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Cedar flow hive 2

@nickg7 Do you mind if I ask why you used the Citrus Turpene? At what juncture of the finishing process did you use it?

I recently purchased 2 FH2 Araucaria 7 Frame Hives.
As Winter is upon us, I have not opened the boxes to begin putting them together. So I am seeking the best finish I can find to protect them going forward.

South Carolina, USA

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Welcome to the Flow forum, Tim!

It may be my fault that he used it! :blush: When I got my first Flow hive, many moons ago, I tried sealing one box with neat pure Tung Oil. It was very hard work and did not go onto the somewhat uneven cedar surface very smoothly. So I used a professional varnishing trick and thinned the Tung Oil 1:1 with food grade Citrus Turpene (or D-Limonene, as it is called here in the US). That made it penetrate very easily for the first coat. I did a second coat of the same dilution, then a top coat of 100% Tung Oil with no thinning.

Having said all that, your Araucaria hives are made of a type of pine. Tung oil is good for cedar, but less good for pine. Pine rots more easily and is much more prone to insect damage. You may be better off using an exterior grade house paint or sealant. :wink:

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@Dawn_SD is correct - a couple of coats of quality exterior paint is what we recommend for the Araucaria, to ensure that it weathers well.


Hi Tim @NuBeeFlow2 and welcome too to the Flow Forum! :slightly_smiling_face:
I used the Citrus Turpene for the exact same reason as Dawn has explained in great detail for you, and thanks for the tip Dawn (i was wondering where i got the idea from - it must’ve come from you) :+1: and the Orange Citrus Turpene smells great for days too!
Going back to last Winter when i had a lot of time on my hands, I’d do a little each day preparing my FH2, treated piece by piece, then building ready for Spring, although three coats thinned down and a couple of coats (drying in between) of Tung Oil at 100%. Overkill i know (!) but as i said, i had a lot of time on my hands and the Winter days living on a boat are also long!
You’re probably going to be using a different finish for your Araucaria Hive as recommended by @Dawn_SD and @Freebee2 and you may already know that you only need to paint the outside. Leave the inside of your boxes as your bees will love the natural wood and take care of the internal decoration with their wax and propolis.
Enjoy preparing and building your hive Tim :grinning:
Happy Beekeeping with your bees when Spring is with us :honeybee:

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To @nickg7, @Dawn_SD, and @Freebee2. Thanks for the responses and the info. I do love the natural wood look although I have a good grasp on the limitations of the hoop pine. I’m seeking a solution to give me the beauty and protection.

Living in NE South Carolina about 60 miles from the coast our Humidity levels are through the roof in the Summers. Having pine decking on our patio I use a Semi-Transparent Waterproofing Satin & Sealer from Behr. They state 6 yrs protection on decks and 8 on fencing. In the past I have gotten 4 good years and 5 when being lazy before having to recoat. I may try something like this on one of the FH2’s and latex paint on the other to see how each fares in the coming years.

I am so looking forward to the arrival of Spring to get our Colonies started. Thank you all so much for sharing all of the info and wisdom you spread here on the forums.


Just a tip Tim, as well as treating the outside of the box also be sure to do the box edges as any rain water can sit in there with out evaporating quickly and so that is where the timber can begin to rot. As already said leave the inside of the box untreated, you just need to do the box edges and the outsides and the bees will do the rest.


No worries Tim -
It’s really up to you - and sounds like you are pretty well aware that if you choose not to paint your hive, it’s likely to look quite weathered over time. You could contact customer support to discuss the possibility of switching to a Western Red Cedar hive if you’ve got your heart set on the natural timber look and want a timber better suited to that option… but having said that the bees are unlikely to be bothered by the timber weathering and deteriorating a bit if you’re not :slight_smile:
Would love to see photos of your hive once you’ve finished assembling and treating it :slight_smile:

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Very aware, but in the end it will give it character.
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t even opened the boxes they came in. It will be an over Winter project. I’ll be sure to take some pics along the way and post them for everyone to have a look.

