What are the best paint for a new hive?
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  1. #1
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    Feb 2018
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    Spring, Texas
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    Default What are the best paint for a new hive?

    When I had bees in the 60 and 70 they did not have all the new paints and most seemed to be oil bases.

    I have two new hives showing coming in today from Ohio and wanted to see what paints are the best and long lasting for hives if there is such an animal?

    Thanks, Jim

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    If I could still buy it, I'd use oil paints.

    But these days I coat all the knots, joints and edges with a coat of white shellac (BIN Primer is what I used most recently.)
    Then I prime with a good brand of exterior latex (sometimes two coats of primer, depending on my schedule).
    Then two (or sometimes) three coats of exterior latex. I prefer flat to semi-gloss, but that's an aesthetic choice. more than anything.

    I like Benjamin Moore paints, so that's what I use. (But not their Aura line - can't stand that stuff!)

    I am a color fiend so I fuss for weeks about exactly which colors to use - that's 90% of the fun for me.

    All my stacks are now painted different colors, so my boxes aren't interchangeable between colonies, which I admit would drive most beekeepers insane. But after my struggles with EFB last summer, I deliberately went to the extra trouble (and expense) of doing this with all the new equipment I had to put in service. It will be far less likely that I move the problem from hive to hive as I unknowingly did in the early stages last spring. In the long run I hope that the need for doing this color-coding will go away, but in the meantime it works for me.

    Plus bees are color-oriented, so maybe it will also serve to reduce drift.

    All my colonies are named for specific plants, so of course, the color of their boxes matches their name (and also indicates their queen line running from my four original queens.) So Buttercup's daughters, Anthemis, Daffodil, Marigold, Dahlia, etc., are in various shades of yellow. It's my hedge against senior moments.

    Nancy

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    washington, vermont, USA
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    368

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    I ask the paint store to look at their mis-tints got 3 gallons last week for $5 each. Would've been $50 a gallon to buy new.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Lake Forest Park, WA
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    607

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    I used very old-looking exterior latex paint the previous house owner left in the garage. Still fine after ~3 years. It is dull green-grey and perfect for me, because I do not want my hives stand out too much in my residential neighborhood.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    2,661

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Best? The epoxy finishes used by wooden boat builders. Cost effective? That’s another question.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Indian Trail, North Carolina
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    25

    Default

    In my area our local Lowe's Home improvement store discounts imprinted or returned paint for $9/gal. Or $30/5gal.
    I buy all of their discounted exterior paints with no issues what so ever. I have also been buying empty 5 gal. buckets and mixing them together to create more of one certain color. This has been going on for years with once again no issues to report. You might end up with a horrible color, but for the most part bees don't come mind it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #7
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    Jan 2018
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    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
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    798

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Prime any new wood with kiltz 2 (2)coats, and (2) coats of semi gloss exterior latex paint. Works best, last Long, long time... i prefer glidden premium, at home depot. 1 gal. Usually about 25.00 each, on sale for like 15-19.00 when on sale. I paint professionally, this is one of the best out there.

  9. #8
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    Sep 2009
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    O'Fallon, Missouri
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    198

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    +1 for Lowes discount paint!!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
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    3,291

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
    +1 for Lowes discount paint!!
    I use Valspar Duramaxx. 2 coats of Kilz, then 2 coats of finish coat. Naked pine is a sponge. I paint inside corners and flat areas where boxes meet (apply wax to prevent paint from sticking) I string the boxes on a long pole and paint with a roller. Goes quick. Very happy with valspar. It will fade, but the coating is very durable and long lasting.

    Typically the corners and mating surfaces trap water, thats where rot will set in first. Do your best to seal those areas well.

    Last year i tried some of the eco-stain offered by Kelleys. Got a free box at their brick and mortar store in Clarkson. Too early to report, so far so good. I love the color.

  11. #10
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    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,148

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    I go to my local Sherwin Williams store and ask for mis-tinted exterior paint. At $5 a gallon, I take whatever they have.

    According to the guys at the store, they always have lots of beekeepers coming in looking for it.
    Zone 6B

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Spring, Texas
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    272

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Thanks for the help. I do miss the old oil based paints.

    Consumer Reports Likes the Behr PP ultra Exterior from HD but at 39/Gal they are proud of it.
    and
    Clark and Kensington from Ace has the same ratings. Wonder if the same company makes both house brands?? as listed in this years CR.

    I like the idea of the returned paints. May have to hide the hives in the back yard from my wife. but doubt she will get that close to the two hives to look.

    Do you need the kilz or other primers with the new best paints? CR says primer is built in but I have a gallon or two of the Kilz at the office. Might be ideal for sealing the ends unless someone has a better sealing idea.

