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Frequently Asked Questions


While we tend to think that our Western Cedar hives look great unfinished, we understand that many of you might prefer to seal your hives from the elements.

Wood expands and contracts across the grain. To reduce this naturally occurring tendency and prevent potential problems, finish your Western Cedar hive products prior to installation, following one of two methods:

  • Oil finishing: Apply tung oil (or similar product) to the OUTSIDE only of hive boxes. Do not apply to the inside of your hives, to protect your bees. Follow coating manufacturer's directions.
  • Paint finishing: Prime the outside of your hive boxes with an exteriour primer, before puttong on a final coat of paint. The color of the primer is not important. But primer is important to seal and protect the wood, it helps the final coat of paint adhere better, and helps the surface paint resist moisture and mildew.

January 22, 2018

Q: When is a good time of year to start setting up my first hive?
A: According to Portland bee expert, Tim W.: "Early April is best for starting the hive with bees, but prepping equipment and locating your apiary now is good."

Before beginning the beekeeping process, here are a few tips: