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This is cut from a tree in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. It is a soft, very stable wood. Light color, fine grain, not too strong or hard. No real smell. These pics are ~1" across. Face grain and end grain. I have a bunch of this sawed up into 2x6 and 2x8. I would like to use it for some beehives, but prefer to identify first in case there is some toxicity. Also want to make sure it is not particulary prone to fast rotting. A person who cut it with me guessed it was silkwood, but I don't think I believe that. Thanks.

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You may already know that cottonwood (classified as a hardwood, but it is actually soft) is not a good choice as a building material. The wood is prone to deterioration and turning punky. While it is often used in cargo ships as flooring due to its tolerance of moisture, it is not very useful when left outdoors. The wood is generally harmless and likely not a problem for the bees, but a bad choice as a construction material.

For what its worth, those are my comments. If you really want to use it, there is likely a way to treat the wood to protect it from nature and not be harmful to the bees, but I have no suggestions or comments in that area.
 
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