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Making top bar hive

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New Bee

Joined: 25 Feb 2018
Posts: 4
Location: Tameside uk

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject: Making top bar hive Reply with quote

Hi Folks Im going to try and make a couple of top bar hives as per Phil Chandlers Plans firstly do I need special timber ie Western Red Cedar or can ordinary 25 mm thick timber be used and coated with a protective substance such as shellac or linseed oil otherwise have any of you used Marine plywood and if so did you coat it and if so with what
Thanks for your help I have national hives but I want to move in your direction Mike
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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1621
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Mike

I've used all sorts to make TBHs including a veneered chipboard corner cabinet and tongued and grooved wood panelling that I reclaimed from a shop refit (it was quite thin, like wainscoting, so I made it double thickness with interior pieces running horizontally and exterior vertically). The tongue part provide a perfect rebate for a Perspex observation window to sit in.
I've also made small TB hives from plastic trough planters that I lined with plywood and I've used sterling board for hive ends and MDF for follower boards.... I use whatever timber I have lying around or can dig out of skips providing it doesn't appear to have been chemically treated. The advantage of using recycled stuff is that it is less likely to warp and any glues used in production with ply or sterling board will have off gassed before it becomes home to bees. I lightly scorch the inside and rub it with beeswax and scorch again so that the beeswax gets sucked into the timber.
Other people I know of have used pallet wood and made it double thickness like I did with my panelling. You need to check that it is heat treated (stamped HT) rather than chemically treated if you go that route.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas on what you can use but certainly no need to spend a fortune on cedar, beautiful as it is.


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Nurse Bee

Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 25
Location: Slovakia/Prievrana

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: Making top bar hive Reply with quote

for outside coat (only outside) I use mixture of used oil from deep fryer and bee wax. Ratio 10:1. Paint with warm solution.
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