Teak Oil Vs Tung Oil And Which Is Best For Your Bee Hive

teak oil vs tung oil

There are over 20,000 types of bees in the world, all native to their various respective regions around the planet. In the United Kingdom alone, there are around 250 species of bee subdivide into two groups - solitary and social bees.

In this review, you will get significant insight into Teak Oil vs Tung Oil. You will learn why the two oils are critically acclaimed and how they can increase the yields in your beekeeping business.

History of Bees and the Treatment of Wood

All bees play a significant role in maintaining the ecosystem on earth. Bees land on various flowers and plants thus aid in the process of pollination. Pollination is essential for the growth of any kind of crop from fruits and vegetables to coffee and tea. You name it. Apart from merely flourishing our crops, bees have been providing many benefits to humankind indirectly.

The life of a bee undoubtedly fascinated Einstein. He even stated that if bees were to vanish off the surface of the earth, the lifespan of most people would reduce to only four years. Although it is not clear how he based his claim, Albert had a brilliant mind, and he must have done his research.

This might shock you but 84% of crops grown for human consumption today rely on bees. Considering the remaining 16% of food crop growing without a bee's help, you will find out it can't be enough to sustain the lives of seven billion people for long. Bees are vital to our survival.

However, people have little regard for their existence, and if we are not careful, bees could face extinction soon. As earlier established, this also jeopardizes our existence. The most effective way of securing the life expectancy of bees for many more generations is by oiling the beehive. You can start by treating the wood you have positioned your hive.

There are many techniques you can use in the wood preservation process. Lumber treatment provides some different preservative and procedures that can prolong the life of wood, timber, wood structures or engineered wood you might have built your beehive.

Such features increase the resistance and toughness of the hive from being damaged by elements such as insects the fungus. A beekeeper makes sure the beehive is in good condition and free from an attack of any insect or fungus.

The main reason people rear bees is for the production of honey. Thus, it is economical to treat the wood around the beehive. This technique is not new. In fact, it has been practiced ever since people used wood for other uses other than firewood.

When you try to figure out when people treated wood, it will take you to the beginning of time. For instance, there is a point in the Bible, the book of Genesis, when God told Noah to use a good quality of wood they have treated with oil when making the ark.

There are other records of wood preservation dating back to early Greece during the reign of Alexander the Great. During his reign, the bridge builders used wood they have soaked in olive oil. The ancient Romans also treated their wood by brushing their ship hulls with tar.

During the time of the industrial revolution, wood preservation became a cornerstone for most industries. Great minded inventors and scientists such as Bethel, Kyan, Burnett, Boucherie, and Kyan were famously known for historical advancements in wood preservation, by coming up with preservative solutions and processes.

What is Teak Oil?

teak wood 0il

Teak oil is an organic fluid mostly found in a mixture of linseed oil, varnish, and mineral spirits. Sometimes Teak oil may contain a few traces of pure Tung oil in its composition. Linseed oil and Tung oil are both natural oils, hence are strong preservatives.

Many people think since it's called Teak oil, that is made from a Teak tree. That is not always true, but you can use Teak oil to preserve the Teak tree. Elements like ultraviolet rays can make the wood lose its quality and fade color. This is a condition noticeable with wooden furniture, which becomes bright when exposed to sunlight for a long time.

All outdoor furniture such as the garden furniture and wooden decks are prone to disintegration due to sunlight. Fortunately, Teak oil has an immense penetrating power capable of protecting the wood against weather and other harmful factors. Teak oil is made of ultraviolet filters in its structure making it immune to elements that could cause fading.

More, Teak oil penetrates through the pore of the wood and dries quickly, hence lowering the maintenance period. Depending on the wood you have used in your beehive, you are recommended to apply 2-6 layers of Teak oil on the wooden surfaces.

Advantages of Using Teak Oil vs Tung Oil

Aside from protecting the wood from degrading quickly, other benefits of Teak oil include:

  • It gives the wood a vibrant, warm glow look
  • It is 4 to 6 times more long-lasting on wood compared to the other brands of oil used to treat timber.
  • Increase the tenacity of the wood to withstand wood deteriorating factors like the weather, moisture, and ultraviolet rays.
  • Forumbee
    Teak oil restores the excellent natural wooden appearance even when the particular piece of wood is old.
  • Forumbee
    It maintains the esthetic value and color for new pieces of wood.
  • Forumbee
    Teak oil prevents the development of cracks, peeling and wearing in both new and old wood.

