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Author Topic: Preserving that wood  (Read 7041 times)
Lupus
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« on: June 11, 2004, 10:32:03 PM »

I have been following some posts and was surprised to see that our host does not like paint on his hives. I just ordered 20 supers and have 3 built and ready for, hmmm I hesitate to say paint *G*.

My local expert suggests the use of Copper Napthenate (CP) and then paint. The label on CP says it is harmful or fatal if swallowed so although I want to preserve the wood preserving friends family and clients is more important. I understand that some very experienced beekeepers use CP so I am wavering. Maybe CP on the corners and then paint or stain.

Does anyone know any more detail on using CP or other anti water/insect preservatives? I was told that Home Depots Behr Porch and Deck preservative was good by a couple sources. The label says it is CP "25% (*2.50 % copper as metallic)" 75% inert ingredients. It also says it is Copper Napthenate and petroleum distillates.
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2004, 11:13:14 PM »

I certainly don't dislike painting hive bodies - I just perfer the look of natural wood and high gloss - sort of a log cabin kind of look to the hives. I have seen many interesting painted hives in the forum and in local bee yards and even some interesting wood or plastic decorations to really spice up the look.

I have my C3 (the swarm that found me hive) that I need to treat and I'm going to keep with the stained theme ONLY so that I may mix and match parts.

I find that painting is nice until you start to mix and match parts and next thing you know you have turned your pretty bee yard into a huge rubics cube.

Painting is fine - I have no experience with CP though - on this I can't comment. I think anything that is safe for the bees, breathes okay and protects the wood is fine for the bee yard. I don't know of any bees to abscond strictly on a decorative nature - most are happy to have a home and some are not happy NO MATTER WHAT you give them to live in.
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Finman
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2004, 11:45:49 PM »

Quote from: Lupus
I have been following some posts and was surprised to see that our host does not like paint on his hives. I just ordered 20 supers and have 3 built and ready for, hmmm I hesitate to say paint *G*.
.


I have paint my nest with water soluble latex house paint. The film must be thin. So it stays long time. I painted my wooden supers 35 years ago, and they are in good condition.

Paint helps that rain do not goes so easily into wood. Supers get girty in many ways, when I handle them or bees defecate. You can wash them.  My wooden boxes are now nearly 40 years ago and still I use them as honey box.

I use cream white. Some use dark paint. Sun heats  badly dark color of super. Half of my supers are now foamer plastic. They are light to handle.
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Lupus
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2004, 01:03:48 AM »

Thanks for clearing that up Beemaster. I try to use a very limited number of light pastel colors that work in any combination, that way I get variety without getting loud about it. Light yellow, sky blue, mint green and white are what I generally use.

The Copper Napthenate from Bee Supply houses is quite expensive which is why I suspect most beekeepers do not use it. The Home Depot/Behr version is not as pricey. I have some supers I put it on years ago that are still in mint shape while some that did not get it are showing significantly more rotting. I just worry about the health aspect.
 

Treating one side of wood vs treating both

Since I was concerned about those treated supers I painted the inside of a few which many think is inadvisable. I started thinking about the logic of painting only one side of the wood and changed my mind. Normally I like to treat wood the same on both sides as my experience has been, treating one side of the wood results in unequal moisture content. Wood with differing moisture tends to bow, twist, split etc.. I am thinking that the finger joints ( they really are finger joints not dovetails) at the corners of supers often separate because of this difference in moisture in the wood. I am betting that paint bubbles and decay are also negative results.

I can see how untreated wood may absorb some moisture in the hive that could be bad for the bees. I just think there are better ways to deal with hive moisture. My logic would suggest that moisture in the hive should be permanently removed by air circulation not trapped in the wood. If moisture collects on the inside of a painted hive wouldn't it have to run down the sides and out of the hive? Wet wood seems to me to enclose the bees in a spongy substance that can harbor all sorts of things I would prefer not to be there. Paint might deter pests like wax moths, mites and hive beetles that may slip off the slicker surface and fall out the open bottom of my hives.
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Finman
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2004, 01:21:07 AM »

Quote from: Lupus

I can see how untreated wood may absorb some moisture in the hive that could be bad for the bees. I just think there are better ways to deal with hive moisture. My logic would suggest that moisture in the hive should be permanently removed by air circulation not trapped in the wood.

If moisture collects on the inside of a painted hive wouldn't it have to run down the sides and out of the hive?


Do not treat wood inside the nest. It must be natural. But outter surface must be so that it let moisture out.

You cannot stop wood absorbing moisture. As we say "wood must respire".  There is "water drop point" somewhere in constructions, where warm and cold meets. There you will have water droplets.

If you have inside wood water resistant, it prevents moisture go through. (Water broof veneer plywood ) If you have normal wood, moisture must get though the wall. If that is not possible, wood will decay.

Wood must allways "respire" outside direction. It gives moisture out (dry) and takes in slowly in. That is the idea of latex paint.

In winter nest is water wett and wooden super consist many kilos of water. Also upper cover must let moisture go through.


"moisture in the hive should be permanently removed by air circulation"

That is not possible. Bees exract moisture all the time, and ventilation is too big if you are going to dry it like washings.
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asleitch
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2004, 10:23:15 AM »

Traditionally, here inthe UK, we paint neither the inside nor outside. If you paint the inside, you get condensation forming inside the hive, and mould as a result. Painting the outside stops the movement of water to the outside edge. Now I'm using open mesh floors, I can no longer see the benefit of this, and think I'll be painting the outside of my hives, when I make up my next batch. The inside will still be unpainted however.

Adam
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Lesli
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2004, 10:32:50 AM »

Quote from: asleitch
Traditionally, here inthe UK, we paint neither the inside nor outside.

Adam


You leave the wood completely untreated?

Like the Beemaster, I like the natural look, so I'm using a marine-grade clear stain on mine.

By the way, today is my first visit to the bee club!
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firefly
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2004, 10:43:45 AM »

If you do paint, I recommend that you use semi-gloss or high-gloss paint. Mold and mildew have a much harder time growing on the glossy surfaces. The gloss is created by using smaller sized paint pigments and, thereby, a finer surface finish with less holes is created.

What destroys wood is moisture, plant growth (mildew, etc.), and bugs (termites, etc.). Keep the wood away from these and it will last a long time.

Unless you are putting wood into contact with the ground, preservative is usually never used.  If you are using a wooden hive stand you might consider using creasote on the stand only. This has to be soaked into the wood. It's used on fence posts, railroad ties, etc., and it will protect against the problems of wood coming into contact with the earth.
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beefree
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2004, 11:58:59 AM »

has anyone ever tested to see if there is a difference in overwintering survival rates between painted and unpainted hives?  considering the high cost of pkg bees today, i am inclined to think that if i have to order or make new brood boxes twice  if i leave them in a natural state, that i still come out ahead doing that rather than painting the boxes and replacing the BEES even once over the life of painted hives.  (yes, this involves the assumtion that painted hives last twice as long as unpainted, and it ignores the question of beekeeper ethics with regard to the bees LIVES).  
Winters here in Michigan are LONG, and moisture/ventilation is an issue according to the commercial keepers i've talked to.  they all seem to have different ways of dealing with it though, so i wondered if  there is any definitive info...
beefree
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steve
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2004, 12:29:03 PM »

beefree,
                 I have both white pine painted and cyprus unpainted, some are over 15 years old.........there appears to be no differance in bee(hive) longevity .....ventilation is the key.....
                                                   Steve
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Lupus
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2004, 04:08:28 PM »

I still do not understand the logic of not painting the inside of the hive assuming you are painting the outside. I know that some people are swearing by the new light polystyrene hives, I am pretty sure moisture is not passing through those. Logic tells me that wood containing moisture in it increases the moisture content in the hive. Seems to me that moisture condensing on the painted surface will run down and out of the hive whereas moisture in the wood is trapped there. In my opinion a coat of paint on the outside of the hive is going to trap moisture in that wood. I am concerned about the bees too, I just think the greater risk to them is not painting the inside.

Anyone who has spent the night in a crowded tent knows that water from the breathing occupants will condense and run down any waterproof tent fly. The only way to reduce condensation is to improve ventilation or make the fly out of a material that vapor can pass through (like Gortex). Water permeable material even if it is very thin fabric lets only  a limited amount of moisture through it. A significant amount of water vapor IMHO is not going  to pass through a thick piece of wood with paint on the other side.
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asleitch
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2004, 04:40:48 PM »

Quote from: Lupus
I still do not understand the logic of not painting the inside of the hive assuming you are painting the outside. I know that some people are swearing by the new light polystyrene hives, I am pretty sure moisture is not passing through those. Logic tells me that wood containing moisture in it increases the moisture content in the hive. Seems to me that moisture condensing on the painted surface will run down and out of the hive whereas moisture in the wood is trapped there. In my opinion a coat of paint on the outside of the hive is going to trap moisture in that wood. I am concerned about the bees too, I just think the greater risk to them is not painting the inside.

Anyone who has spent the night in a crowded tent knows that water from the breathing occupants will condense and run down any waterproof tent fly. The only way to reduce condensation is to improve ventilation or make the fly out of a material that vapor can pass through (like Gortex). Water permeable material even if it is very thin fabric lets only  a limited amount of moisture through it. A significant amount of water vapor IMHO is not going  to pass through a thick piece of wood with paint on the other side.


