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Drying time for CN treated pine flow hives


I live in Queensland and the weather is always high 20’s. I was going to dry for two weeks, but I was curious to see what drying times other people use.


I have never used copper naphthenate myself, but my understanding is that the drying time depends on the weight of the solvent used. Several beekeepers that I have heard mention it recommend one to two months of drying time, even in warmer climates. The drying will obviously be somewhat affected by local humidity too.

I think @Rodderick may have used it. He is a bit cooler than you climatewise, but perhaps he can comment if I remembered correctly. :blush:


When its dry go for it. It took mine about a week for it to be noticeably dry on the surface. I would think another 2 weeks to dry thoroughly… but only a guess.
I do not treat the inside as there is no need to, however I see you have.


It’s hard not to treat the inside of the box when you have to soak it in the liquid for 8 hours. I grew up with bees 40 years ago and all we did was paint the outside of the box with silver frost paint! The CN treatment preserves the timber and I hope prolongs my investment with the Flow Hive. I must paint the whole box with a good quality oil based sealer/ primer to lock in the treatment and create a barrier from it and the bees. I will top coat the complete box with also a good quality exterior paint as well.


You do not have to do this if you don’t want to. It will not preserve the box any better or longer than if you leave it as it is, unless of course you don’t like green
I also did not soak it. I painted the CA on(quite lavishly) on the outside (there were of course runs on the inside surfaces in places) and did 3 coates. The first was thinned quite a bit with mineral turpentine to get best penetration. Two further coaters were applied at hour intervals.


I love the stain color! I was going to try the rit dye to get a cool color. What did you uses? It’s beautiful! I love the wood grains coming through it. :smiley:


It’s called Copper Naphthenate . Here, most bee supply shops either stock it or can get it for you. It is safe for bees. Not only is a great green colour it a great wood treatment and used by professionals. It is what a lot of farmers use now on posts in-ground instead of creosote to stop rotting. Creosote being deemed carcinogenic.
The only thing I don’t like about it is it is harmful to frogs if used in-ground where frogs live. Above ground like beehives no problem.
It is quite expensive.


I live around a lot of farmers and next to a stream. Thanks for the information as I’ll check with our local extension to see if it’s used in our area. Thank you! :grinning:


Thanks Busso, knowing that the CN treatment won’t harm the bees, as in your experience, is good to know. I was only going to paint the box after being told to do that from the bee supply shop! Same with soaking it for 8 hours! The CN treatment must be good stuff if painting is unnecessary! Especially using plain pine! One last question,
How long after you used the treatment, did you introduce the bees?


Yeah, I use when time permits. Napthenate really extends the life of your boxes if you live in a moist or humid climate. I only paint the edges and ends of the timber before assembling, leave to dry for 3-4 weeks then re-paint with undercoat and 2 coats of water based acrylic… The insides of my boxes are mostly not napthenated and to get rid of any residual odour I give it a rub down with methylated spirits. Its a good winter job.


From memory about one month but that was just when it happened, not any particular quarantine time.
I actually did paint mine, because (unlike @Martha) I don’t particularly like that green colour.