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Thread: Black paint

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Black paint

    It was suggested that I should paint my hives black to keep the temperatures up during the winter. I found two at Lowe's for a not outrageous price. Now, I am trying to figure out which one would work better. One says that it is livestock safe and the other says it is environmentally friendly.

    http://http://www.lowes.com/LowesPro...255D%3D1z10wbp

    The livestock safe and more expensive one appears to be >99% organic and cover twice as much area. Is there something I am missing? Are both types safe for my bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ankeny, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Black paint

    It would be much easier to wrap the hives with 15 lb roofing paper. You just need to remove it in the Spring vs repainting the hives white again. Plus you get the bonus of some wind protection.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,960

    Default Re: Black paint

    The black might also cook them in the summer. That's one reason many are white.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Black paint

    Just an opinion, go with the livestock safe. You're only painting the OUTSIDE, right? Many of us here in Western WA paint our hives dark colors with no thought of painting them white for summer. With average summer temps in the 70's (and 90-100's extremely rare), white paint here is for traditionalists, not bee safety. "Oops" paint of any dark color is common used, especially greys, dark greens and blues, in these parts...
    I don't keep bees, I tend bees. Does this make me a beet?
    Sea level, Puget Sound, USDA 7a-7b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Black paint

    Paint them brown, just like a tree trunk. Or Army green, man do they blend in against the bushes and trees. Mine are colored both, and the brown was in pretty much full sun most of the day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Slinger, WI
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: Black paint

    my hives are painted fun colors, reds, blue, green, yellow, purple. And of course my 3 year old grand daughter when I asked her what color her hive should bee, yup you guessed it pink! White hives were way to boring for me.
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/9 year Bee Keeper

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Black paint

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
    Paint them brown, just like a tree trunk. Or Army green, man do they blend in against the bushes and trees. Mine are colored both, and the brown was in pretty much full sun most of the day.
    I got the suggestion from the local bee store to paint my hives any dark color, other than brown and green, because they are so hard to see. I guess that is what I get for living in a rainforest.

    My hives are currently purple.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,395

    Default Re: Black paint

    Every box of mine is a different color. We mix half buckets and make new colors. The handles are a different color then the box. My daughter has even painted pink polkadots on some. Lids are other colors, entrance reducers are others etc. I am sure the girls are confused..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Black paint

    I've painted all of mine dark, chocolate brown. We almost never see temperatures above 85F here, and we have a ton of weather in the 60's-70's. In my region, I think you've got to do everything to maximize heat year-round.

    Adam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lk Stevens, WA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Black paint

    In western Washington, painting the boxes a dark color to help the hives out in winter is a big plus. Summers here are not that warm that you need to worry about the hives overheating. A dark forest green is my preferance. Making the hives blend in to the enviroment is a plus in my book too. Less chance of someone haseling them. More important is to have good ventalation to let the moisture out. With 90 days of constant rain, moisture is our main problem in Western WA. Scott

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,960

    Default Re: Black paint

    >A dark forest green is my preferance.
    >I've painted all of mine dark, chocolate brown.

    By painting your hives these colors you are, like me, in for a barrage of ridicule and harassment by member CharlieB. I am glad that a I am not alone in educating him about appropriate hive coloration.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Black paint

    Paint to your hearts desire, but have a reason that makes sense to you. If it works for you, and your bees, then it works. I painted mine to match my house, because they are so close to the house and I don't want to draw too much attention to them.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,069

    Default Re: Black paint

    I've been carpeting the landscape with white hives here in Maine and haven't found it necessary to paint my hives a dark color. Certainly, I wouldn't be painting them black. Mostly, the wrapping is to keep the wind off the hives. Last year, my losses were unwrapped hives in windswept areas.

    Of course, I'm only in Maine and your idea of cold might be different than mine.

    Wayne

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lk Stevens, WA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Black paint

    The very best color to paint a hive is "free paint" if you have that color the beekeeper really likes it and the bees don't seem to care so much. While I prefer a forest green color, I picked up free paint that the county recycling division was giving away. It is a blue gray color. Have been thinking of adding pigmint to darken it up, but that would cost money and it wouldn't be free paint anymore....

    Scott

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,316

    Default Re: Black paint

    I paint my hives a light Grey and have them in a place where it is semi shaded by trees in the summer and when fall comes the leaves fall from the trees exposing the hives to full sunlight. I am really partial to grey as it really absorbs the suns heat.
    Last edited by WWW; 10-24-2012 at 08:44 AM.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Black paint

    Why not consider multicolor based on the position of the box. Make deeps dark colors on the sides for the morning and evening sun and light color in front, for mid day normal temperature. The supers consider painting a light color cause the heat from the bottom deep will be traveling up anyway, so it will help with keeping it warm there. Free is good, but saving sugar and getting the girl out to forage 1 hours earlier in the morning and 1 hour later at night, might be a little better.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,083

    Default Re: Black paint

    I am thinking of painting my hive dark. and then painting only the southern side white again next spring. I have some different circumstances I am dealing with though. Even in summer when temps hit 100 or so.nights get very cool. Bees would not fly cool. I am toying around with way I might keep the hive temp up a bit and induce the bees to start flying earlier.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Black paint

    Many years ago I did some research on colors used for solar hot water heaters and dark green and black were the most efficient in heat collection.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,069

    Default Re: Black paint

    Still not clear why it's even necessary to consider painting hives black in such a mild climate.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,404

    Default Re: Black paint

    I'm staining my hives brown from now on, at least until the free stain runs out! I like the looks of stained hives. However I still paint the tops white to help reflect the heat.

    For those with kids, painting hives is easy, just give them a brush and some paint and they are in heaven and love to do that portion of the dirty work!
    Coyote Creek Bees

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