© As long as a bee hive provides protection from the wind and wet, it does not matter much to the bees what material is used in its construction so this is largely a choice of the bee hive maker but ultimately of the beekeeper.
Light weight, low density timber is preferable not only for the ease of use for the beekeeper but also, more importantly, because it has lower thermal conductivity providing better insulation for the bees so heavy or dense timber or board should be avoided.
The persistence of plastics and polystyrene foam and their adverse effects on nature and the environment are well known - just one reason why we do not recommend plastic or polstyrene bee hives.
In our experience, no matter what timber is used in construction, bee hives must not be in direct contact with the ground and the exterior surfaces must have a water repellent treatment.
A wet hive is a severe disadvantage to the bees, they will use their energy to dry it out - stand outside in wet clothes and you will quickly understand the effect.
Bricks, blocks and hive stands can be used to keep the bee hive off the ground and bring the hive to a more convenient working height.
There are many different proprietary products available that will weather proof or protect the wood according to your taste, from natural waxes and oils to synthetic paints and stains.
As long as you only apply product to the exterior of the hive (the bees take care of the interior) and you allow plenty of time for the hive to dry and air out before populating, the bees do not mind what you use.
Wooden beehives correctly treated and maintained should last years although we have hives in our apiaries that are decades old.