How to use Teak Oil?

It is straightforward to use Teak oil, and you require none sophisticated knowledge when applying to wood. Also, the product includes a well-detailed description on how to use Teak oil.

If it is your first time using Teak oil, be sure to study all the labels carefully before starting the application process. On the instruction menu, it emphasizes that you clean and dries the surface of the wood you want to paint with the oil. Some standard techniques of drying include wiping, spraying or brushing.

Another thing to consider when preparing to apply Teak oil to a wood surface is removing any loose coatings. Then you should later smoothen the surface by wiping it with white spirit. Before using the oil on the entire wood surface, try it on a small area to test if the surface is ready.

Finally, you can spread the oil over the grain of the wood with a soft dry cloth carefully to avoid any spillage. Allow the first coat to dry then apply the next layer. You are recommended to allow each coating to dry overnight, and three coatings are enough to offer you maximum protection your wood.

What is Tung Oil?

tung oil finish

Tung oil is extracted from the Tung tree in southern China. Tung oil was used to waterproof Chinese ships during the dynasty of the Song. The most ancient references of the Chinese using Tung oil in the treatment of wood is in the writings of Confucius around 500 to 400BC.

The Chinese have been using Tung oil, which is also known as China wood oil, for at least 2500 years for constructing waterproof boats and paper parasols, wood finishing, wood waterproofing, inks and paint caulking.

The extraction process of Tung oil involves compressing the seeds from the Tung's tree nut that produce the oil. Tung oil drily influences wood. You can test this by merely exposing Tung oil to air.

You will also notice it hardens immediately. The residue appears typically as a transparent wet coating when in the real sense it is dry. The oil is used for finishing or protecting wood by producing a plastic-like layer, which is impermeable.

The constituents that make Tung oil to possess drying effects on wood include linseed, poppy oil, soybean oil, and safflower oil. Raw Tung Oil dries to an outstanding wrinkly surface.

It's also called gas checking. Carpenters take advantage of this property of Tung oil to make wrinkle finishes on furniture. When you want a surface applied with Tung oil to dry quickly, you add cobalt, and the drying process will speed up. However, if you don't wish to Tung oil to dry rapidly, heat the oil to gas-proof it.

Advantages of Using Tung Oil

The best effects of Tung oil are visible between 5 to 30 days of the application provided the weather and temperature are favorable. Along with the following:

  • The ability to create hard and easily repaired finishes. Initially, the oil was used on boat decks, but recently people have discovered its merits on wooden floors.
  • You can dilute the oil with a thinner hydrocarbon to make it lighter to penetrate through the finest grain woods.
  • The thinner percentage on the oil evaporates within 15 to 20 minutes then later what is left is a lingering finish.

How to Use Tung Oil?

The traditional method of using pure Tung oil is to dilute the oil with an organic solvent. Later on, the specialist could add a series of very thin films with a lenient, lint-free cloth that is not fuzzy like t-shirt cotton.

Diluents lie from old-style spirits of turpentine to any of the latest citrus-based thinners to naphtha. The decision on whether to use a thinner is guided by how quickly you want the coat to dry. Naphtha gives excellent results in spray-on uses in well-ventilated rooms.

You may lay basic coats down to an oil-to-thinner ratio in a series of layers. This method brings out the deepest color of the wood while maintaining a matte finish at the same time.

Components of Tung oil inclusive of polymerized oils or Tung oil preparations are best used when thick rather than when it thinned. You can use thinned pure oil to penetrate through the surface of the wood to fill pores. Afterward, straight oil is added moderately to obey the surface and provide a strong foundation for the thick gloss layers.

The polymerized oil is then added thickly as a single layer. Then it is given time to dry completely. The next step is to polish smoothly with very fine sandpaper and steel wool. The resulting surface should be wiped clean with a moisturized rag then given time to dry. Last, you should add a relative thicker coat and then let the whole composition to dry for a few hours.

