tung oil allow wood to breathe

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Forum topic by baoluo posted 04-16-2012 01:32 AM 4703 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2572 days

04-16-2012 01:32 AM

tung oil

11 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2877 days

#1 posted 04-16-2012 02:05 AM

First of all, wood doesn’t breathe, baoluo. It can absorb and release moisture from the atmosphere. Sometimes we attempt to mitigate that, like with paint. Other finishes do not attempt to cover the wood in an impermeable membrane. Oil finishes would be an example.

The first question would be, what is the finish required to do?

And second, as popular as apiaries are becoming, your question might be better directed to other beekeepers rather than to we woodworkers.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Harry_Ch's profile


63 posts in 2702 days

#2 posted 04-16-2012 03:11 AM

Tung oil is good to use on the outside of the beehive, Baoluo. It will allow for the wood to breathe and maintain it’s appearance for several years. DO NOT finish the inside of the hive since the bees will take care of that themselves and they do not like certain odors/smells. Just use several light coats and allow it to dry several days before giving it to the bees. Hardly know a bee that did not appreciates a well built home.

What type of hives did you build for them? Build the Kenya hives myself. Luck to you and the bees.

-- Deeds not Words.

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7 posts in 2572 days

#3 posted 04-16-2012 04:58 AM

I have kept bees in trees, logs, langstroth, top bars, and recently Warre. I really appreciate your thoughts.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2640 days

#4 posted 04-16-2012 05:13 AM

Hay bauluo

i just helped my neighbor build a top bar bee hive ,i dont know any more than the build but look at this link maybe it will help or at least he knows more about it.

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View a1Jim's profile


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#5 posted 04-16-2012 05:46 AM

I agree with LEE

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2869 days

#6 posted 04-16-2012 02:03 PM

I’ve talked to a beekeeper who soaked his hives (a side at a time in melted paraffin wax. Along with protecting the wood, the (Langstroth) bodies came apart easier and the propolis (bee glue) was easier to scrape off. Whenever he worked on his hive bodies he would dip them again. No priming, no scraping, and he thought the bees liked it. -Jack

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7 posts in 2572 days

#7 posted 04-16-2012 02:21 PM

Cool idea about dipping!

View IrreverentJack's profile


727 posts in 2869 days

#8 posted 04-16-2012 03:48 PM

Baoluo, I just read the link in Eddie’s post (^#4). It’s by SASmith and has a lot more info on paraffin dipping.

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2387 days

#9 posted 04-16-2012 04:46 PM

Milk paint will protect the wood without upsetting the bees.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View baoluo's profile


7 posts in 2572 days

#10 posted 04-16-2012 10:29 PM

What a great link and pictures. Thanks for nudging me. I didn’t catch it the first time. I appreciate all your guys!!!

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3013 days

#11 posted 04-16-2012 10:48 PM

If you want a natural wood look you could paint them with exterior base paint (no pigment/tint added).
My paraffin dipped hives turn grey over time because there is no UV protection. With untinted exterior paint it would take much longer because of the UV inhibitors added to the paint.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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