How do you protect your Flow Hive timber?

Here on the East Coast of Australia, we’ve had some pretty crazy weather with high winds and flooding, causing some concerns for moisture in the hives e.g. the timber.

To maintain the opportunity for the longevity of the timber it’s important the beekeeper protects it, as such with any natural timber product kept outside.

How do you protect your timber, particularly in areas located with extreme weather?

My preference is to seal the timber with 2 coats of linseed for cedar and outdoor paint for araucaria. I always paint the roof with 2 good coats and even paint the underside to avoid moisture and water seeping through the timber into the roof.

I also take careful consideration for the location of my hives so to avoid excessive moisture gathering areas and keep the hive dry as much as possible, such as keeping it away from long grass, untamed weeds, a valley etc.

I try to reapply annually and particularly like to swap out boxes with a temp one so I can sand the panels back and reapply oil/paint. I love a fresh-looking hive :slight_smile:


Wax dipped my cedar FH2


How did you find this compared to a paint/oil?

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Much less work, cheaper than a single can of paint (4 US$ per box), and (hopefully) much more durable.

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i have also hot wax dipped my cedar and pine flow hives. After 4 years they are still in great condition. They look great too. My hives are dipped in pure beeswax and 20% pine gum rosin.

The best possible treatment is hot dipping and then painting two coats- but the paint must be applied whilst the wood is still boiling hot. Once the wood colls down paint will not stick to the waxy surface. When it is hot the paint actually mixes witht he wax and is drawn into the timber. The first coat is largely drawn in and the second coat must be applied within minutes. My dipper only heats one side of a box at a time so I cannot paint (most commercial dippers submerge the entire box). Wax alone still performs very well. It is completely different than all other treatments as the wax penetrates the wood %100- and it also drives out all of the water. When the box is in the hot wax the water inside the timber boils and froths out of the wood to be completely replaced by wax. The gum rosin aids in the absorption and hardens the wood- it is also antibacterial. Wax dipping is the only treatment other than irradiation that can sterilize equipment that has been exposed to AFB…

Wax dipping is easier than painting- but only once you have access to a wax dipper- and it is somewhat of a dangerous process as the wax is heated to around 140C. I think the flash point is around 165C… The wax is obviously highly flammable.

I had to put 10 KG’s of wax into my dipper at the start which is way less than a commercial dipper (they generally use paraffin and micro-crystalline wax) but still expensive. I have to top it up regularly. A two box hive with base and lid absorbs nearly 1kg of wax…


So informative, Semaphore, thank you!

You’ve convinced me that wax dipping is the way! As long as you’ve got access to it. I’m not personally aware of any wax dipping services local to me but perhaps if I look now I might find something.

Thank you SO much for sharing.


I think this is something that Flow should consider offering on a factory finish level!

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