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Thread: painting hives

  1. #1
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    Default painting hives

    Ok, so I want to go with the wax dipped boxes (supers and such) in the long run, but until I figure out how to get a boiling tank worth using I have some questions about protecting hives.

    At first everything I read was saying no, but as I read more, I am seeing lots of folks paint both inside and outside of the boxes. So is it ok to paint the inside of the hives with a good high quality exterior paint.

    Have seen some hive bodies in really bad shape that are not that old, but I have also seen some hives being built with scrap wood that is much more porous than pine. (heck I made some nucs from pallets scraps, but don't expect them to last). I am talking about purchased hive bodies made of pine from reliable sources.

    Anyone feel free to give an opinion, but I am interested in folks that has more than say 40 hives or been doing this for more than 10 years want to give an opinion. Not being rude by saying this, just seems from my line of work, that experience/advice given by folks that have significant real experience seems to have parallels with what I see. Some of the weekend warriors have some really good advice that just don't hold water some times.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Yes, you can paint all surfaces of your hive bodies. Look on the label of the paint can for what type of pigments are used, you don't want any of the heavy metals.

    You may want to look at copper naphthanate soaking/brushing of your hive bodies, they last with minimum upkeep. There has been a study that said it damaged the bees short term memory, but I have used it for 12 years and can tell no difference in colony production or health between it and painted hive bodies.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: painting hives

    I had wondered about copper naphthanate but didn't know much about it. Does brushing copper naphthanate really help or do you have to soak them?

    Thanks - and you are one of type experienced people I was hoping to get info from.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    At first everything I read was saying no, but as I read more, I am seeing lots of folks paint both inside and outside of the boxes. So is it ok to paint the inside of the hives with a good high quality exterior paint.
    Where are you seeing folks painting the inside of boxes?
    http://OxaVap.com
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: painting hives

    several places on videos and on a few websites. Looked like mostly commercial folks by the numbers of hives they were messing with. Especially the ones that are treating the hive bodies with copper naphthanate.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: painting hives

    I am not an expert,, but all I have been taught is the inside should not be painted,, to allow the hive to "breathe"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: painting hives

    I agree with George. My mentor has taught be the same thing. I have seen them painted on the inside as well though.
    Scott Derrick, Creator Of Honey-B-Gone
    Visit Us At http://www.honeybgone.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: painting hives

    People that paint or put "sealer" or " preservative" on the inside of a hive may be well meaning but they are misinformed .
    Bees coat the entire inside of a body with their OWN sealer akin to watered down propolis and try to remove anything you put on the inside.
    Is that contact harmful/bad ?
    I don't know that its bad but it CAN'T be good
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  9. #9
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Unpainted interiors allow the bees to coat the surface with propolis which has antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties, leading to better colony health.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Just how long do you want the hive to last, I have brood boxes that I threw together in a pinch, because I unexpectedly grabbed a swarm, and never got them painted. They are 8 years old and going strong. Most of my painted boxes last over ten years without additional maintenance. I know we are all cost conscious but sometimes we need to weigh the component investment with the actual lifespan increase. It just makes no sense to invest 50% of the cost of a hive to preserve it for 25% longer than that if you had done nothing.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: painting hives

    I followed the langstrom plans on this site and it said to paint both the inside and outside and all edges with 2 coats. That's what I did. I did read later that the bees will coat the inside. The nuc box I took them out of was not painted inside and was covered with black mildew. I saw no evidence that the bees coated anything. Since i made the box as a decoration i didnt bother to paint it inside. when i read the plans and it said Paint inside it made sense that the mold would be stopped by the paint. Im glad i did as humid as it is here in south florida. the new box has no signs of problems inside except shbs. Just an observation from the new guy.

    Gene

  12. #12
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    Default Re: painting hives

    >I followed the langstrom plans

    The term seems to come up often enough, but I've never figured out what a "langstrom" is... maybe a Langstroth?

    Kidbeeyoz referred to the concept. Research by Marla Spivak shows that the more propolis there is coating the inside the less diseases they have. A rough sawn raw wood interior will contribute to more propolis. A smooth painted interior will lead to less propolis.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Default Re: painting hives

    > Research by Marla Spivak shows that the more propolis there is coating the inside the less diseases they have.

    Here is a link to one article:
    http://www.beelab.umn.edu/prod/group...cle_435997.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
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    Default Re: painting hives

    A question asked at Michael's seminar last week was about the bees chewing inside the box with new colonies, and it is thought that the chewing is instinctive as bees in the wild chew on trees to remove soft wood in their new homes.
    Hope I repeated that correctly.

    I wonder if copper naphthanate is the ingredient in Eco wood preserve. I'm slowly painting all the boxes I first only treated exterior with Eco, for the extra protection. Only outsides for me.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  15. #15
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Sorry langstroth from the ubuild it section. I also read a recent article that said soft woods like pine should be painted inside to keep the beetles from burying into it.

    Gene

  16. #16
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    Default Re: painting hives

    I don't paint the inside. One season...two at the outside...and the bees have it sealed up way better than I could. On the outside I give them at least one coat of oil based primer, maybe two. If I have oil based paint around, then that's the topcoat. Otherwise I'll latex over the oil. I with the old fashioned oil paints were around. They were the best. I NEVER use latex primer. Not on the house. Not IN the house. Not on the hives. Just a waste of money comparitively.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  17. #17
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Genemiller,

    I heard once about SHB and painting the inside of the hives to make it harder for them to hang on, but never actually saw an article. Where did you see the article?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  18. #18
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Genemiller - I would agree that different areas in world with extreme differences in humidity things might function different. You close a house up here on the gulf coast really well, leave it empty and the mold takes off. Leave a window open and it can be worse. Been a few places in the US where houses been closed for years and no mold. Doesn't matter whether a window or door is open or closed.

    So if rough wood is better to encouraging propolis, I should be hunting rough cut timber (1Xs) to build my Langs and just plane one side smooth (for the outside).

    Also have some supers with inside painted versus outside painted. Will wait and see if I can detect differences.

    Thanks

  19. #19
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Quote Originally Posted by TooFarGone View Post
    Genemiller,

    I heard once about SHB and painting the inside of the hives to make it harder for them to hang on, but never actually saw an article. Where did you see the article?

    Thanks,
    Tim
    I've read to many so I'm not sure but it didn't talk about them hanging on just digging into it. It does make sense it would make it more slippery. I think it was a state run study that I read. If I come across it Again I will post it

    Gene

  20. #20
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    Default Re: painting hives

    Here is an earlier thread that touches on painting the inside of hives to deter small hive beetles:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...7-SHB-Question

    I am providing the link, but not necessarily endorsing the concept.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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