There have been lots of questions about the advantages and disadvantageous of the two common woods that you can buy your natural beekeeping Warre beehive in.
Here is a quick summary for you-
+ We use Western Red Cedar. This wood has a high natural oil content, relatively tight grain and this makes it ideal for water resistance and outdoor use.
+ No linseed oil or paint treatment is required.
+ In comparison to Pine, Cedar is maintenance free and will potentially last many times longer.
– The wood is soft to machine / plane and this does mean the finished product tends to have a rougher surface finish than Pine. This is cosmetic only and does not affect the performance of the wood in terms of beehive suitability.
– Cedar is a more expensive wood than Pine.
+ Affordability. Pine is significantly lower in price. On average each beekeeper has 3 to 5 beehives!
+ Its effectiveness as a beehive is the same as Cedar. I did read a feature that suggested Cedar might be a better insulating wood for over-wintering, but I think the strength of the colony and hive position outweigh this suggestion.
+ When regularly treated with preferably Raw Linseed oil (www.woodfinishesdirect.com) the life of the wood can be extended many times.
– The wood needs treating before being exposed to the weather. We do this for you with two coats of linseed oil.
– Ongoing maintenance is required if you wish your beehive to look new and to gain extended life from the wood.
– Typically with the rotation of bee hive boxes, a box could be in the field for up to 3 years. This box would need a good sanding and then two new coats of linseed oil applied.
– Even with maintenance, a pine bee hive is unlikely to outlast a Cedar bee hive.
I hope this summary helps you with the choice of either a Cedar or Pine Warre bee hive. As always any questions please do not hesitate to call.
Best regards, David