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Thread: Hive Top Feeder

  1. #1

    Question

    I have read where the inside of the hive top feeder needs a good coat of varnish on the inside to seal it. Would exterior Spar Varnish work well for this? Reason I ask, I already have almost a gallon of it from another project. Also, I assume I need 100% sillicon caulk for the seams.

    Sparky

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    Spar varnish, don't know, I use polyurethane. I also use chaulking.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    831

    Post

    I paint all my new hives with linseed oil. The first outside coat a mixture 50% oil and 50% turpentine. It soaks very fast and deep into the wood the second coat 80% linseed oil and 20% turpentine (approx), one more coat if necessary.
    Inside one coat 80% linseed oil and 20% turpentine. Let it open on the air for a few weeks till the turpentine is gone. Buy the way…. Real turpentine is a nature product also; it’s made from some sort of pine tree. I don’t want chemicals in my hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    831

    Post

    You can also paint the inside from your hives with propolis if you have enough.
    Take 50gram / 2 ounce propolis and ½ liter alcohol put it together in a bottle and let it sit for a few days. You will get a very good paint for your beehives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Aegina, Greece
    Posts
    28

    Post

    Isn't linseed oil toxic for bees in the summer when temperature goes up? I use lime stones with water. When it starts disolving i brush the inner side.

    [This message has been edited by mikeaegina (edited January 30, 2003).]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Jameson, MO USA
    Posts
    76

    Post

    He's not asking about painting hives, but a hive top feeder, like a Miller feeder, which needs to bee waterproof on the inside walls to hold the syrup.

    I would go with the polyurethane, though I'm certainly no expert here, this is what I've read that others seem to prefer. I believe I would caulk the corners and seams with hot beeswax to seal them, rather than any kind of chemical caulk. Might even think about using melted beeswax to paint the inside of the feeder to waterproof it, rather than the polyurethane. I guess that would depend on how many feeders you need to treat, and how much wax you may have on hand. If you don't have any beeswax, might try sealing wax like is used in canning food.
    Joel

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Jameson, MO USA
    Posts
    76
    Hi Axtman
    Thinking back on your propolis paint for the inside of a hive, and the more I think on it the better I like it. Thanx
    Joel

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    Someone, either here or on another list mentioned using fiberglass resin to coat the feeder with. He said it worked great. Since it isn't meant for wood, I called the manufacturer and asked about it. They suggested epoxy resin instead, with the caveat that neither has been approved for this purpose. Epoxy resin comes in pints or gallons in a 2 part configuration but it's not thick like the glue. It acts like paint. Ditto the fiberglass resin which is also a 2 part deal. I'm fairly confident that these materials are inert when cured. At least as inert as polyurethane or other varnish. I did some last year using varnish which I covered with hot parrafin wax. They worked OK but the wax flakes off. I'm considering epoxy paint. Does anyone have any ideas about this?

    Dickm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Post

    I have used the epoxy paint when building dark room sinks. It seals the wood very well, but I didn't depend on it for sealing the seams. I don't think it's thick enough for that, but if you layed it in the seams thick maybe it would. I'm just not sure that expansion and contraction wouldn't crack the seams eventually.

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