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Thread: Painting Hives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Quitman,Ga
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    23

    Default Painting Hives

    What kinda paint do you use, Latex or oil, do you paint inside and out or just outside??
    Do you put a primer on first and do you sand them before painting. Do you use spray or brush?
    What brand of paint 1 coat or 2?? want to get it rightMayhaw10
    Last edited by Barry; 01-02-2012 at 10:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Sebastopol, Ca.
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    DO NOT PAINT THE INSIDE.
    If you wish, paint the outside with simple latex. I ususally go to the big box store, look at what folks have rejected on their "special table" and pick a nice light color. A lot of folks around here are prissy and paint ONLY the edges where the joints are to seal them. They leave the rest unpainted thinking that bees live in trees, and wood breaths so they they believe it is "natural" in that method. I have no idea about Georgia, humidity, rain, etc. I paint mine, simple latex, some two coats, some one. Up to you.
    But DO NOT PAINT THE INSIDE, as bees do that with propolis which for their money is far superior than paint.
    Have fun too.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-02-2012 at 10:01 AM. Reason: quoting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Whitsett, NC
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    489

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    Agree with what LenInNorCal wrote.
    Just wanted to add that I do paint all surfaces of the bottom board inside, outside, bottom. I think it helps when you have to scrape the bottom boards in the spring or if you get a winter mouse staying over.
    Just some thoughts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Sebastopol, Ca.
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    307

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I stand corrected. I do the same. Just not the hive box. Thanks for keeping me on my toes.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 01-02-2012 at 02:41 PM. Reason: quotine

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,680

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I paint all surfaces that the bees don't have access to - meaning the underside of the bottom board and the outside of the boxes. I use 2 coats of latex over 1 coat of primer - paint is whatever is sold by home depot. I try to use a different color for each year so I can gauge equipment age by the color. I also paint the inside of my telescoping covers using a white latex.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Johnson City, TN
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I do the same as Andrew Dewey, I use latex Kilz II primer and a good latex outdoor paint. I screw and glue all my boxes and rub pure silicone over the outside joints to keep the water out.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
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    3,381

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    If you have a compressor and spray outfit, and have a lot of boxes to paint, you can stack them to a comfortable height and spray them all at once. I never worry about painting the top or bottom edges, the bees usually do a good job of sealing them with propolis.

    I usually just use a large paintbrush with several stacked up on a table. 1 coat of exterior primer and 2 coats of latex does the trick.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
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    685

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I paint everything on the bottom board and only the outsides of everything else. I don't paint edges because the paint sticks the boxes together more than propolis.

    I have stopped painting with three coats. 1 primer and two top coats. I have switched to exterior stain. You can get it tinted in numerous colors. I like it because it is one and done. No primer and no second coat. The stuff is super tough. Lasts 15-20 years on siding. Hives will be wore out by then.

    You can get mis-tints too for a couple bucks.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
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    1,379

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I do the same as most on here, 1 coat primer, 2 coats exterior latex. I am going to start staining my hives as I like the wood grain look and I also want to get away from painting the same box three times!! Some people say the box isnt worth more than the paint and they dont paint them. I want to get as many years out of my boxes as I can. As for the interior, nothing gets painted, not even the bottom board. The bottom board gets painted up till the point where it is inside the hive, thats it. My covers get painted on the outside, and I make them out of 19/32 (basically 5/8") plywood. When one rots away, i'll replace it. I can make 6 lids out of one sheet of $18 plywood, so $3 a piece. I also make my own screened bottom boards and save more money there as well!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    656

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    Primer then 2 coats of paint. I did pick up 5 gallons of exterior stain in an off green color and am going to see how it works on hives. I stained my barn last year with it and it looks great. The curing time is my only concern, the smell of the stain was still present on the north side a week later. Hives would be easier to rotate in the sun over a few days so I'll see how this one goes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    If anyone is looking for super cheap latex exterior grade check your locak habitat for humanity. I can get a 5 gallon bucket for around 20 bucks. Color is well whatever they have available.

