Wood preservation in the Australian beekeeping industry
P J Robinson, J R J French
This paper reports the results of a survey of Australian commercial beekeepers working 200 or more hives in June/July 1985. Nine hundred and forty seven apiarists were asked to participate and to provide information on their wood preservation methods, painting procedures and maintenance of bee boxes. Three hundred and eighty-four apiarists returned completed questionnaires (41%). The main wood preservatives used are copper naphthenate solutions (45%), linseed oil (8%), copper chromated arsenate (3%), hot wax (9%), copper naphthenate solution in linseed oil (3%), linseed oil/wax mixtures (3%) and paint (23%). The majority of apiarists (96%) paint treated bee hives, but there is considerable variation in wood preservative treatment procedures and paint application. Most wood preservative treatments (95%) are of the 'do-it-yourself' variety, radiata pine being the most utilized timber. The bottom boards of bee hives are considered the most susceptible to wood decay and subterranean termite damage, as are cleats, stands or any wood in ground contact.