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Hi Bella,
I found the cedar hive does best with several layers of tung oil and the top of the roof undercoated and painted with house paint. The paint seals all the gaps and it looks good too.


Jeff doesn’t use Tung Oil, but plenty of people in humid and wet climates do. It is a great non-toxic coating, and I use it on all of my cedar hives. The only downside is that you need to re-coat once per year, but that is pretty easy, and I have done it with the boxes still on the hive. Cedar is very slow to rot, so the Tung oil is a good choice. Make sure you get 100% pure - the commercial finishes with Tung Oil in them are often filled with other chemicals and solvents.

Just search the forum with the magnifying glass at the top right to get lots of posts about Tung Oil, including where to get it in Australia. :wink:


Sceney’s Tung oil is good. Cut with 50/50 citrus solvent for the first coat (must both be pure) is good and may get deeper into the wood than paint. I have seen unpainted /uncoated cedar and that ages to look nice too.


Jeff will know for sure. He has around 100 hives and has been professionally beekeeping for years. :blush:


Thanks @Dawn_SD and @Dan2. Off to search tung oil


Hi Dawn I spent my whole time this morning thinking about the inaccuracy of my answer. I agree that the bees wax the inside of the hives, also they put a wax coating on frames etc… It’s just not enough to protect untreated pine boxes. It’s probably the areas that bees can’t get to, to wax is where the trouble starts. I have lots of boxes out the back to show why I decided to treat everything (pine, that is) from now on about 15+ years ago.

I’m convinced that washboarding has something to do with coping with heat or humidity, or both.


Aww, sorry to cause you so much worry, Jeff. Just want to help new beekeepers to think about what they are doing and why. Plus take into account what the bees do too. :blush:

After all, we don’t paint frames… :smiling_imp:


Thank you Dawn :slight_smile: you don’t have to apologize, I did it to myself. I should have thought a bit more about what I was typing.

You & I don’t paint frames, however some newbees do :slight_smile:


@JeffH, thank you for your time to reply. I’m a little bit strange too :rofl:. By strange, I mean I come from a long line of eccentric ppl who walk the path least taken :slight_smile: I’ll call you soon. Probably when half the kids are at school, so I can hear you over the full roar :joy::speak_no_evil:


Well done Belinda, :slight_smile: I’m sure we’ll get on fine. I’m probably a little bit eccentric. I’m like you, I grow a lot of stuff. I don’t go overboard with anything. I guess if I was real eccentric, I would grow a lot of one thing & ignore other stuff. I try to balance it out so that things run out just in time for the new season harvest. Sweet corn from last season ran out just in time for for our recent harvest, for example.

I think that that in itself is eccentric.

Anyway I look forward to your call, cheers


The one thing I found out is that if you don’t paint both sides of the inspection panels they will swell in the humidity and they are very hard to get out. I shaved a little bit off them and then painted inside as well. Been fine over the last year.
Good luck with everything. Lots of experience available on this forum.


Gaz is that just with the pine or the red cedar too?


Definitely the pine but the cedar is more durable. I would oil or paint it both sides on the inspection panels as the bees don’t touch those surfaces anyway and the moisture won’t get in then.


Hi, I am new to both this site and to bee keeping. I have one hive, native Aussi bees in a log. They sit in the middle of the veg garden and are very active and seem well established after 6 mths. Love them, I just love watching them return with loades ‘sugar bags’.


Welcome shazz, I’m new here too, but everyone has been very welcoming and helpful.


Hi Shazz we have 3 varieties of native bees as well as a couple of flow hives. All are doing so well here in Brisbane. Loads of helpful advice from all experienced bee keepers the world over on this site.
Good luck.


Hi @Shazz & welcome! That’s my favorite part (besides honey) of beekeeping :heart_eyes: I’m thinking you might mean ‘pollen bags’ though, not sugar/nectar - the little rounds of yellow, orange, cream or sometimes red stuff on their legs, right? Some of us like to call them ‘pollen pants’ :jeans::grin:

Now that is cool! Please post us a pic if you can!


Thank you for your kind welcome messages. My bees are the native Australian stingless bees. I think they are nicknamed ‘sugarbag bees’ because of how they look when they return home.


Sure thing :blush:

Wow, shows you what I know! Now I really need to see pics…


Hey Roderick just starting out live in Campbelltown looking to purchase some bees any ideas ?
Thank you