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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    IMHO painting cypress provides the keeping with better appearance, but doesn't do anything for the bees. I have both pine and cypress and only used deck sealant. Yes, they're getting a little dark, but all still solid after a near a decade.

    Plywood is another story. Without a finish, kiss it goodbye.

    Paint or no paint, sheet metal on top is the only thing that lasted for me.

    I also doubt the color makes any meaningful difference with hive temperature. They'll fan if its hot and cluster if not.

    For me its about advertising. Everyone will know what bright white boxes are. Not many will see natural wood and less will know what they are.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    rhaldridge, go ahead and paint them...better now than when they're growing mold and mildrew.

    My woodenware is from Rossman (cypess) but it's not old growth stuff. I've got one or two boxes that I had to use before painting...they're not aging very gracefully.

    ed
    Mine are from Rossman too. I painted them.

    Ray

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,136

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    For langstroths in my climate, unpainted lasts less than 1/2 as long as painted. What I do is paint inside the joints before assembly, then after assembly paint the outside. The bees do the inside with their own stuff. A couple coats of a good quality paint is cheap in the long run, both in materials, and labor. Plus after a couple of years in the weather unpainted can look downright ugly.

    Top bars may be a slightly different matter, as they are lifted high off the ground plus their shape might be better for resisting the weather. But I haven't been involved with TBH's long enough to know. Some of the painted ones look pretty!

    Quote Originally Posted by beepopnc View Post
    The one thing I would NOT do again is use boiled linseed oil and beeswax! I did two TBH's and a nuc with that stuff a year ago and they all are turning black with dirt streaks and mildew. I liked the initial natural wood look but now they look terrible and are getting worse everyday.
    Can vouch for that. I have some long hives in the back yard & thought I would do something special for them, so instead of painting put many coats of linseed oil on them. They are built of pine and cypress, and at first looked stunning. Now though, they look totally disgusting, kinda black and gross, couldn't really be worse. If I can find a paint suitable to go over old linseed oil I'll be fixing them.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Oakland, California, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    A local sideline beekeeper said she gets her paint from the the local (municipal or county or disposal company's) toxics disposal facility rather than buying it.

    Michael Bush has a few things to say about dipping your woodware in a molten blend of resin and (bees)wax. You get a 'natural' look, and suppress degradation.

    If you boxes are deteriorating from too much moisture, perhaps your hives are not getting enough ventilation. If I get mildew or set spots on the underside of my top cover I know the bees need more air. I use slabs of plywood with either two 1/8" thick shims at the front, or at all four corners if the hive is booming.

    Mann Lake sells Copper Naphthanate in buckets. I saw a hive top, box, and bottom treated with it in their store in Woodland, Ca. a couple of months ago. It's terrible smelling stuff, and I wouldn't personally use it on boxes for bees producing honey for me. (I haven't thoroughly researched it. Maybe it's only approved for pollination colonies.) The pressure treated lumber that's good for 30 years in the ground is treated with CN.

    Make your own boxes from Teak... or old-growth Redwood... or Ipy...
    Those woods are pretty resistant to moisture. :-)

    btw... Serge Labesque only paints the corners of his boxes because he believes it's important for the wood to absorb moisture/condensation in the hive... like in a tree.

    Jerry

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    Good call on the disposal paint. I get miss-tints from the big boxes. Last year Lowe's had a 5 dollars off per can of paint. There miss-tints are 5 a gallon. I was able to get a gallon of 35 dollar paint for 30 cents after the rebate. I live very close to a Lowe's, it is actually the closest store of any kind to my house, so I'm there often (too bad they don't have bread and milk as well), so I'm able to check fairly often.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Battleground, WA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    Thanks to everyone on this thread, from a complete novice. I thought the cedar wood of my new hive was beautiful, but the long term utility and durability were a big factor. The climate here in maritime Pacific NW tends to make wood rot. It can be pretty moldy/ mildewy here. So I broke down and painted the hive with a white exterior latex, after first priming with latex primer. I bought the small size pain can, so it wasn't too expensive.

    I am happy with the looks, at least for now. The important thing is whether it's good for the bees.

    bee hive.jpg

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,136

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    Well it looks pretty, what's the lid?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Battleground, WA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    The lid is a sheet of copper. Actually, 2 small sheets. Given the usual constant rain from Oct through April, a waterproof lid seemed reasonable. It might be excessive - this is my first beehive, so I don't know if that will matter or not. It might outlast me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Well it looks pretty, what's the lid?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction,Colorado, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    Is have a related question. I just built a new tbh from pine, but before I could paint it a swarm appeared in my yard! I am waiting for the swarm to march into the new hive as I type this. But now I am wondering if it will be safe to paint the hive after the bees move in?

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,136

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    One time when I was waiting for someone to come & get a hive they had bought I noticed on the super, a few blemishes in the paint & decided to give it a quick flick with the paint brush. Bad idea. Unbelievable how many silly little bees were able to get their wings stuck in the paint, and not only end up trapped but also mess up the paint job. Plus crap in it just for good measure.

    Although on thinking about it, if you could use a quick drying paint that would dry in say, 1/2 hour, once the hive is established maybe you could block them in one morning, paint it, then unblock once dry enough. With most paints you would have to do it twice.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction,Colorado, USA
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    Thanks for the suggestion, Oldtimer. I would just as soon not have my hive decorated with dead bees. BTW, I plan on using some cheap exterior latex house paint for the hive, no primer, which has worked well for me previously. I figure I could block them in at around twilight, when I can just see enough to paint, and then let it dry overnight. Things dry fast in western Colorado (opposite of eukofios' climate).

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,136

    Default Re: To Paint or Not To Paint

    Sounds like a plan!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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