As for reaching out for a swap… I choose the Araucaria for the wood itself. Where I live there are more Pines than people…lol Plus I enjoy a challenge. The one I’m considering painting will def prove my lack of skills at being artistic… Scenery, designs, etc… Hard for me to draw a square…lol


Ha ha I’m not artistic either - I just used left over house paint - practical but ugly - then saw how beautifully some of our customers had painted theirs and got a little envious! Enjoy your project, and your bees when the time comes :slight_smile:


I just assembled one of these- and I was also struck by the variability of the color of the cedar. I actually like it - and after staining with 3 coats of tung oil the hive has come up superbly. I also want to add that assembly went without a hitch all parts fitting very exactly and no damage anywhere. The hive is wonderfully light compared to my wax dipped pine hives. The new base design with tray is a big improvement and all the little features are really nice. I’ll be putting the bees into it in a week or two.

I painted the roof panels- giving them 4 coats including the primer. It’s all come up real fancy like:


Jack @Semaphore that looks amazing. The Cedar really pops with the Tung Oil. In my never ending quest to achieve similar results with the Araucaria, I believe I have found the solution.

I just got off the phone with a Rep from Structures Wood Care in Minnesota. They have a product called Nature One 100% Acrylic Exterior. It’s offered in Natural, Cedar, Teak, Mahogany, Walnut, and Pecan. https://www.structureswoodcare.com/products

We discussed the properties of the Araucaria, Grain, Texture, Rot Resistance, etc. Their product is Micro-Porous, provides UV Protection, Water Repellant, Fungi Resistant, Flexible, and VOC Compliant.

After educating her on the FH2 structure, setup, and my planned location. It appears this product will fit my needs well and last 3-4 years between Re-Coat (Their Renew line). Showcasing the wood and it’s beauty. She is sending out 4 samples to me to test on some White Pine. It is a little pricey, but for the price of the FH2, I feel the added cost is worth it to protect my initial investment.

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I can’t wait to see the photos when you have done it. Please let us know which tint you choose too! :blush:

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How much :face_with_thermometer::face_with_thermometer::black_flag:󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿:sob:. You rich NuBee​:wink:

Rich… lol No way, not me, wrong guy.

They do not sell directly. I saw it listed for $76 and change USD on westernloghomesupply.com The closest distributor to me is a Sherwin Williams in Myrtle Beach, SC. However the rep told me if I choose to order they will drop ship to me through which ever distributor I select.

Hiya NuBee, I stained a pine box and painted it with a few coats of a polyurethane based satin clear in a 100ml tin I had lying around in the shed. Colours came out close enough, a matt finish would have helped, it’s waterproof and up stabilised. Should be good for at least 10 years.
You only need to paint the outside so don’t need much, I wouldn’t have used 1/2 of the tin.

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Hi there. I’ve tried that as well in the past on a pine bench for my Mother. I actually put 7 coats of Poly on. Knocking or roughing each coat with 00 Steel Wool between each coat. Had a wonderful glossy finish.

Although the Heat and Humidity in NE South Carolina took it’s toil in only 3 years. Did that twice again, only to strip it and paint on some latex paint…lol. When I get the samples in I will do a test piece and post some pics.

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this is my first year bee keeping and im desparatly trying to find some information on winterizing my hive!!!.. i live in wisconsin, and i feel this should have already been done!! i dont know what to use, how to do it, if i should feed them throughout the winter and how to do that, and when insulating, do i leave any areas open?? or do i cover the entire hive up??? COULD SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME ASAP??? I DONT WANT MY BEES TO DIE!! I NEED THE WHOLE SHABANG AS
FAR AS WHAT TO DO!!.. ive called flow hive themselves and this is where they sent me to get the info i need!! thank you in advance for anyone that takes the time to help me!!.. Amanda

Click on the little magnifying glass and start doing keyword searches. Start with:

Preparing for winter
Winter feeding
Cold weather

I don’t have the issues you do given my location but I’ve seen countless posts about preparing for winter here over the last few years.

Also, judging by your comments, you seem to have an awareness of what you likely need to do so I’d actually just get cracking and do that as a starting point.