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Author Topic: Cedar equipment  (Read 1442 times)
BEE C
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« on: February 15, 2007, 08:53:14 PM »

Curious to know from those who keep CEDAR frames and boxes.

1.) Do you experience less mould on combs? Different types?
2.) Do you paint your cedar equipment?  If not how does it fare in your climate? Do you live in a wet or dry climate generally?

I just started to build cedar screened bottom boards and was thinking of trying to make up boxes and frames of cedar as well.  I know this has been discussed here before, but was just curious what those who use it think about it?
Its my understanding that cedar has a higher insulating value, and is very good at keeping moulding at bay without painting.  I live in a wet climate, and have access to A LOT of cedar, so I was thinking of making thicker cedar hive boxes (two inches). 
If varroa weakens a bees immune system and makes her more susceptible to infections, I guess my thinking is that cedar boxes would remove more of the spores and moulds inside an unpainted box during winter especially when the wet seems to permeate everything here.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 09:18:44 PM »

>1.) Do you experience less mould on combs? Different types?

No.

>2.) Do you paint your cedar equipment?

Sometimes, but usually not.

> If not how does it fare in your climate?

I don't paint most of the pine ones either:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#stoppainting
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/EightTenEightHives.jpg

> Do you live in a wet or dry climate generally?

Coming from Western Nebraska and Wyoming I would have said it's wet here, but it's been pretty dry the last few years.

>I just started to build cedar screened bottom boards and was thinking of trying to make up boxes and frames of cedar as well.

If you have scraps it works fine.  If you have to buy it, I'd buy pine because it's cheaper.  I've got 30 year old pine boxes with bees still in them.

>Its my understanding that cedar has a higher insulating value

I doubt that it's significant though.

> and is very good at keeping moulding at bay without painting.

It weathers better.

> I live in a wet climate, and have access to A LOT of cedar, so I was thinking of making thicker cedar hive boxes (two inches).

I think that's a waste of wood.  I'd make them 3/4".  If you have access to inexpensive cedar it makes great boxes.

>If varroa weakens a bees immune system and makes her more susceptible to infections, I guess my thinking is that cedar boxes would remove more of the spores and moulds inside an unpainted box during winter especially when the wet seems to permeate everything here.

Mold is not what is killing the bees.  It's viruses that only live in the bees, not in the boxes.

It also makes no noticable difference on wax moths, in case you were hoping for that.

Cedar is light in weight, and lasts a long time.  If I could get it for the same price as pine, I'd buy cedar.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Zoot
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 11:12:09 PM »

I have a large stock of cedar on hand left over from renovating my home. By this spring the vast majority of my hive components, old and new, will be made from clear, western red cedar. I've heard all of the alleged advantages but honestly my sole real interest is in the lightness and durability. I am not painting any of it. It's easy to work with once you are accustomed to it's habits (spinters easily, a hassle when dovetailing). Otherwise it's like working with any other wood. But then, over the last 5 years I've carved, joined, shaped and cut several thousand linear feet of it so I'm used to it's eccentricities. It weathers attractively also, as long as it's not wet for extended periods.
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Zoot
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2007, 11:17:54 PM »

just thought I'd mention that the only elements I haven't made from cedar are the dowels ( 1" to 3/4")in my D.Bray slatted racks. I've yet to find a retail source for them and I just can't get motivated to the borderline insane level of dedication it would require to turn countless dozens of them.
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AndersMNelson
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 01:00:13 PM »

How is it you dovetail the wood?  Do you need a router?  I think I'm gonna make a box or two.
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2007, 02:40:56 PM »

Pine for me kirk-o
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BEE C
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2007, 04:58:12 PM »

Thanks guys,
Not painting pine hives here is not an option.  I tried that to see, this last year and they got green.  Will be painting those once they are sanded down.  We put up a red cedar trellis over our patio, and stained it.  We left the posts but they look fine.  I am sure I saw on this forum, the comparison of different hive bodies R values, from poly hives to cypress, and cedar looked good.  Our winter here is such that we don't really need to winterize our hives, so I thought thicker hive bodies would be good for wintering.  My hives are stationary, so this wouldn't be an issue.  thanks.
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Understudy
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2007, 05:17:12 PM »

Thanks guys,
  Our winter here is such that we don't really need to winterize our hives, so I thought thicker hive bodies would be good for wintering. 
You live in British Colombia and you don't need to winter your bees?
0_o

I live in Florida, I don't winter my bees because it is rare that it drops below 30F/-1C. Heck it rarely drops below 50F/10C But I know people in Georgia that have to einter their bees and it rarely snows there.

Maybe I am misunderstanding what the weather is like in B.C.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Zoot
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2007, 10:17:46 PM »

Anders,
A router with a simple jig would be the quickest.  Would probably minimize the spintering too. I just do it by hand because I'm used to it and I like keeping in practice. I'm a cabinet maker most of the time these days.
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BEE C
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2007, 11:36:01 PM »

Sorry I didn't mean we don't prepare for winter with our bees but we have the most temperate weather in all of Canada, most in my area don't use winter wraps on hives, simply use a piece of hardboard insulation  over inner cover.  My two hives are in a shed to protect against bears.  Now I will have electric fence up, I am using hives out in open on wooden stands two and a half feet off the ground.  Probably better for my area because its so wet in winter and spring here.  Thats why I thought one inch or thicker boards would be good for warmth.  We really get more liquid winters.  This winter broke a thirty year record for most snow.  We actually got three weeks with snow on the ground give or take.  Had to retire the sled dogs.  BeeC


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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2007, 01:27:01 AM »

BeeC.  Very nice bear fence.  Now if that doesn't do the trick, I surely don't know what will.  You have a nice set up and I love the bush and trees.  How much land do you have?  By the way, where did you find the sunshine that I see shinin' so?  I seem to live under lots of clouds.  Our place is consistently 2 degrees colder than right down in  Maple Ridge.  Surprising what 6 km can do, and being a little closer to the Golden Ears makes it even more cool.

I saw a little bit of sun yesterday afternoon late.  It was nice and looked so pretty shinin' through the trees in the low-on-the-horizon, winter sun.  Awesome day.  Cindi
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BEE C
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2007, 04:47:31 PM »

That photo is from sept of last year when I put up the hive stands for this spring.  We are consistently two degrees warmer than the official mission temperature here.  We have several acres, mostly forested, but our cleared area is all south exposure.  Twelve degrees at noon today, bees were everywhere, bringing in red and yellow pollen grains.  They both have pollen patties now so they must really like whatever they are bringing in?
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