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Thread: Paint or Stain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Centeral Minnesota
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    Lightbulb

    In your opinion is painting or staining better for beehives.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    IMO both are fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
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    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    More important is the brand and quality of each. I get the best I can afford. Consumer Reports did a test not too long ago on stains.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Norfolk, VA
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    I make a point of checking Home Depot and Lowes paint departments for "oops" oil based paint. These departments custom mix expensive paints that sometimes gets returned to the store. They re-sell it VERY cheaply!! Just look for a color compatible for your region/situation. This year my hives are a nice tan Glidden Porch & Floor. I also buy oil based paint not in a color I want and dilute with lin seed oil for use as a primer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Norfolk, Nebraska
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    Of paint versus stain, the copper based preservatives are my choice. Either painting 2% or dipping in 1% of copper napthenate (cut with mineral spirits) will prevent rot for many years. This is safe for the bees and air drying for a day or two and the residual solvent is dispersed. I have not used but heard equally good reports on the water based alternative.

    This treatment is expensive but so is the woodware. For the hive parts exposed to the elements year around (hive bodies, bottom boards, tops, etc)(not frames) it should be the minimum. It will pay for itself in giving the wood at least another lifetime. I have also treated used equipment. Where a little rot was started at application time it was stopped at the point it was at when treated.

    I used to paint the hive bodies after treating. I, as many, do not even do that any more.

    Bob Nelson

  6. #6
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    Mar 2005
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    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    Bob, I've heard that some wood preservatives leach aresenic. Anyone have feed back on that? We use gloss paint which reflects sunlight better than flat and dosen't chalk but even then seems like a never ending cycle.

  7. #7
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    A beehive is a food conatiner. I wouldn't put anything on the inside I wouldn't eat off of. I prefer nothing on the inside.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
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    Feb 2005
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    Norfolk, Nebraska
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    You are absolutely correct on the arsenic. Pretreated lumber is many times treated with CCA (I believe copper chromated arsenic) and should be avoided for bee contact. Much safer to start with untreated wood and treat with what you know is safe for the bees. The two substances I mentioned have been proven safe for bees.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2005
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    Norfolk, Nebraska
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    Michael,
    Actually I prefer a light overall dipping for this reason. I apply the highter concentration with a paint brush to the outside at the corners and around the base of the hive body. This are the areas most subject to deterioration.

    'Painting' the copper on the outside and edges of the hive body will accomplish preservation very nicely. But it is more time consuming.

    A natural alternative is dipping in a mixture of melted resin and paraffin. I recall the ratio being about 1:2 but not sure of which is which.

    When it comes with food for human consumption one needs to be cautious, educated and stay within comfort levels. I am comfortable with the copper and am not aware of any instances of honey contamination with it's use.

    Bob Nelson

  10. #10
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    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    Last year I stained a bunch of my nucs and a few mediums. I wasn't happy to see the migratory lids warp. The boxes seem to be ok, but the water setting on the lids seemed to cause them to cup. I am sure that I will end up having to paint them.

    >A natural alternative is dipping in a mixture of melted resin and paraffin. I recall the ratio being about 1:2 but not sure of which is which.

    Three parts paraffin to one part gum rosin is the recepie that Mann Lake told me and stated in their catalog.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  11. #11
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    Mar 2005
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    Stanleytown, Va
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    I am a brand new bee keeper. I have primed all of my woodenware. My daughters want to paint the hives. Do they have to the customary white color? Does color even matter? Thanks

  12. #12
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    Aug 2003
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    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
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    If you want to fix them right dip in 92% parafin 8% copper naphenate at 200 degrees for 12 hrs.....got hives that have been in use for 10 yrs no paint like new. Rick

  13. #13
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    Jan 2005
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    Langley, B.C. Canada
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    Len D.

    Actually, not all beekeepers paint their hives white. A lot do, and this is to help the bees in keeping the hive cooler in summer, especially if the hive is located in direct sun during the heat of the day. White (or light colors) have also been proven to be colors bees don't seem to mind. Some beekeepers in colder areas stain or paint their hives a darker color to help the bees keep the hives warmer in the early spring when they start raising brood. Commercial beekeepers often use whatever light colored paint they can find on sale. Light blues, yellows and greens are not uncommon.

    Terry

  14. #14
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
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    Len, color does not matter. I get alot of free paint from a cousin that builds and remodels houses. I use the dark colors only for bottom boards. Most os what I have on hand right now is different colors of tan/beige. I still have about 3 gallon of light blue. Before I found out my cousin painted some of the remodeling jobs I bought the miss colored paints from Lowe's. I got several $28 a gallon paints for $5 each. One looked white until it dried, then its true color was a light bright pink. I have repainted all those hives and as someone else mentioned I now use it as a base coat or primer.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2005
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    Alpine, NY (near Cayuga Lake)
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    Bright pink, huh?

    Girly color for a colony of (mostly) girls. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Lesli<br /> <a href=\"http://beeyard.blogspot.com/\" target=\"_blank\">http://beeyard.blogspot.com/</a>

  16. #16
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    Dec 2004
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    Harriman, Tn
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    I buy the bad mix paint a lowes for 5 buck each also. I look for the lighter tones or I will buy a dark and a light and mix them together. I am trying a linseed oil hive this year on my deck I wont to see how well it keeps it color.

  17. #17
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Twin Cities, MN
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    I just bought paint yesterday from Lowes that was mismatched. I got it for $5.00. It is a very light grey. I'm painting my woodenware with it now. I'm an opportunist when it comes to beehive paint.

    Ron
    Butterchurn<br /><br />Diplomacy is the art of saying \'Nice doggie\' until you can find a rock. <br /><br />Will Rogers

  18. #18
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Centeral Minnesota
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    Just to let you guys know, I get tons of paint from Hirchfield's (I do not know if they have it in other states or not) but they give it to you for free, and its top quality.

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