    I personally don't bother with priming the wood prior to slapping the paint on it. The primer is to help the paint stick to the wood and if you have your paint thinned correctly you will not have issues with it adhering to the wood.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    zanesvile, ohio, usa
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I am connected to our local high school, I primed 12 new boxes, contacted the high school art teacher and asked if they wanted a new pallot to use for an art project. The teacher was very excited, a dozen students or so took on the project and I now have 12 very well decorated bee boxes.
    After some instruction to the students my boxes range from painted bees and flowers to Pink Floyd "the wall". Cant wait for all of them to be finished and then to place them in the fields.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I see something similar in the ABJ where a guys daughter took his bee boxes to the local high school and the art class painted them up nicely. Sure is some fancy art on bees boxes. Looked really nice though. Makes me wish I still went to Texas to split bees as I used to work with him while we split.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2012
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    zanesvile, ohio, usa
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    104

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    BMAC,
    That is where I got the idea. My daughter has a hive and thought the idea was neat, so when I bought the boxes I thought I would try this.
    My plan is to sell or raffle off a couple deeps to raise a little money for the art class, kind of paying it forward as they say..
    Hopefully everyone benefits from this adventure.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,630

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    good luck with it. I hope all turns out well from it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
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    227

    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    I putty and sand the staple divots, then sand off the sharp edges and radius them slightly with a sander.

    All surfaces undercoat with oil based primer, then paint all surfaces with 2 coats of water based paint.

    Same method on lids and bottom boards. I use the 1 colour paint to do the whole lot. not a fan of the multi coloured apiary.

    But thats just what werks for me

  17. #17
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    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    Don't usually comment on these opinion threads, but do have an opinion.
    Primer is expensive and is not as good as watering down a portion of the latex you use for the first coat. Prime with the watered-down. By thoroughly wetting the surface, the paint penetrates the wood fibers and makes a good bond with the wood. Done that way, one coat of full strength is enough.
    A couple tips before painting:
    Soft wood used for box making, to support milling, creates ridges at saw crosscuts. The softer wood between the harder rings is torn out in small chunks by the sawblade. The ends and valleys of the finger stock are very rough on a small scale. Paint of normal consistancy doesn't fill the low spots and a trapped air bubble breaks surface when you look away. We use White Lightning caulk to fill the joint and any that squishes out of the joint is finger-rubbed into the cross cut ends of the finger stock. (WL cures hard) Makes for a tough corner and easier to paint.

    We bind the wood fibers of box mating surfaces with at least one coat of watered down. Top and bottom. Keeps scraping of propolis from scratching up splinters.

    Before painting mating surfaces, slope the top, outside corners with rasp or sander - leaving the inside of the corner unchanged. This leaves a crack you can see for insertion of the hive tool for hive disassembly. No splintering of wood on a mating corner that is perfectly alligned.

    Walt

  18. #18
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    Montgomery County, NY
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    Default Re: h) Hive design, what type?

    Walt you speak from years of experience. I will apply your thoughts of slopping the outside corners.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: Painting Hives

    Proper primer sticks much better than watered down latex paint. I'd use allkyd primer or good old shellac (my current primer of choice) since it's inert and sticks very well, and in fact DOES penetrate. Water base materials will not actually penetrate like alcohol and shellac.

    Once the primer is dry, coat with two generous coats of paint, don't try to skim it out. Use enough to flow out nicely, it should not show more than very minimal brush marks. If you "stretch" it, there won't be a properly polymerized coat when it drys, you will get dusty paint that wears off rather than a hard, durable coat. Wrong place to save money, eh?

    Natural pine boxes will rot away in a few years in my climate, while properly painted ones will last decades. Not painting is a false economy. The bees will not damage the wood in any way, but wood eating fungi will destroy them quickly. On top of that, the pine used in commerical boxes will warp very badly in the first year, too, leaving you with crooked boxes that leak.

    Properly applied penetrating stains (which are usually allkyd paints with no pigments, just dyes) will also work fine IF you apply enough -- a single coat isn't sufficient.

    Peter

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
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    720

    Default Re: Painting Hives

    I sand then double-coat with exterior grade stain - no scraping old paint off for me, 4 years no maintenance or deterioration & thinking I'll get another 2 years before restaining.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

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