Teak Oil vs Tung Oil

Regarding the above evaluation of Teak and Tung oil, it is clear they are both helpful in maintaining the quality of your wood or furniture. It is significant to incorporate the two oils in the treatment process of wooden beehives. The following are the respective benefits of each oil to your hive.

Benefits of Teak oil vs Tung Oil for Beehives

UV-Ray Protection

Most people prefer placing their beehives outside in the open. This keeps the beehive at high risk. Teak oil has the properties suitable to protect your wooden beehive from direct rays of sunshine.

Aesthetic Appeal

Teak oil gives your beehive a new warm look that won't need to paint it. This saves your time and money.


Some beekeepers make wooden beehives from dense timber, which lasts longer. However, you can extend the durability of your beehive when you apply the oil since it can penetrate through denser woods.

Strong Absorption

Teak oil has an excellent absorbing power. Thus, you don't have to worry about the oil spill on the wrong parts of the beehive.

Quick Dry

Provided there is sufficient sunshine and temperature. Teak oil takes a short time to dry. This also saves your time, and your beehive can function right away.

Temperature Resistant

Wood is easily affected by temperature where it can expand or contract. Luckily, Teak oil continues to protect your hive even if the wood undergoes such changes.

Benefits of Tung Oil on a Beehive

Long-Term Investment

Beekeeping is a lucrative business, and the initial investment can be hefty. However, it is crucial to avoid frequently buying a beehive to minimize the output cost on your beekeeping business. Tung oil is one of the best alternatives to ensure your apiary lasts longer.

Natural Preservation 

Although people prefer to paint their wooden beehives, a wooden beehive looks better in its natural color. The natural beauty of your beehive can only be maintained by applying Tung oil, which will not only make your hive attractive but also preserve the wood.

Scent to Enhance Production

Unlike other wood treatment solvents, Tung oil does not have a strong smell that will irritate the bees. Instead, the smell can help boost performance and produce higher yields.

Less Upkeep

When using Tung oil, you are often required to sandpaper your wooden beehive, in case it feels rough. When you apply the oil to the hive, there is no need to sandpaper its surfaces afterward.

Maximum Protection

You can also thin Tung oil if you want it to penetrate through the tiny pores of the wood for maximum protection. A natural solvent such as Citrus Solvent will boost the penetrating power and slightly speed up the time required to dry. Tung oil differs from Teak oil on this aspect. Tung oil hardens instantly when exposed to air hence strengthening your wooden beehive.

A Beekeeper's Favorite 

Tung oil is a preferable choice for most beekeepers because the manufactures only produce the pure version of the oil. This is in contrary to other oil benchmarks that may focus on cashing in high profits rather than produce high-quality products.

Non-Toxic Sear 

Tung Oil takes approximately 2 weeks at normal temperatures to dry. It should not worry you if the oil isn't dry before the set time. Tung oil is not toxic and cannot hurt the bees.

Choosing Between Teak Oil vs Tung Oil

It can be conflicting when choosing between Teak oil vs Tung oil. Both oils work differently in ensuring the maintenance of your beehive. The features of the two oils are close, so for the best choice, look beyond the external factors and configure which advance specifications are suitable for your needs.

For example, Teak oil is ideal for dense woods like rosewood, and mahogany. If you have positioned your beehive on any of these woods, then Teak oil would be the suitable choice. In addition, since the hives are usually outside, this oil works well as direct rays from the sun will not affect it.

However, if you have no rush, Tung oil may take a while before drying. If you are into esthetic aspects of your wooden structures, Tung oil produces glossier and warmer appearance than a Teak oil finish. Keep in mind, no matter which oil you choose, apply the oil when assembling your hive. It is most vulnerable on the joints as this is where the moisture will accumulate.


When comparing teak oil vs Tung Oil, it's clear that Tung oil and Teak oil are the best options in wood treatment and increase the durability of your beehive. Both have their advantages.

However, you must continue to re-apply treatment oil every 12 months to maintain a beautiful finish. Keep in mind; this re-application process cannot be done with the bees inside. Thus, the need for choosing a durable oil is vital for long-lasting results.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here