Tung oil ok on araucaria

Beginner here. Trying to get everything ready for spring here in TN before I put my hive outside. Wanted to know if anybody else has used Tung oil on araucaria, and would it be ok on the roof? Also, since I live in TN around Cleveland, it seems to rain a lot. Would it be a bad idea to build a small covering for the hive? Like have four post set a foot away from the hive and have a piece of a PVC roof panel mounted slanted on top?

Hi Xaver,

There should have been some instructions in your manual for painting or oiling your Flow Hive. Did you receive your manual? If you can’t find your manual we have them available online here:

Tung oil can be used on the cedar, but a waterproof paint or sealer is recommended on the Araucaria. For the roof, it is especially important to use a couple of thick coats of waterproof paint or sealer to fill in the ridges and make sure no rain gets into your hive.

Here is the detailed faq:

I think having a shelter over your hive would be beneficial for preventing too much rain getting to your hive and also keeping your hive cool in summer.

Keeping the Flow Hive cool in summer and waterproofing the Flow Hives is discussed a bit on the forum.
You can do a search up in the top right-hand corner of the page with some keywords and you will see a range of related topics :slight_smile:


Thank you Faroe. I guess I should have been more specific with my question. I wanted to know why it is recommended to put Tung oil on the cedar but not the Araucaria? I like the way wood looks, I would like to not paint over it if I don’t have to. I found the manual last night, it was in one of the other boxes. I will at least paint my roof since that seems to be a big issue. Thank you for the link!

Hiya Xaver, Tung oil needs to be reapplied regularly (yearly) as it degrades out in the weather. Cedar properties provide good protection from the weather which is why it’s used for external cladding. Pine on the other hand isn’t so great at standing up to the weather so if the Tung oil isn’t reapplied regularly it will degrade a lot faster.
I added a pine box to my cedar Flow hive and to keep it uniform I stained it and used a clear coat paint. Better weather repellant qualities than cedar now with the wood look. :wink:


Skeggley! Thank you so much for your response! I like that clear coat idea.

I think some woods are just more waterproof than others basically.

I have an Araucaria hive which I wanted to keep natural, so I used a waterproof tinted sealer. This add a little colour (a bit or warmth) plus I could see the natural grain, and made it waterproof.
I like the look of Tung oil too, but I like the idea of having a more definite waterproof and UV protectant on my wood too.

I have just stripped and sanded the Tung Oil off my Flow roof, and in the New Year, I am going to put on some coats of Marine Spar Varnish. I live about 200 feet from San Diego bay, so I think it would be the best choice. :wink:

Yes, Skegs has good advice. I am fast becoming a non believer of Tung oil.
A good product but has to be re applied every year or it looks crap. As one of the younger members of this forum I am into colour. Soon I will have some pics of my multi coloured hive.
Secret is to have a good base coat. I have used copper naphthenate as a base to seal and stop any wood rot, then a good undercoat, then a couple of coates of the colour of your choice. Yellow, bright orange, turquoise is what I like but don’t be afraid to colour your bees life.


Phfft, you youngsters :roll_eyes:


Thank you busso for the Advice. Ill be looking at colors at sealers.

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Like @busso I don’t regard tung oil as a good option for a bee hive when you can get as nice a result that will last much longer without having to reapply it as often by using marine spar varnish which if applied well won’t get the mold growth on it. A couple of heavy coats and it will still look great after a few years. It is touch dry in an hour too.

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I still swear by waterlox marine varnish & sealer.

Here is a hive 2 years on, still glossy smooth other than some bee poop, and some bear claw scratches.


That photo is an excellent result after 2 years use. I think marine varnish is the way to go, a little dearer than ‘normal’ exterior varnish but well worth the extra. two liberal coats a few hours apart and the job is done for at least a few years.
Regards Simon.

Like your mitre joints. Not a favourite joint of mine for boxs as I never feel they are strong enough but thats me.:upside_down_face::upside_down_face:

That is such a cool setup sballie! . Why do you have another box on top of the super? And what do you do to get rid of the bears?

That was Dawn’s suggestion to encourage drying & capping the flow frames. It seemed to work really well for me; they filled virtually every cell of the flow frame and capped well over 90% of them.

For the bears I had to put up a solar powered electric fence, been good now for 2 years.


I got lazy last summer and made a couple boxes without the dovetail keys, just miters and they failed. All of my boxes with the dovetailed keys are good though.


Nice harvesting shelf as well :slight_smile:
Did you modify your own lids to fit the tubes?

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Yes. I wanted small, clear airtight storage containers for honey with gates and couldn’t find what I was looking for. I bought the clear pop top style food containers like these:

Then I added a honey gate, and made a lid for extracting by gluing 2 pieces of plexiglass together; 1 cut to fit snugly inside the mouth of the container, and one slightly larger all around. Then just drill holes for the tubing through them.


I thought that being airtight would be a disadvantage. It should prevent the honey draining freely. I have experienced this!