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What do you paint your hives with? Latex paint? Stain? Do you paint them different colors?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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OIl base primer, one coat. Exterior latex top coat, two coats. Different colors from the Oops paints at the big box stores or paint stores like SW. Do not use red since the bees cannot see it as a color. Paint is cheap and easy.
You can also stain them, apply an oil finish such as boiled linseed , have them dipped in wax, flame scorch them, etc. If cedar or cypress, leave natural.
 

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We have been using ecowood from what used to be kelleys. Have not been using long enough to know how well it holds up but the brushy mountain resource hives, which came assembled but not glued (is that why they went under?) do warp a bit....
 

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I give the wooden ware a 3 day soak in a 1:5 copper naphthenate/solvent solution, then allow to air dry for 3 month. The equipment can be used as is or can be painted with a good latex exterior paint. I use white because it reflects most of the solar heat which is a stressor in our hot summers. I once used dark colors to absorb solar heat in winter, but I found the summer stress was more of a detriment to the colony than the warmth in winter was a benefit.
 

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You might want to do a search on here for your answer. I believe there are a few long threads on this.
 

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Im kinda wondering if linseed or even any vegetable oil would work doing it like they do wax. Maybe get your turkey cooker out, heat up some peanut oil to 350, dunk the boards and wait 15 minutes . Then if you had another bucket of oil, make it cool and anything that would get pulled back into the wood from cooling would be pure oil.
Then just think if you heated it to 400. Would you get a scorched wood? Let that cool down in another batch of cold oil. Hmmmmmm.
 

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We have been using ecowood from what used to be kelleys. Have not been using long enough to know how well it holds up but the brushy mountain resource hives, which came assembled but not glued (is that why they went under?) do warp a bit....
I have been going the Ecowood route for a couple of years now with cheap pine boxes. Everything looks ok so far, but its only been a couple of years. Think they would still be looking okay if they had nothing on them. I looked at some past Ecowood threads and there seems to be a camp that thinks its crap and a camp that thinks it is great. So the usual non-consensus on this board. It is just so easy and I am so lazy and hate painting so much that I am praying it gives me some protection. Wood fungus is a real problem in my area, and it is supposed to prevent that. It is a treatment though, not a preservative. Time will tell.

But I obviously can't paint well. My painted hives (coat of latex primer with coat of exterior latex paint) always seem to chip and water gets behind the paint and I get wood rot from that too. If Ecowood doesn't work, I guess I will pay somebody to fabricate a metal wax dipping bin and start doing that.
 

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Well. The linseed oil is a common wood treatment. But yea I'm with ya if it would leave residue any amount of time. :)
Iinseed oil has no UV protection. That’s why pigment was all is add to it Historically. Or other things to turn it into varnishes. Speaking as a painting contractor/ muzzleloader builder
 

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I run with the misstint crowd. Whatever color and brand of good quality exterior latex I can find for less than $10/gal. One coat only, with a brush.
 

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Milk Paint. Water based. White. 2 coats, with a brush.
 
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Always prime bare wood first. Paint with primer in it does not perform the same. Paint the edges of the boxes too. When boxes are stacked rain seeps in between the boxes and and then it gets absorbed into the wood there, that is the first place rot will start, so paint it.

In my experience dedicated paint stores such as Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore have a better selection of high quality exterior mis-tints than the BORGs do (Big Orange Retail Giant, Blue Oversized Retail Giant). I suspect that is because SW or BM are catering to the pro painters while the BORGs are catering to the DIY crowd who tend to be doing mostly interior painting, but of course it never hurts to check. My local S-W store manager is beekeeper friendly and will sell an $80 mistint gallon for five bucks. Your store may vary, but tell them what you are using it for and they'll set you up.
 

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What do you paint your hives with? Latex paint? Stain? Do you paint them different colors?
I use Pure Tung Oil. A good coating of tung oil converts the top 1/16 inch of the wood into a hard plastic matrix. I coat the outsides, the edges and the frame rim. The neat thing is that the propolis does not stick well to the oil so it is easy to scrape clean. Plus, the wood is so hard, the tool does not damage the wood. UV does darken the boxes a bit but not much more than a coat of varnish.

I apply the first coat diluted 1-1 with Citrus Solvent to ensure good penetration. Second coat is diluted 3 parts oil to 1 part solvent and applied after a 15 to 30 minute wait. This is usually enough time to coat 5 or 10 other boxes. Don't wipe off excess oil like most YouTube videos show. You want as much penetration as possible. Allow 3 to 5 days for curing.
 

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What do you paint your hives with? Latex paint? Stain? Do you paint them different colors?
Check out Bob Binnie's you tube channel. He has a video that goes over his painting process.

I follow his method except instead of dunking I brushed on the copper napthenate,raw linseed oil and mineral spirit mixture. I think next time I may try spraying it since I didn't have enough boxes to dunk, but really too many to brush. He gives the ratio in his video. I don't remember off hand what it was and our internet is barely working right now due to an ice storm.

Then followed up with zinssner oil based primer (cover stain)

and finally followed by acrylic latex paint (Gloss)
 

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My question is, where do your boxes typically fail? Do they fail due to the wood rotting, or for other reasons? I started in 2014, so I don't have long-term experience with decades-old boxes. However, the failures that I am seeing with my earliest boxes are (1) abuse at the corners causing the corners to be misshapen and leaking bees; (2) bees chewing access holes along the top rims creating new entrances/exits where they **** well please; (3) wax moths left to run amok and eating holes through the box.

For the past couple of years, I have really been questioning the value of paint on a box. I have been trying to weigh the value of extended life of the box vs. the cost in my time (and to a lesser extent, materials) in painting the box. I have not come to a conclusion. Painting would not have (and didn't) prevent any of my top three box failure problems.

I have not painted a box in 2 years and that has been a wonderful thing for me.
 

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Im kinda wondering if linseed...
Everything else you wrote sounds like science fiction to me, but I painted my hives with linseed oil for the first two years of my beekeeping, but then permanently switched to a latex-based paint because while the linseed painted hives looked great, the linseed wears of quickly (at least in my damp climate). But if beekeeping is a hobby for you (3-4 hives) and you like painting the hives every couple years, it might work. My hives did fine in the weather with linseed oil. I just didn't like having repaint them every two years.
 
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