The Cedar Oil Experiment

I have been reading with some interest about people building hives with cedar.  some are claiming success, others are claiming defeat.

The experiment I am running will deal not with using cedar as a building material, but using cedar products like cedar oil and cedar chips in and around the hive.

The two primary applications will be using cedar oil on the plastic sheet in the bottom of an IPM screen bottom for one hive and cedar chips on the bottom of another.

Another side experiment will be to treat the ground directly beneath elevated hives with cedar oil in an effort to control small hive beetle and other soil borne pests.  How effective will it be on SHB population?  Will it be harmful to bees as well?

Mite counts will be done on each test hive at every inspection.  Fresh application of product will occur whenever bottom board plastic sheet is cleaned and replaced.

Questions I have:

Will presence of cedar products cause bees to become ill?

Will presence of cedar products cause bees to abscond?

Will cedar products actually have an effect on pest populations of mites, small hive beetle and others?  What effect will that be?

At the end of the season, these will be the summary questons we answer as well as presenting other information obtained during the experiment.



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5 Responses to The Cedar Oil Experiment

  1. Under the name RaineMaker I am building TopBar Warre hives for future sale – see listed site (still under construction, but getting close for full release) above for full description. My design uses cedar interior (double walled insulated type for light weight – oak exterior).
    I anticipate having a quantity ready for this spring as personal use, hoping to capture swarms as opposed to purchasing bees and I will hopefully be able to provide some feedback regarding your experiment.
    In turn, I would be grateful if you keep me posted on the data you collect.

    • bigbear says:

      Heya Richard, that sounds like an interesting possibility in relation to the cedar study. All of our results will be posted on this website under the categoriy of “Experiments” so you will be able to see everything that goes on throughout the entire season.

      If we keep communication open, I’m sure we can help each other out. You are also always welcome to email me directly.

  2. Thanks for the response BigBear – I certainly will keep you updated on my future findings

  3. valerie cole says:

    any experiments on cedar vs mold?

    • bigbear says:

      cedar oil is known to prevent mold growth on surfaces it is applied directly to. In a hive, it would likely be too overwhelming to treat the entire inside without having an adverse affect on the bees . Conceivably, if the insides were treated beforehand and allowed to air out, those boxes would be prepped against mold. It’s not an experiment we have tried yet though.

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