    My two Ohio Bee Hives came in yesterday and they look pretty good. Did have one box frame edge break in shipment but it was an easy glue fix and smaller nail.

    Thanks,

    Jim

  13. #12

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Enjamres just go easy on the Bin. Bin is meant to only be used as a spot primer.
    For exterior work. End grain my be better painted with a coat of title bond 3 glue. l To seal the end grain. Or high grade caulk. When I build new boxes I seaL this way. Speaking as a painting contractor.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,474

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Wow...
    People have lots of time and money just to paint hives..
    While the bees don't really care.
    OK, just kidding!

    But seriously - the best paint is FREE, whatever color it may be.
    Right now I got about 10 gallons of various paints and primers people just gave me for nothing (via CL and such).
    Reuse, reduce, recycle.
    Have the kids do art on your hives to their liking (see my avatar).
    Seriously.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
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    378

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Most paint you see at Lowe's that are discounted to $9.00 a gallon are "interior" paints. Occasionally, I may find an "exterior", but not often.

    Quote Originally Posted by JpArnoldApiaries View Post
    In my area our local Lowe's Home improvement store discounts imprinted or returned paint for $9/gal. Or $30/5gal.
    I buy all of their discounted exterior paints with no issues what so ever. I have also been buying empty 5 gal. buckets and mixing them together to create more of one certain color. This has been going on for years with once again no issues to report. You might end up with a horrible color, but for the most part bees don't come mind it.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,115

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    For me, mandatory oil based primer and I even add oil before I apply it. If I can find oil based exterior, I go with that. If not, two coats of quality latex (2nd to oil but it is what it is) over the oil primer. It's the same approach to what I use on the 200+ year old house that still has most of the original siding. Nothing else works as good.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Spring, Texas
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    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    I was not that lucky at my HD. Couple of gallons of interior only in the oops cart.

    In the Home Depot Behr brand I noticed a can of exterior oil bases several dollars cheaper than their Consumer Reports top two Exterior Latex brands.

    The question is seal the ends with it plus two coats of HD's Best Latex or Oil Base to make these boxes last longer?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Uxbridge, MA
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    101

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    I’ve used primer plus exterior and primer plus (gasp) interior, works just fine. Going on 9 years, both methods holding up well

    Can any of you paint nerds tell me the real difference between interior and exterior paints?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
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    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    Except for a few unique, hard-to-replace boxes (i.e. my custom made Dadant Deeps, which are painted with a two-part epoxy finish), I don’t paint my boxes. Saves a lot of time and money.

    the dry Colorado climate probably helps, but after 7 years, all the boxes are solid and look good, and I expect at least another 7 years out of them.
    Last edited by shinbone; 02-15-2018 at 10:06 AM.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  20. #19
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    3,388

    Default Re: What are the best paint for a new hive?

    The best paint is the one that sticks forever and weathers none at all, but that's just dreaming...

    What I do is put on a liberal coat of boiled linseed oil, follow that will oil base primer, then two or three coats of quality exterior latex.

    I've found that primer, either oil or latex, on bare commercial pine doesn't stick all that well, probably because the wood is rather burnished from mechanical handling while being processed. The linseed oil soaks in, but doesn't polymerize right away, permitting it to polymerize inside the surface of the wood when the primer is applied (the oil in oil base paints is linseed oil) and the accelerators in the primer harden it.

    Once you have primer stuck down properly, you can coat with any quality paint to protect it from sunlight, which de-polymerizes the linseed oil.

    Interior latex is OK, but lacks the UV protectors in exterior paints and hence will weather away faster.

    Unpainted (or poorly painted) boxes last two or three years here before the sides start to warp badly. This will pull screws out, although not usually nailed box joints (another argument for proper box joints). The Eco-wood treatment from Kelley does absolutely nothing here -- it's ferric sulfate, and will stop rot nicely, but has zero water resistance. The bees "paint" the insides of the boxes with propolis and wax, and the difference in water content between inside wood and outside wood warps the board and eventually splits them.

    Bottom line, well adhered primer, whatever it is, and good exterior grade paint will do fine.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Monkton, MD
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    122

    Default

    So glad this is being talked about. I inherited several medium boxes from an old-timer in our bee club, and the paint is still near perfect after 5 years of my use (and who knows how long he used them?). Since he died, I was not able to ask him what he did.

    This contrasts to the boxes I have purchased new, painted, and have nearly destroyed in three years. I have wondered what the difference is so that I can make my boxes last longer. I am going to try the linseed oil and primer idea. I already use Titebond 3 on the corners, but priming the boxes seems good too. Though, I was told latex paint couldn’t stick to oil based paints. Is that true? Thanks for everyone’s input!

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