Cedar vs Other wood hives

Morning Bee Peeps!

I’m just curious about the cedar wood as I’m considering another hive. Last years novice experience with the “other wood” brought on fraught with hive beetles and the wax moth. If the cedar repels the wax moth as it does in my closet then I may purchase some cedar brood boxes and another flow hive. I’m just throwing this out there to y’all because my first year was bee drama and the custodianship of my girls though the battle was hard fought we made it through the first year. One less insect to fight on behalf of the bees is what I’m looking for. :smiley:

Will cedar strips in the hive repel the moth?

I live in Tennessee so it “feels like” the capital of the world with night flying insects.

I’m gearing up for another beetle fight with traps etc. I’m geared up for Veroa as well.

Nope. My cedar hives have plenty of wax moth and SHB. Only the bees can really control them.

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Thank you Dawn! I’ve been reading about moth traps and how to bait them so that it might reduce the amount of moth problems. Any advice on this? Dang and I so hoped the moth vs cedar was a good thought to go on. :frowning: At any rate my girls are out there stirring up a buzz today. I’m getting excited about the season! Whoop!


I think cedar works against clothes-eating moths, but it definitely doesn’t bother wax moths. Different sense of smell, I guess. :blush:

In my experience, the best way to beat wax moths is to keep a strong hive. I am not a fan of moth traps, I think they just attract more moths and possibly wasps/yellow jackets.

The other things I do are prevention-type concepts. My slider stays in the upper slot, because otherwise wax moths have a party in the debris. Any frames I take off the hive get frozen for 48 hours to kill off eggs and larvae before storing them.

For SHB, I use beetle traps with oil in the top box, and I have watered SHB-eating parasitic nematodes into the soil around the hives. I don’t know how well the nematodes work, but I usually only find (and squish) a couple of SHB in the hive each time we inspect.


My parasitic nematode stuff arrives today. I have 8 frames in the freezer from when my queen took a walk and my hive got weak. So I’m in good shape with my beetle blasters and beetle jails. I’m hoping this year gets me some flow hive honey! whoop! :smiley:


It is my theory that wax moths, during the warmer months, are regularly entering hives (they are probably nocturnal or both nocturnal and diurnal), laying eggs in the wax and crevices. A numerically strong hive will control them so we either notice nothing in the hive, or just the odd grub. Every frame I take out of a hive to store, gets frozen to kill the wax moth eggs, as I assume they are in it. I then hang them up in large clear plastic bags, hopefully where rodents can’t get them. Apparently, -15c for two hours will kill them (assuming your freezer is -15c) and the two hours starts when the minimum temperature of the product is reached. I’m like Dawn, I give 'em a good freeze to make sure, because I don’t know how long it takes to get them to -15.

I’m not sure if a moth can get through the SBB mesh, but I have seen a wax moth fly into the back of a hive above the corflute slider when it is in the lower slot, and not fly out again, at least while I was looking.


Here is the link from Rusty Burlew of www.honeybeesuite.com has tested this quite extensively.
Secrets to freezing wax moth eggs: your results may vary - Honey Bee Suite

The reason for her interest is that she a total fan of comb honey.

That is the only honey she harvests in any quantity. Of course, wax moth eggs and larvae can hide very easily in comb honey. So she always freezes any comb which is going to sit around for a while. I think she found overnight at -18C, but I use 48 hours for safety, because of the variables she mentions.


Thanks Dad2! My have been frozen since last fall because I have critters all over the place from skunks, racoons, mice etc. I hope I have finally killed the wax moth and not ruined my frames because I strung some and they stink. I thought I did it right but alas I did not. I also installed my wax sheets on the frames upside down and now some of my frames are looking like sand dunes but oh well! The bees worked them anyway. So now I just buy frames cuz it’s easier and I have less stuff to buy and do.

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Well you have convinced me to not eat the comb with the honey! :smiley:

Hi Martha, don’t be afraid to eat honey out of the comb. It’s probably the most natural way to eat honey, provided you don’t wear false teeth. Wax sticks to my false teeth real bad.

