I’ve used tung oil with and without terpene for my cedar hives and pine nucs and would recommend it (but not on the rooves or full-size pine hives). @cirode if you use the search key, you’ll see plenty of information on it, as well as pictures of Dawn’s hives. Personally, I’m not keen on the decking products because of a) the chemicals in them and b) you’re going to have to recoat it at some stage. If you want to recoat it with the bees inside, use tung oil with a light sand. If you want to use something like ultradeck or intergrain you’re best to move the bees out, recoat then let it off-gas etc.
I’m giving this (see below) a try as I don’t have concerns over the ingredients and I can recoat with the bees inside. The application is easier (so far) than tung oil and it smells great (I can smell the citrus terpene in it amongst other things). I can’t say much yet about longevity or how the bees will react when I recoat while they’re in the hive, but I’m confident enough to give it a whirl:
NB - My tung oil cedar hive is still going strong after 3 or 4 years so long as it gets a recoat each year - not a big deal.
I’ve searched through the forums and read quite a lot, and it seems about 50/50 people like yourself advocating for it, and people saying that it’s not appropriate for outdoor use. Either way the theme i’m getting is that Tung Oil moulds quite badly, which is mirrored in the official advice. I’m worried about that since i live in a rainforest area (dandenong ranges) which is prone to mildew.
I can’t find pics of Dawns hives though as user post searches don’t seem to be a feature
Maybe i should just give it a go though and if it starts moulding try find a decking product then… none of the products i have used so far give that natural wood look i was wanting
Here’s a thread - photos and all as well as an array of different opinions as to be expected.
If you go with tung oil, I’d definitely add the citrus terpene to the first coat (50/50) and either paint or use something different on the roof.