"Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)
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    52

    Default "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Although I live in an area that seems friendly to the bees, with supportive neighbors, I assume that with more people spending time at home, and the potential for less-accepting neighbors to move in closer at any time, it may be beneficial to start using hives that are even more "un-noticable" than my current cedar-looking pine wood ones. Ideally I was thinking about just covering the outside of the supers (each done separately) with a layer of glued-on Mossy Oak or other camo fabric, but I am concerned about the potentially-unhealthy glue or fabric being eaten away by curious bees that might be less-than thrilled with it. I could always paint each of them by hand, but I'm not really a great painter either unfortunately, and the time could probably be best spent doing management activities instead. Has anybody tried such an idea? Considering all the new folks that might be thinking about food security going forward, I think that if I put out some "remote hives" I might feel better if they didn't stand out like a sore thumb. Maybe cover each with fabric and then go over with a UV-resistant and bee-resistant sealer before use? Fabric that fades out in a single season seems mostly pointless lol. Thanks for any ideas!
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

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  3. #2

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    I a lot of time paint boxes in brown and green tones. A privacy fence worked to shield the hives.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Bucks County PA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Painting in a subdued tone that blends in with the location the colonies are located is probably the simplest solution.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,808

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Positioning hives behind something 'innocent' should work ok (vehicle, parked trailer etc) - as bees are fairly invisible in flight (unless a person is particularly focused on looking-out for them), it's only when they get close to the hive entrance that they look like an unruly mob.

    Long Hives are particularly good for adopting a low profile (in every sense), as they can be set fairly close to the ground if needs be, and they don't much look like most people's idea of a beehive.

    I've always thought that some Long Hives (KTBH's in particular) look like planters anyway - so you could just place a few pots of hanging plants on top of those ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Positioning hives behind something 'innocent' should work ok (vehicle, parked trailer etc) - as bees are fairly invisible in flight (unless a person is particularly focused on looking-out for them), it's only when they get close to the hive entrance that they look like an unruly mob.

    Long Hives are particularly good for adopting a low profile (in every sense), as they can be set fairly close to the ground if needs be, and they don't much look like most people's idea of a beehive.

    I've always thought that some Long Hives (KTBH's in particular) look like planters anyway - so you could just place a few pots of hanging plants on top of those ...
    LJ
    The idea for long hives is interesting for a number of reasons, but being able to do brood inspections without dragging everything apart at the same time, and lifting all that stuff seems particularly nice as I seem to get weaker every year lol. Due to property lines and road layout privacy fence is not really an option, nor is vehicle parking obscurement. I think for now I'll just make a few things up, drop them on hives, and see what happens. Then I can let the bees decide what they like best. Regardless of my choices, doing anything is probably better than ignoring the possibility of vandalism, theft, or complaints, so I'll have to update everybody with the ideas I try and show what happened
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    I wanted to do the same thing at my old place. My hives were scattered around a forest then, so I took a dead leaf off the ground and had it color-matched at Home Depot. Then I painted my hives to match the leaf. If I had to do it over, I'd color-match the bark from the trees instead. But even with the leaf color, it was nearly impossible to see any of my hives unless you knew they were there.

    150418_BeeHive.jpg

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    SE Michigan USDA 6a (Macomb Co.)
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Arthur View Post
    I wanted to do the same thing at my old place. My hives were scattered around a forest then, so I took a dead leaf off the ground and had it color-matched at Home Depot. Then I painted my hives to match the leaf. If I had to do it over, I'd color-match the bark from the trees instead. But even with the leaf color, it was nearly impossible to see any of my hives unless you knew they were there.

    150418_BeeHive.jpg
    Very nice, especially with the nice spring bloom starting! What are those flowers? Around here the earliest stuff is usually wild daffodills and grape hyacinth, not those nice little white ones.

    Secondly though, your hives are obviously not in full sun during summertime. Do you have any issues with excessive hive beetles? Thanks
    USDA 6a, 8 frame equipment

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Ava Missouri USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Another thing you might think about, and this is more for prosecution than defense, is to place a couple of game cameras to watch your hives. They are reasonably cheap and they actually do work fairly well both day and night.

    Happy Home

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyfan_019 View Post
    Very nice, especially with the nice spring bloom starting! What are those flowers? Around here the earliest stuff is usually wild daffodills and grape hyacinth, not those nice little white ones.

    Secondly though, your hives are obviously not in full sun during summertime. Do you have any issues with excessive hive beetles? Thanks
    Those are "spring beauties" and they normally start blooming in March here in Missouri. I never see honey bees on them, but they (along with cut-leaf toothworts) sure make our forests pretty this time of year.

    That's an old picture, and I don't live there anymore. I moved to a property with an open pasture, so my hives get far more sun now. That being said, my experience in multiple bee yards--some with full sun and some in full shade--has taught me that the amount of sun has little to do with the number of SHB. The more important factor, I've found, is the effort you spend sealing up all the nooks and crannies in your woodenware before you put bees into it. Hives will pretty much always have imperfect seams between boards, and making sure those are all filled (I use wood glue) makes a huge difference in how many hive beetles you'll have. Those cracks are perfect spots for beetles to hide and lay eggs, and the bees are too big to get in and clean them out. So that's my opinion about SHB control--people put way too much focus on sunlight and way too little focus on tightening up their woodenware.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Green for me!!!
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  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    515

    Default

    My camo hives are painted with a green base and then a few swipes or spots of black and brown spray paint.

    I use these boxes for swarm traps or in locations I want to keep inconspicuous.
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  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: "Camoflage" hive bodies, ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Arthur View Post
    I wanted to do the same thing at my old place. My hives were scattered around a forest then, so I took a dead leaf off the ground and had it color-matched at Home Depot. Then I painted my hives to match the leaf. If I had to do it over, I'd color-match the bark from the trees instead. But even with the leaf color, it was nearly impossible to see any of my hives unless you knew they were there.

    150418_BeeHive.jpg
    +1 dead leave and bark colors in a camo pattern. BTW a camo pattern does not require stupendous tallent as a painter. Just do the hive in 1 of the colors and put some of the other color or 2 here and there. Stand back, have a look, adjust the size and shape a bit , done.

    if really worried about theft or vandalism, scatter them more and start looking for "safe" Apairy sites. The eggs in one basket theory. and if a gate or 2 exists with a house or farm to drive by to enter the likely hood of theft goes way down.
    GG

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