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Top bar beehive

 
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sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6947
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 21 2:03 pm    Post subject: Top bar beehive Reply with quote
    

My boys got me a top bar beehive for my birthday and the guy who made it said to treat it with linseed oil.

My question is, should I use raw linseed oil or boiled linseed oil?

Thanks.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12716

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 21 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Boiled linseed oil will dry hard. If it is made with western red cedar it shouldn't need treatment. Hives are traditionally made with cedar and don't usually need treating. Have never done top bar hives. One thing to watch is that the comb is going to be unsupported so very fragile. If you are thinking of harvesting honey from them you will need to be aware of that.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6947
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 21 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks MR, I'll go with boiled.

They guy they bought it from said it would need treating, so I'm guessing it's not red cedar.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12716

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 21 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

If you go for another one, try to get one made of western red cedar. It doesn't need treating and should last for years. Would be interested to know how you get on with the top bar hive.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6947
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 21 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

If I manage these bee's okay, I think I will invest in another hive. I'll report back later on in the year when I've hopefully had a bit or experience.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 5936
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 21 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

My dad and brother's hives are all just pine boards. Exterior is painted, metal roof, interiors are unfinished. Quite long lasting

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25707
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 21 6:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Top bar beehive Reply with quote
    

sgt.colon wrote:
My boys got me a top bar beehive for my birthday and the guy who made it said to treat it with linseed oil.

My question is, should I use raw linseed oil or boiled linseed oil?


You should be able to tell what wood it is by the weight, colour and smell. WRC is lighter than most woods, a pinkish pine colour and smells like cedar.

WRC doesn't really need treatment but even so some advise treating them. Raw Linseed oil seems to be mostly used, or a mix of raw linseed oil and bees wax. Just paint the outside.

I've tried raw linseed on one of my WRC national hives as I've found the wood can split here as the boxes can get very wet and then take full sun. It's will take many days to dry thoroughly.

Do you have a mentor to help you look after your bees? We both went on a bee keeping course which I think was 12 weeks and that proved very useful.

Good luck, and one hive is never enough!

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12716

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 21 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Some people do that in the UK too Slim, but WRC is preferred.

Having a mentor is always useful; husband had one, as well as a bit of help from his father who had kept bees years before, when he started. We have one hive in the woods and another waiting to go there that is sitting near the front door and acting as a guard to the roof light in the summer when it is open. We used to have more, but husband hasn't had time or energy to do much beekeeping since we started working with the woods.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6947
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 21 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thank for all that Trea.

I'm in a Whatsapp group with some other top bar people. So I can call on then for help and a swarm when I've popped the hive in position.

When I helped life the hive it seemed on the heavy side and the wood didn't look pink. I feel a photo is in order for you.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12716

PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 21 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Looking at our hives again, we do use metal on the roofs of most of them, but the rest, being WRC is untreated in general, although some people do paint their hive.

If there are other beekeepers around you, a swarm may be forthcoming. Give them somewhere to set up home and they will. Our present two arrived that way.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6947
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 21 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Here is a picture of the wood it is made from. Not sure if you can tell what it is from the photo.

Also, should I put linseed on the battons of wood that the bee's set up shop on? Thanks



Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25707
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 21 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

That looks like plain pine, so treatment on the outside will be necessary. Lots of places selling them suggest raw linseed, but you'll probably need to re-coat it next year.

I would not treat the inside at all and I would not treat the top bars either.

sgt.colon



Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 6947
Location: Just south of north.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 21 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

Thanks Trea

I thought it might be pine. I'll keep it coated once a year.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 12716

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 21 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I agree with Treacodactyl. The bees might not like the smell inside the hive.

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