystaline wax mixture.  That makes the wood brittle, and the fibers slip more readily, so any holes, nails, screws, and so on you put in them seems to check and split the wood.
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