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Recycled timber for making hives

This is my first post here and I have been keeping bees for 9 months.

I live in S/E Melbourne and also have a property with river frontage in the Riverena NSW. I have 1 hive here and 3 hives up in NSW. All have flow supers ranging from 3 to 7 flow frames retro-fitted into them (all 10 frame deeps).

My first 2 hives were flat packed NZ pine which I assembled and painted. However I wanted a nicer looking hive for my “home hive” so while doing a cut out from a friend’s old farm shed, I salvaged some timber from inside it. I got some nice 300mm x 25mm nice flat mountain ash boards from an broken old antique desk and one 2.73M length of 340mm x 25mm Baltic Pine which was unscrewed from an antique table tennis table (the rest of the boards had bad borer damage).

I made 2 supers out of these and treated them with Tung Oil and Citric Turpentine. I made a roof from some salvaged Western Red Cedar weatherboard off cuts found dumped on the side of the road with Jarah gables and ridge timber. The base was made from the Mountain Ash boards (biscuit jointed) with cut down Red Gum from a 80YO post and Jarah. I will try to attach some pics. I have done 3 cut outs and caught 2 swarms in my first swarm trap also re homed 2 escaped swarms and given away a few of those. If anyone is interested I can write more on my bees.


Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

Wow, your carpentry skills sound excellent. We have several members on this forum who are very good with woodworking - I am not one of them. I think that @busso likes making stuff, and @Bobby_Thanepohn has built a lot of hive parts.

I love people who have a passion for what they do, so please post whatever you would like to share, and ask if you have bee questions. We are mostly pretty friendly, a bit like bees… :wink:

Thanks Dawn,
I found it satisfying using old wood that would have just rotted away. I am a boilermaker by trade so woodworking is not my strong point. I made a slide and jig for cutting finger joints on my cheapo saw bench and they turned out ok in the end.

This colony was a queenless cut out one that made a queen but she never returned from her mating flight (I had heaps of large dragonflies patrolling at the time). However I introduced a frame of brood with eggs and they successfully made a new queen. They are breeding up well and the new queen is laying a solid pattern across the whole 10 frames. It was interesting to see a lot of orange looking new bees doing orientation flights meaning the darker queen (a lot of these bees from feral cutouts are nearly black) must have found a few Italian drones from local hives. Pics of my home hive below (note the flow frames are just being started on now due to set back of having been queenless twice).


They look great Gazza!
I have been making pitched rooves for my hives and have no carpentry skills whatsoever. The way the flow super, inner cover and roof (don’t) fit together is testimony to that. I use cut-up weatherboards for the roof shingles and managed to stumble across some old cedar weatherboards for a couple. I like the way the pitched roof looks on a hive v the flat roof, but it has it’s draw backs I imagine.
The timber-work looks great and well worth it given you don’t need much to make a hive that’ll last you a very long time. An excellent result to be able to find and recycle some beautiful hard and soft woods that may otherwise have ended up at the tip :+1:

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I think that your photos disprove that! That is a gorgeous hive and joints are fabulous, well done! :blush:

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That looks fantastic! @Gazzalin :honeybee: :heart:
I built my own hive recently for a new nuc I received last weekend. I was worried they wouldn’t like it, but I’ve since been proved wrong by them! Mine’s a little more than a box that I assembled using the flow hive as a template. Everything done by hand (minimal tools and experience) nowhere near as clean and neat as yours, but I can at least say that I’ve built a hive and the bees are happy with it.
I’m in hospital recovering from a total hip replacement yesterday so I can’t post any pictures of the hive.
Once again, bloody well done on your hive :clap:

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Thanks Christopher,
Hope you are on your feet soon.

The thing I didn’t mention is that if you can get hold of some 60+ YO timber it is usually very tight and straight grained because the trees were still old growth trees as compared to today’s plantation fast grown timber. Therefore the timber does not warp and lasts much longer. If you zoom in on the bottom box you can see the close grain of the Baltic Pine. I calculated by the radius and spacing of the grain that the tree must have been at least 150YO that that plank came from.

I just love looking at and saving these beautiful timbers.


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Here is another box I made from a slab cut from an old stump of a 250yo Murray Pine.


That is a work of art! Gorgeous!!


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