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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a new Langstroth hive. I need to know if I should paint both inside and out, or just outside? Also, what is the best paint to use, Urethane, Latex, oil based enamel or something else?
 

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I've seen several recommendations on here for Eco Wood Treatment. You can get it at Home Depot but you have to order it online first they don't stock it. I read the reviews and ordered some but it hasn't gotten here yet. Whatever you decide to use, I would only do the outside.
 

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Under no conditions should you paint the inside of the box. Paint the edges only if you must. The best paint to use is a premier house paint that is being sold for $5-10 a gallon because the customer didn't like the color.

I personally like any green or tawny gold color because the hives blend into the background and are stealthy which I like. But I can't resist a robins egg blue either. I don't use any really dark colors because I don't want the heat absorption. I prefer a latex as there is not a lot of loud smell left that may make the bees decide they do not like this stinky house and abscound. After painting let them air outside in the sun for as long as you have before use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alrighty then, I'll paint the outside, and the bees can paint the inside. I have to paint the edges, because it is 3/4 ply wood. It will have a few months to dry out doors before it is put to use. As I see it, painting is to preserve and protect the wood, and since it is just the outside, if I use a spar varnish that should not affect the bees, as there wont be any out gas accumulation inside the hive that would be any worse than the glue used in the ply wood in the first place. I know that is not a purist ideal, but this is the real world.
 

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I would suggest that you seal the edges of the plywood with TiteBond II or III before painting.
 

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I would suggest that you seal the edges of the plywood with TiteBond II or III before painting.
I'll second that. You may even want to seal the edges with glue a couple of times to make sure all the pores are completely sealed before painting. It will extend the life of the plywood many times over. That's the weak spot.
 

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This will be my first season too. The hive bodies I painted the outside and edges only, the bottom i painted all of the surfaces, tops just the outside and i did not use any paint on the inner covers.
 

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is this actually a real problem? I have not tried it, but I would seriously doubt if it would cause them to leave just because the paint on the inside.
 

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I know someone who runs thousands of hives who does just that, paint the insides too. Why does VanceG think that's a problem? What is the negative impact?
 

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The negative impact is that you a paying for paint that the bees are going to cover in propolis anyway. Just let them take care of the inside and save the expense.

I've been giving the wood a couple coats of boiled linseed oil before applying primer. The first boxes I did a few years back are peeling in some places where the primer is not adhering very well (high quality alkyd primer, too), so I think using the linseed oild, which penetrates into the wood before polymerizing, should help with adhesion of the paint.

Painting the box edges can make them stick together badly -- and the bees will do a good job of propolising them anyway.

The most important place to keep protected is the box joints or rabbets. Water penetration into the joint will inevitably result in rot sooner or later, it's very important to keep those joints completely waterproof.

Peter
 

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Vance thinks it is bad to paint the inside of the box because poorly aired out painted boxes placed newly into use full of foundation by hobbyists tends to cause a lot of colonies to abscound. That is why I think it is a problem. Professionals would know how to avoid that problem. If it is important to prove me wrong, by all means lead the newbees into trouble. I am wrong a lot but not about this.
 

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If it is important to prove me wrong, by all means lead the newbees into trouble. I am wrong a lot but not about this.
I don't know why you have to take on that sort of attitude. Just like everything else in beekeeping there are many ways to do the same thing and many opinions. None of which are put out there to prove you wrong or mislead anyone into trouble.
 

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Since you're using plywood, I would recommend you at least prime everything, inside, outside, and all edges. I've seen raw plywood delaminate on the inside surfaces, even with propolis all over it.
 

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Maybe some folks find the use of plywood satisfactory, but I don't. Not for building boxes.
 

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I have boxes I painted inside and out 15 years ago and they are still in good shape, I gave them 2 coats of latex exterior no primer
 
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