Type of wood for hive in Western Australia

Hi there,
We seem to have two types of wood for flow hives available in Western Australia: cedar and araucaria. Do people have a preference for either of these based on longevity or anything else?

Welcome Amanda the question is relative where ever you are. I think it comes down to a personal choice of the two woods based on cost, longevity and aesthetics.

Longevity for the two woods should be similar if prepared and cared well. Pine is more of a few coats of good quality exterior paint and the cedar you can treat with different stuff to maintain the timber.

I’m sure others will chime in but have a look through some of the pinned threads or do a search and you’ll increase the breadth and depth of the direct responses to your question.

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Welcome to the forum Amanda, you will find some great people here happy to pass on good sound advice and lots of reading as well.
All of my wooden hives are Hoop Pine, some bought as flat packs from bee gear suppliers and some made from timber from Bunnings.
More important than the type of timber you choose is how well it is treated during and after assembly as to how long it will last in the environment.

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Hiya Amanda, welcome to the forum. Up our way either is suitable, it’s all about looks and price really, weight is negligible. Personally I’d recommend pine.


Hi Amanda, I think cedar is more durable than pine.
Pine is likely to attract moisture and bend or twist.
Cedar is more resistant to warping or twisting. Many timber window frames are made from cedar for that reason.
Having said that, providing you keep up the paint cover on pine it should last. I have a pine and cedar hive. The cedar hive has 2 coats of gloss sealer and the pine has 2 coats of water based house paint. I don’t like painting the inside of the hives. The painted pine is starting to show signs of movement whereas the cedar still looks good, no movement.
Hope this helps, from an ex chippie. Cheers, G


I agree with George that if you can afford it, go with cedar. It is naturally more insect and rot resistant than pine, and slightly lighter too.

From my experience, I will avoid painting hives with any oil based paints, or varnishes. They tend to get brittle and crack, and trap moisture between the flaking sealer and wood. This happened to me on my cedar hive which I varnished with top quality marine grade stuff. Hives get a fair bit of abuse - prying the edges etc, and varnish chips more easily.

With cedar, you can just oil them with tung oil and retain the beauty of the wood, but you have to top it up regularly. I personally ended up painting them using water based paint, and that should last several years before they need any maintenance.


Thankyou all, that is really helpful :blush: