Hello Everyone from North Carolina

Hello all from Mint Hill, NC!
I’m a green as can be newbee putting my first Flow Hive 2+ together.
Been reading a little through the forum and I’m trying to figure out what will be the best finish for
a WR Cedar hive? Hoping to hear from someone in this region with experience
in the hot and humid summers we have in the Piedmont region here and what finish worked best for you. I really preferably would like to finish it in something I can see the natural wood through, but not wanting to have to refinish so often and so am not totally adverse to painting. I have 1 Langstroth (unoccupied), painted white and really would like to keep the natural beauty on the Flow, to contrast the plain white hive, but just don’t like the idea of having to reapply often.
Haven’t found anywhere yet that I can wax-dip. Not even sure if I want to go that route.
Any tips/advice or stories of your experiences greatly appreciated!


I’m still a fan of the hot wax dipping!

Treatment options for Western Red Cedar

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I used boiled linseed oil on one of mine.
When you get bees, remember to not put the flow super on until the hive is wall to wall packed out with bees. They will be reluctant to use it if you don’t. After they have had a season addin was to the hive, in subsequent years the bees will be attracted to it.

Retaining a natural timber with cedar is quite easy, but you dont want the natural oils to dry out as it can lead to the timber aging. Usually if you go with a natural oil you need to reapply more regularly. Tung oil could be as soon as 6 months after heavy rainfall, where as linseed is a bit longer but this tends to bleach the colour out of timber as it dries creating a grey patina. A decking oil, is go to for extra protection but the fumes are strong, the risk being new bees can be flighty and fumes may put them off settling in. You dont want to oil the inside leaving this natural for the bees to wax up. But you might want to oil areas the bees dont have access to also, like the inside of the base inner, and inside the roof. As the roof gets majority of the weather painting this inside and out is the best move regardless of the timber type.

Strong sealants can off-gas over time also, this is why a LOW VOC is best too, this is more so important inside the hive and areas the bees will come into contact with, as wax takes in a lot of what it is exposed too, and any harsh chemicals building up over time is not going to be good for the bee.

I have looked into natural oils and there is curing process for these too where 5 coats of tung oil can create a gloss finish and 25 days kept out of the elements for the oil to settle into the timber improves its longevity, I haven’t tried this personally, but it might be good to bring up curing timber oils with a local painter.