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Kitsap Washington and a Flow 2

It arrived minutes ago. I have the spot picked out and will be assembling it tonight.
I choose Tong oil because I have some experience with wood finishing and realize it’s a lot of coats.
I get the bees early May. From the advice of several friends, availability, and some study I choose Carniolan.
I’m getting them from Tarboo Valley Bees, a lovely place even more rural than me. They have woodware and supplies too.
So, three weeks to get it assembled, finished, and placed. I should make it.
So, what about raccoons?

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“So what about raccoons?”. My suggestion would be to construct a physical barrier to keep them away from your hive. What are other beekeepers in your area doing to mitigate raccoons?

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As long as you make it impossible for them to get the roof off, you will be fine. You can either do that with a ratcheting strap around the hive from top to bottom, or find a way of weighting the lid. You need about 15lb of weight to make it too heavy for the raccoon to lift. Most traditional beekeepers in the US use bricks or a large rock for that. With a gabled roof, that is unstable, so some Flow hive owners use couple of Spanish-style barrel roof tiles, a bit like these:

I also like to have the hive entrance about 14-16" off the ground to deter possums. You can use something as simple as cinder blocks for that.


We have lots of raccoons in this area, but I haven’t had any problems. They probably know they’d get badly stung if they tried to lift any hive lids! Same principle of height re Dawn’s mention of cinder blocks - as long as a critter has to stand up to get close, it exposes its belly as a target :astonished:


Barry, how many coats of Tong oil will you apply to your assembled flow hive? How long to let it dry enough so it won’t bother the bees? i get my flow hive 2+ in a few days and pick up my nuc the 19th of this month. So new to this it isn’t funny.

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OK, I am not Barry, but I have used Tung Oil. A lot of Tung Oil… :blush:

It takes about 2-3 days between coats, then at least 2 weeks before the final coat has “cured” to the point of not being sticky. You can put bees in the boxes before then, especially if you haven’t coated the inside, but the the boxes may stick together if there is an overrun of the coats. Not a big deal, but requires careful hive tool use to separate them. :wink:

If you are using PURE Tung Oil, it won’t bother the bees at all. If you not using 100%, then that is a different story…

Will a fan help the oil to dry or set it in the sun to dry?

By the way, didn’t your area have an earthquake this morning?

Both will help. Tung oil cures by oxidizing, so extra heat will make it oxidize faster, and air flow will deliver more oxygen. Good idea on your part.

Not that I felt. However there was one in Anaheim (Los Angeles area) about 100 miles north of here. Only a magnitude 4, so we probably wouldn’t feel it here.

Thanks for everybody’s input. I start Tung oil tonight. I’m looking at a Raspberry Pi setup to monitor temp and humidity in the brood and flow boxes with maybe a camera at the entrance and an infrared in the brood box. I’m also thinking of adding case latches to the boxes for critter frustration.

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Also I’m definitely adding a Vivaldi board.

I am setting it on cinder blocks for just that reason. Thanks

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I’m brand new to this too, but I have been reading and chatting to other keepers for a couple of years. I got interested when the crowdfunding for Flow was started and have watched them grow. I decided to go for it this year.

1st coat of tung and I’m loving it. The wood glows and it soaks it in nicely. Looks like I have enough for 8 to 10 coats.
I am using


to thin. Works great.

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Good choices, well done! :blush:

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i just finished two thick coats of Tung oil and the Cedar looks wonderful. now to get my Saturday Nuc pickup without getting mauled in the process of introducing the girls 2 their new home. according 2 the various videos i’ve watched, it should be a piece of fruitcake. :smiley: :mask:


Good luck Tim! Let us know how it goes :grinning:

It didn’t go perfectly, but the package got installed Sunday. I’ve got the super box on for few reasons. The queen escaped immediately and went in the package box I think. I got almost everyone in the hive and set the package box upside down on the inner cover with the holes aligned. Set the super box on minus frames and then roof. It’s cocked a little to let errant bees out. The base is sitting with a shim for level right now, but the feet are adjusted for the correct angle. I’ll pull the shim first harvest.
The in hive feeder will not fit and I’m not a fan of it that way anyway. I put a few small glass marbles in it after I had 2 bees drown. It works loads better that way. I have it outside because it’s easy.to monitor and they won’t need it for long as you are about to see.

They have found the apple trees.

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