as some forum peeps may have noticed I have designed a new beehive. The plan got increasingly elaborate- and in the end I am so happy with my own design that I plan to make quite a number of hives all at once- and also to make some hives for sale...
I am at the stage where I am ready to start cutting wood which is where I hit my first snag:
You might be surprised how hard it is to find timber available in planks up to 300mm wide and 19mm thick! Costing a hive in WRC cedar comes out to over $400 (though there is more wood in my hive than a standard hive). I have tried and failed to find hoop pine in those dimensions- in fact about the only thing I can find is good old standard furniture grade radiata pine- and it is affordable (if I buy 130 meters at once!). However it must be painted or varnished - and even then a lot of people are telling me it wont last outdoors (though my hive is more protected from direct rain that others).
If anyone in Australia can poitn me in the direction of cedar, cypress, hoop pine, or any other wood suitable for beehives- available in planks 280- 300 mm wide and 19mm thick- PLEASE let me know. I would love something that can left natural and just treated with oil like WRC or Cypress.
Failing that: pine can't be so bad can it? must be 95% of all wood hives in Australia are pine?
Simply well painted- how well does it stand up over time? How often must you repaint?
Which brings me to WAX DIPPING:
now this seems like the best way to turn pine into super-hive-pine. I have watched this video on youtube. I have read this agricultural report- and I have read @Michael_Bush website page about wax dipping. It seems like the go. I watched the video and read the report first so didn't think you used beeswax as a prime type of wax for dipping? They use parrafin and microcrystalline wax? But Michael used beeswax and gum rosin? This sounds far more organic and preferable to petrochemicals... but more expensive.
I am wondering how much wax is used, ultimately how much expense I can expect it to add to my hive production cost and if it is worth it. I am also looking for anyone locally who already does this (South Australia)- who could perhaps do it for me on contract? One problem may be: my main hive body is the length of two 10 frame deep supers side by side. So I would need a larger 'vat' than what people may have... Would it be an issue if you held one end of a plank in- and then the other? Also how desirable- or not- is painting after dipping? I assume you don't paint @Michael_Bush?
one option for making my hives is ply. Does anyone have any input about using marine grade play for hives? Are there problems with the frame rest rebates (rabits)? How about delamination? And toxic glues? can some grades be unpainted? Have a nice veneer?