I am looking to buy a flow hive and was wondering what the difference would be between a western red cedar and Araucaria hive.
They are made from different woods, but otherwise the same function. What particular differences were you interested in?
Cedar is probably more insulative.
see info under “thermal conductivity”
Western Red Cedar (WRC)
- Very light to lift (around 2/3 weight of pine)
- Nice reddish color if sealed
- Doesn’t need sealing
- Insect resistant naturally
- Expensive wood
- Heavier than WRC
- Pale in colour, typical of pine
- Needs sealing or painting
- Not naturally insect-resistant
- Much cheaper wood
Both wood types are sustainably sourced by Flow, but WRC is not grown as widely as various types of pine, so it will always be more expensive. I go for WRC whenever possible, as I find it much easier to lift. My nucleus boxes are all pine though.
After gaining experience with both, I absolutely now only want WRC hives. The lesser weight is a huge bonus, but I observed that the cedar hives never get mould on the timber, inside of the roof, whereas mould seems to easily grow on the pine.
The bees seem to thrive better in the cedars.
The cedar smells better in my opinion, merging nicely with the colonies’ fragrance.
I only have 3 araucaria hives, the rest is cedar, but I wish they were all cedar. I’ll never get pine hives again.
And I like the fact that cedar doesn’t need any sealing with paint. Perhaps that’s why the pine ones can’t breathe. I just put house paint on the top of the cedar roof, so all the cracks are sealed and no rain can seep in.
And occasionally tung oiling the cedar always makes them look as new, like treasured furniture.
Araucaria is a pine wood and heavier than Cedar, it is plantation grown and grows faster than Cedar. So for environment reasons I have bought the Araucaria hives but they are for all intents and purposes the same Flow Hives, just made of different timber.
Thanks everyone for the replies! I was looking into the difference to see if it was worth spending more on cedar. I am definitly leaning towards cedar now.