I am a beginner bee keeper and have purchased 2 new Langstroth hives I need to treat and paint. I am looking for recommendations on suitable wood preservative products that work well and good for the bees.
Not sure whether it is the most effective, but, i have preserved the majority of my hives using a mixture of raw linseed oil and beeswax.
Using a double boiler (pot of boiling water with a metal bowl floating), i melted the beeswax and while liquefied i added raw linseed oil and combined. This was left to cool and using a rag, applied 3 coats to the external hive surfaces allowing time between coats for the linseed oil and beeswax to be absorbed by the timber. The bottom boards underside and cleats i painted with a water based external paint as i assume that they might degrade faster than the other hive equipment. The upper external surfaces of the bottom board and around the hive entrance I treated with the raw linseed and beeswax mix.
This is my first year using this method and assume that further applications will be required as the hives weather and age. I plan on applying at least one coat each year as maintenance (maybe a warmer sunny day in winter when there will be less bee activity abut the hive). Hopefully all goes well.
just a reminder to be extra careful with linseed oil as the left over rags or cloth used to apply the oil can and will spontaneously catch fire and are responsible for the burning down of many houses and sheds.
anyway, just so you all know and so you can manage this risk effectively.
Definitely would not be an ideal outcome. Will keep this in mind and be careful.
What are your thoughts on that method of hive treatment @BBH (Eric)?
Tung oil is a popular choice for wooden hives, but apparently the variety sold in hardware stores isn’t real/pure tung oil (check the label for the concentration… which is usually very low).
A quick Google search will find sellers of pure tung oil. eg.
I bought some to use on wooden hives but ended up going with paint instead, so can’t give you any specific feedback on its effectiveness sorry.
What about straight beeswax as recommended in most of the ‘bee’ books