It’s rare to find wax moth eggs in comb honey. However it does happen, that’s why it’s best to freeze it first as a precautionary measure. Even then, that’s only if it is going to sit around for a while or going to be sold.

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I also installed my wax sheets on the frames upside down and now some of my frames are looking like sand dunes but oh well! The bees worked them anyway.[/quote]

Wait what! Wax foundation has an upside down??? Could you expand on this please?

Edit. I like my cedar boxes as they are lighter and from all reports will last longer too.


It does if it is wired… :blush:

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I don’t understand. Are you having a lend of me???
We’re talking about wax foundation sheets right?

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ermm, yes. I don’t quite understand what you are saying, but let me post a link to a video. Us folks in the US do it all funny (just look at our leader)… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Ok so your wax foundation comes with wire already embedded. I see that right side up but over here we there’s no wire in the wax. So my question is does it matter which side is up? I vaguely remember seeing something about the hexagonals needing to be set in relation to the reverse side. But perhaps I was dreaming…


Hi Martha,
I currently have 4 active araucaria pine flow hives and 3 active cedar flow hives.
I did observe less wax moth on the bottom boards of the cedars. All over, I seem to observe less of SHB in the cedar ones as well, but it’s hard to say if the colonies coincidentally are more hygienic in those hives or if it’s the cedar.
I asked the flow people once in an email, and they didn’t think there was a difference.
According to my observations, I will stick with the cedar for now. Smells good, is lighter and is sort of more elegant.
Honestly, once you tung oiled a cedar hive, it looks like beautiful furniture.
Elegance is a quality neglected in beekeeping I feel. It becomes all about the honey and who cares what the hives look like.
Time eats away on the hive timber, but it’s always easy to wipe your cedar hive with a tung oil cloth.
All my hives still in boxes are cedar.
I keep good records, so in a year or so I may be able to post to you some better observations.
I now do paint the tops of the cedar roofs with water based house paint, but the roofs I just tung oiled are holding up ok, just need attention after a year out there. I will all paint them with house paint from now on. Looks good too.
No more pine for me.

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Thanks Dawn,

As a novice (my current situation) I bought wired foundation from Brushy Mountain bee farm to fit into my flow frames and they didn’t have a “this side up” instructions so I installed them upside down. Sorry for my lack of proper lingo. Building my own frames was a struggle and I gave it all a great try but with a nice manicure and lack of knowledge my up side down frame creations did not produce the best results. The kind I purchased had wire on both ends with wire longer on one end. After that fiasco I bought some, it’s easier! I’m not saying I won’t try to learn but I am saying I want to give the bees a good start. :smiley:

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Buying frames and foundation is a challenge to a new beekeeper as the choices are many. I botched up pretty good with the best of intent. There’s wood, plastic, black, white, yellow, wired etc. Using my original flow hive frames was not the best start for a beginning bee keeper. All I can say, is that the frames I strung with wire and that I tried to get really tight ended up with wavy sand dune effects as well in comb formation by the bees. Same with my upside down installed foundation sheets. The bees did not fill out the frames and they are wavy like sand dunes. I bought some! The bees did their best with my novice efforts. :smiley:


Thanks Webclan,

I did wonder if the wood might make a difference. I love the smell of cedar but purchased the pine hive. My pine hive (treated with tongue oil) did not fair as well in the elements so I just gave them a makeover. My package of bees last year came with a few hive beetles and hence the battle begun and the consideration of wood types. I’m considering another purchase (cedar) if I can get some honey in my current first year hive. I like the hives to look attractive as well for several reasons. My neighbors are less intimidated by the hive if it looks attractive and I find it pleasing to have an attractive looking back yard. The kids seem to get interested as well. Thanks for sharing your observation.

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Ok you convinced me to try it, but only because I don’t have false teeth at this time. But thanks for the heads up and the method on how to insure I don’t eat a moth larvae. :smiley: