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Advantages of hive coats

In apiculture, a variety of equipment from beehives over hoses to beekeeper tools is made of wood, usually requiring a protective coat. But how can you best protect them?




Coated beehives (picture source S. Luff)


„Natural coatings" based on linseed

Linseed oil is a pure vegetable oil that is extracted the mature seeds of flax and is in itself therefore safe for the bee. Paint, based on natural linseed oil, however usually contains terpenes and additives such as cobalt compounds, which expediate, for example, the drying process or make it even possible for linseed oil to dry. Also natural oils are easily attacked by fungi and are therefore fungicidal equipped in most cases, because they otherwise would go bad. In many cases also a re-coating is necessary, because also already applied oils can go bad. Additives such as cobalt compounds or fungicides are matter of concern for the health of humans and animals during processing, but also in dried condition according to today's knowledge and also have great potential for allergy. The danger of spontaneous combustion of linseed oil also should not be underestimated. ever and anon the improper handling of rags soaked with linseed oil or brushes leads to fires.


Untreated wood and the consequences

In fear of their bees many beekeepers avoid therefore entirely a treating or coating of wooden parts. Un-treated wood though is exposed to many risks - with consequences, also for the bees. Penetrating moisture can lead to infestation of wood stain or other molds , sometimes latent in areas that are barely visible. Mold is neither to the bees, nor for the honey a good thing to happen.



                 Un-treated wood may show damage due to weather influences.


Wood is a natural raw material and reacts to temperature and humidity, in particular with shrinkage, swelling, warping, tearing, or bending. In short: It is a living material. Therefore gap and cracks can occur, which then enable drafts and cold / heat bridges, which can affect the well-being climate of the bee of 35 ° C and can especially endanger the breed. Certainly smaller gaps and cracks are sealed by the bees themselves using propolis, the openings, however resulting from missing protective coats, waste the working power of bees, which would be better to invest in the collection of nectar.