You need to consider the difference in temperature, and where that occurs relative to the warmth (inside) and the cold (outside), in a polystyrene hive, the insulation value is so high, their is no "cold" surface inside the hive to create the condensation. Wood or worse metal, would have terrible condensation problems.
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asleitch
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2004, 04:42:39 PM »

Quote from: Lesli
Quote from: asleitch
Traditionally, here inthe UK, we paint neither the inside nor outside. Adam


You leave the wood completely untreated?
Like the Beemaster, I like the natural look, so I'm using a marine-grade clear stain on mine.
By the way, today is my first visit to the bee club!


Ahh, only if it's western red cedar, as the natural oils in this are resistant to weathering. Occasionally, people use boiled linseed oil on it. If using ordinary "deal" - pine or any variety, then yes, it would be treated with some form of preservative.

adam
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beemaster
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2004, 07:21:30 PM »

Adam:

Just looking at your avatar again - it is still very neat to see!

I was wondering, has anyone read about linseed oil and varroa control? I need to do some searching but something comes to mind that I read a study on it about a year ago - seems everything is tried at one time or another.

I just did a major inspection of my hives today, NO varroa anywhere to be found - I am especially surprized at this in the swarm colony C3. I'm a big believer in NOT treating when treatment is NOT necessary - lets see how things are in the early Fall here. Maybe I'll get lucky and make it through this first season unscaved.
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2004, 10:58:38 PM »

Quote from: beemaster
I just did a major inspection of my hives today, NO varroa anywhere to be found - I am especially surprized at this in the swarm colony C3. I'm a big believer in NOT treating when treatment is NOT necessary - lets see how things are in the early Fall here. Maybe I'll get lucky and make it through this first season unscaved.


Ahhhh . . . wish I could say the same.  My son and I did an inspection this afternoon.  All the frames in the bottom brood box were drawn and filled, as were over seven of the frames in the upper box, so I interspaced some of the partly-drawn frames between the full frames.  I noticed that many of the frames had plenty of drone cells drawn along the bottoms, so I decided to cut some of them out, along with the burr comb the bees built that had some brood in it.  Then I looked at the several drone larva that were uncovered and . . . there were two varroa mites on one and one mite on another.  I know what they look like from the pictures on this site.  Sigh.  At least the non-drone comb I cut out didn't have any varroa in it.  Yet.  So now I will consider building a screened bottom and letting drone cells remain.  And/or treating with apistan this fall, of course.  One could have wished for an uneventful first season, but there you are.  

Can anyone suggest whether there is an acceptable level of infestation?  

Not all was bad news though.  All's well with the queen; she was up in the second brood box and laying plenty of eggs there.  I put my first honey super on, without the queen excluder for now, and spraying the foundation with syrup.  The super was already crawling with workers when I looked in several hous later.  I plan to let the workers start drawing comb for about a week before installing the queen excluder, perhaps sideways at first for a short while to let them get used to the grid being there.

I'm also thinking I ought to remove the syrup jar from the entrance feeder.  It's been seven weeks now and, although they still wanna take half a quart a day or more, there's plenty of nectar out there for them.  I thought they would stop taking it when they could get enough of the real stuff, but I'm thinking now that they'll keep taking it as long as I feed it to them.  They do seem to be building lots of comb, though, and not getting syrup/nectar bound in the frames.  I'll decide something soon.

-- Kris
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RayJay24
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2005, 03:38:46 AM »

HI there,
Im quite new to beekeeping,so perhaps should keep my mouth shut, but several books I have read recently also talk about dipping hive boxes in warm parafin wax.  Heated to 65degC the parts are dunked then withdrawn and painted with acrylic paint while still warm.  A natural method of preservative without using Metalex.... However, I really like the sound of natural wood stains as I have never seen hives treated this way, and they would look rather nice

regards Ray
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2005, 10:05:44 AM »

Ray Jay, You brought up a good point as many of the local commercial beekeepers in this area have began to do just as you posted.
For hobbiest it may be a problem since you need a tank big enough for the hive parts and a heat source to heat the parafin to the melting point and not over heat it.

 Cheesy Al
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2005, 09:06:02 AM »

Hi, I know this is sort of late in the post, but I wanted to let you know, we boil all of our woodenware in a solution of parafin and tree rosin, 2 to 1 parts.  We use a tank made out of a large propane tank.   We put a flame underneath using a stove top and propane.  You must keep an eye out, it will catch on fire if you let it get too hot.  Our mentor, Randy Oliver out of Grass Valley, CA uses an oven element with a thermostat that works quite well.  He's been using this system forever and his woodenware lasts forever.  He's dipped partical board and its never warped.  We will have pictures posted on our web site, www.countryrubes.com in a few weeks of this process.
   Hope this helps.
    Janet
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2005, 11:30:40 AM »

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't need to paint the inside of my beehives, my bees paint the inside of their hives with propolis, every bit of exposed wood gets covered in a very short time. This propolis/wax coating seems quite moisture resistant.
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