Wood Samples

Photo from left: White PVC board / Cypress / Hoop Pine / Cedar / Merbau / Redwood / Paulownia

Wood Sample Test

I thought i’d throw a few samples of different wood together for some weather exposure tests. Some box makers have been trying out a wood called Paulownia recently. It’s a very light wood, almost like Balsa wood so it should have good insulation properties for native bee boxes. Alex of Spicers Hollow Native Bees donated a few samples of the Paulownia and also some PVC board that some box makers use, the rest of the wood is just what i had laying around.

Wood list…

  • PVC Board – white
  • Cypress
  • Hoop Pine
  • Surian Cedar
  • Merbau
  • Redwood
  • Paulownia

I have made four sample boards,

  • One will be thrown in the garden where it might have a high chance of rotting
  • One will be placed in a spot that would be suitable for a bee hive, full weather exposed to sun and rain
  • One will be placed in full weather same as above, this one has a clear coating
  • One will be placed in the shed, used to compare with the others

This is not a very scientific test!

I regularly use Cypress and Hoop Pine so i already know what happens to them over time when exposed. I am more interested to see how the Paulownia holds up when exposed to full weather over time for appearances and what happens to it when exposed to high moisture in the garden. This might help with how we make native bee boxes, for example if we just use clear coat for a nice timber finish, but then in a few months the box looks terrible, we may just have to use paint.


*I’ll update this article with photos from the samples over time


Check out the previous “Varnish and Oil Coating Test” article