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Author Topic: Shellac for coating the beehive?  (Read 1214 times)
flyboy
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« on: January 02, 2014, 05:08:37 PM »

I coat everything with shellac. It is easy and waterproof.

Would it work to coat the beehive with shellac inside and out? Does it hurt the bees?
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Al
First packages - 2 queens and bees May 17 2014 - doing well
JanO
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 05:59:10 PM »

I don't see any reason why shellac wouldn't work on the outside, but I wouldn't put it in the inside.  From what I understand it could be toxic on the inside.  Besides, the bees usually take care of the inside walls themselves. 
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flyboy
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 07:29:30 PM »

Thanks jano.
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Al
First packages - 2 queens and bees May 17 2014 - doing well
BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2014, 11:15:44 PM »

Shellac is a resin collected from some bug.  I’ve got some in my house.  I can tell it doesn’t look so great after about 100 years; but I’m still alive.  Maybe it’s not too toxic. 

I have never used Shellac on a bee hive because it is way more expensive than the alternative; polyurethane.  I have used poly inside a hive and it has held up well so far.  I used oil based poly so there is some initial outgassing of volatiles as the solvent evaporates.  I used polyurethane to coat various cladding materials I experimented with for my foam hives.
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oliver
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 06:09:11 AM »

I have used shellac inside, pretty much stick with a poly type. Raw wood absorbs  and retains moisture promoting mold and who knows what other type of growth, have never  had any adverse effects..dl
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Lone
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 08:52:36 AM »

Shellac wouldn't be great on the outside, would it?  I know it hardens, but I think water affects it.  I don't generally take shellac coated things out in the rain so I don't know for sure.  But seeing as it's used in food, it won't be toxic at all. 

Lone
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flyboy
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 04:51:56 PM »

Here is a link that shows some brass covered with shellac that didn't corrode.
http://www.shellacfinishes.com/Intro.html

I remember hearing it used for covering ammo cases in WW1

I know that it doesn't like water spills on it if it is used on furniture.

What I like is that it seals the wood so the wood doesn't offgas. I may be using cedar so I am wondering if it may offgas slightly.
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Al
First packages - 2 queens and bees May 17 2014 - doing well
bbbthingmaker
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 08:16:12 AM »

Pure shellac is not water proof , although there may be some  products containing shellac that are. It is non toxic.  It is used to coat foods and pills.
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flyboy
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2014, 01:03:49 PM »

The shellac I use is a dry broken flakes format that you buy from Lee valley. I just mix it with alcohol and keep in a jar.

The stuff that is premixed lasts about a year and then it is useless because it won't dry.
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Al
First packages - 2 queens and bees May 17 2014 - doing well
my-smokepole
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2014, 09:43:19 PM »

There is way better products out there than shellac. I am speaking as a painting contractor. Shellac is at most to be used as a spot primer
David
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My-smokepole
Lone
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 02:29:52 AM »

Flyboy, what do you mean by offgas?

Interesting seeing the brass coated in shellac.  I've used it over copper inlay before.  The copper darkened but so far hasn't turned green.  I've also used it over abalone inlay, giving it a slightly darker colouring.  I've used both the orange flakes and a hard blonde premix.  We even went to an aviation supplier to buy the purest alcohol.  Shop-bought is 95% only which I'm sure is adequate, but if you can find 100% that is ideal.  Shellac and water really don't go well together.

Mainly I've used shellac on musical instruments - fiddle, dulcimers, hurdy gurdy- walking sticks, and a dogfood box.

Shellac has so many uses but I don't think on the outside of beehives it will be useful at all.

Lone
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flyboy
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 01:02:45 PM »

Flyboy, what do you mean by offgas?

Interesting seeing the brass coated in shellac.  I've used it over copper inlay before.  The copper darkened but so far hasn't turned green.  I've also used it over abalone inlay, giving it a slightly darker colouring.  I've used both the orange flakes and a hard blonde premix.  We even went to an aviation supplier to buy the purest alcohol.  Shop-bought is 95% only which I'm sure is adequate, but if you can find 100% that is ideal.  Shellac and water really don't go well together.

Mainly I've used shellac on musical instruments - fiddle, dulcimers, hurdy gurdy- walking sticks, and a dogfood box.

Shellac has so many uses but I don't think on the outside of beehives it will be useful at all.

Lone

Lone,
Thanks for the info.

By offgassing I am referring to the smells/aromas that come from different wood types. For instance my friend an avid gardener (raised on a farm) says that certain types of cedar can be bad for plants if you put the sawdust in the soil. It is used as lining for chests because it discourages insects. http://greennature.com/article2617.html

This is why I wanted to seal the wood, as I may be using some old cedar I have to build part of the hive.
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Al
First packages - 2 queens and bees May 17 2014 - doing well
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