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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts
    12

    Default Paint inside of hive?

    I had a couple of colonies when I was a kid, built the hives myself & did not paint the inside. Now, almost 30 years later, I am in the process of building a few hives with my kids & have been instructed through reading to paint the "inside" of the hives as well as the exterior! Seems like a waste of time & paint to paint the inside?

    Give me your opinions? Thanks.
    Last edited by kokettja; 02-04-2011 at 09:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    381

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    I don't paint the inside. You don't have to paint the outside.It will just last longer.
    Don't think you are on the right road simply because it is a well worn pathway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    hello, I think part of the reason for not painting the inside is so the moisture that is produced by the bees sort of wicks away, if you paint the inside the moisture would just run down to the bottom board, thats my understanding..
    Honeydew

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,007

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    Bees will propolize unpainted surfaces more readily and effectively. Propolis is how the bees keep their environment more sterile and hygeinic. Consider whatever else is in the source that said to paint the inside. I wonder how much experience if any they have with bees.
    Bees will also propolize a rough wood surface to a much greater degree than smooth. ABC XYZ has a good description and pictures. I sanded the insides of a batch of cypress hives I just made to demonstrate at the bee workshops.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    I have never painted the inside of a hive. There is certainly no need and I don't want paint in my hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Deposit,NY
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    I've read many times not to paint the inside of the bodies, and never to my recollection to paint the inside.
    Cheers,
    Paul VanSlyke

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    In agreement, no need. I doubt it would help them last longer either. The weak points are the joints and edges, they will always die long before anything else.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,272

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    the bees paint it
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    Whoever told you to paint the inside of your hives simply did not know what they were talking about.
    As mentioned above, the bees will propolize the interior of the hive. Propolis has antiseptic properties which helps maintain the health of the bees and the hives. You do not want to paint the insider of your hives!
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,290

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    Painting the inside surfaces of the hive will not help nor hurt your bees. The idea behind painting the inside is just like back priming the wooden siding of a house. The purpose is to slow the absorption and release of moisture by the wood.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Caswell County, North Carolina
    Posts
    19

    Thumbs Up Re: Paint inside of hive?

    Consider that in keeping bees inside of a man-made hive might be best for the bees IF the hive were more similar to a tree. Obviously, trees are not painted inside. As far as moisture goes, wood absorbs moisture not so much on the sides but on the ends. Wood fibers grow like soda straws, thus the end absorption. If you plan to sell your honey, then you probably wouldn't want the need to explain on the honey jar all the paint chemistry that the bees/honey is exposed to- thus don't paint the inside of the hive. IF you use a good primer on the outside then also use a really good paint (2 coats) over the primer, you are protecting the exposed wood from the weather and the sun. As far as what makes good paint, you get exactly what you pay for. I use a small 6" paint roller for all paint applications except for the cut-in handles. I also wipe off the top and bottom edges soon as I've completed painting each hive part. I use white because this color allows me to see from a distance what the bees are doing. Hope this information is helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,272

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    >>I use white because this color allows me to see from a distance what the bees are doing. Hope this information is helpful.


    Thats an interesting comment. I never thought of it that way. Your right
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cedar City, Utah
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    Since I started keeping bees about 50 years ago, I have always seen and heard the advise to never paint the interior of a beehive. I have passed that advice on to those I've mentored and taught. But, I want to know whether that is really sound advice or an old wives' tale perpetuated by well-meaning beekeepers.

    The no-paint advice generally includes the statement that the bees apply their own "varnish" to the wood. But, has scientific research been done to show that the bees' own "varnish" really better than modern paint at protecting the wood and keeping the bees happy and healthy?

    Is the no-paint advice rooted in the fact that, decades ago, paint had lead-based pigments and the intent of the advice was simply to keep lead out of the hive and out of our honey? If so, why continue the no-paint practice with modern no-lead paint?

    Is that advice based on the fact that, decades ago, we used oil-based paint and the intent of the advice was to keep the oil out of the hive and out of our honey? If so, why continue the no-paint practice with modern latex paint?

    Has anyone approached paint companies for their advice on whether paint on both sides of the wood is best? Yeah, they have a financial interest in selling more paint, but they also should have the research.

    I've seen many hives that were painted inside and out and the bees seemed to do just fine. Has anyone done a scientific comparison to see whether it really matters to the health and happiness of the bees?

    Has anyone done a scientific comparison of the longevity of the wood to see whether painted interiors lengthen or shorten the usability of the equipment?
    A cold bee smoker is bad for the soul.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    Yes, scientific research has been done on this topic. Check it out...

    http://www.beelab.umn.edu/prod/group...cle_435997.pdf

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, Commonwealth of Virginia, USA
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    I've noticed that bees chew the heck out of painted surfaces at the entrance of hives, so I wouldn't be surprised if they did it to the inside of boxes too.

    I wouldn't bother to paint it. Just take a set of keys and scratch the interior of the boxes a bit and the bees will "paint" it with propolis.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by SWM View Post
    Yes, scientific research has been done on this topic. Check it out...

    http://www.beelab.umn.edu/prod/group...cle_435997.pdf

    Thanks for the link SWM. Good read.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Cedar City, Utah
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Paint inside of hive?

    A family member who started beekeeping in the early '60s, the same time I did, has always painted the insides of his hives. I never have.

    His bees do just as well as anyone else's I know, including my own.

    My bees coat the unpainted interior of my hives with bee "varnish." His bees coat the painted interior of his hives with bee "varnish" -- right on top of the paint. (It might contain some propolis, but I'm not convinced that the coating is the same propolis used to seal cracks and glue hive parts together. The coating is not sticky nor is it applied thickly. That is why I call it what our mentor, our 4-H beekeeping club advisor called it back in the '60s -- bee "varnish".)

    We both use whatever mis-mixed latex is on sale at the hardware store.

    Like me, he has never had condensation problems in his hives -- we both put a piece of burlap under the lid for the winter.

    His equipment has no sign of bee-chewing. Mice yes. Bees, no.

    The only meaningful difference I can see is that his boxes, lids, and bottoms last longer than mine -- probably twice as long.

    It's not a scientific study. It's only a comparison of my dozen hives with his hundred.
    A cold bee smoker is bad for the soul.

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