A few native bee keepers are using this at the moment, I’ve heard some good things and some bad things. This article is just for testing purposes.
Alex from Spicers Hollow Native Bees dropped in some Paulownia for me to make a couple of test boxes. I have done some testing with Paulownia before, where it didn’t fare so well when exposed to moisture <here> but now I have enough to make a couple of boxes for testing with bees.
Paulownia is like Balsawood and half the weight of Hoop Pine. It comes as “rough sawn” and is pretty fury but cleans up nicely. It’s very soft and light so will have good insulation.
I whacked together some standard OATH size native bee boxes, with stainless screws and heavy duty coating, ready for the bees so we’ll follow the progress over the next few years. The finished boxes weigh 2kg each.
Previous Wood Sample Tests including Paulownia: https://www.nativebeehives.com/wood-samples/
‘Doomed’ paulownia tree investment schemes leave hundreds without life savings.
Paulownia Investment Scheme – ABC News Story: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-17/timber-investment-schemes-leave-hundreds-without-life-savings/6862060
Photo below: Supplied by Mark Payne at No Stings Attached. Mark has been using Paulownia for a while and said some of his boxes have been chewed away by the bees. This is just between the box frames. It could be possible moisture got in to the gaps and started to rot and then the bees chewed it.