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Is Cedar wood harmful to insects?



I have purchased a red cedar flow hive 2 and an old beekeeper that I know said isn’t cedar wood used to keep away insects and moths. Help!


Hi Ivan, my mother used to buy Camphor Laurel balls (about a couple of cm or 1 inch size) that were placed in clothing draws to keep moths away and to ‘scent’ everything up. That is what was commonly used in Australia 60 years ago. I still remember the smell, Vicks is made from the sap of a Camphor Laurel tree.


Don’t panic, @Ivan! :smile: Everything will be alright, I promise. Some people have used cedar to keep away moths, and it does help to stop chewing insects (moth caterpillars, termites etc) when placed among clothes, or used for building structures. It isn’t used more generally in building, as it is very expensive - often about 3 times the price of pine or similar materials.

Bees love cedar hives. My husband and I have been using them for over 35 years, with no complaints or problems. It is very weather-resistant, and only about 70% of the weight of pine, making it much easier to lift. I am sure that your bees will love your Flow hive 2, and if they don’t, you can always ship it to me. I wouldn’t charge you a penny! :rofl: :sunglasses:


It would depend on how hard you hit the insects with the wood.


I think Cedar wood has antimicrobial/antibacterial qualities that mean insects and molds, etc don’t like eating/digging into it. I believe is is related to the wood resin. This is why it stands up well in the weather. But I can confirm that bees have no issue living in a hive made from it. I wax dip my pine hives in bees wax and gum rosin: the gum rosin is made from tree sap- and also has antibacterial properties that help preserve wood.


Hi Ivan

The Western Red Cedar we use in our Flow Hives is different to what your bee keeping friend may know of, it is totally fine for bees :slight_smile:


Characteristics of Western Red Cedar

Western red cedar is a standard wood used for hives in the USA, UK and other places. It’s very different from Spanish cedar or other aromatic cedars commonly used to deter moths and other insects. It’s very common to find feral honey bee colonies living inside hollow western red cedar trees.
There are a few beekeepers around who think their bees actually like their Cedar hives more than their Araucaria (Hoop Pine) hives.
If your order hasn’t shipped, or it has shipped and you would like to exchange it, we can do this if the boxes haven’t been opened. You will just need to pay for the shipping fees.
Otherwise, enjoy your beautiful new Western Red Cedar Flow Hive 2 :slight_smile: :honeybee: :house:



Cedar is naturally resistant to rot and insects and will do very well untreated. It should last years without treatment. You might be surprised by cedar’s durability and longevity outside.