Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be making a new hive this month and I was wondering what people do to protect the wood.

I like the natural wood look so my current plan is to coat in polyurethane. Is it okay to coat the inside of the hive too or do bees prefer unfinished wood?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
I know some people who paint the insides as well as the outsides. But most people I know don't. It doesn't seem to matter.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
I like the natural wood look so my current plan is to coat in polyurethane.
It must be an exterior grade with UV inhibitors or you will be doing it every year or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,285 Posts
Just as a note you will have a large maintenance chores with Polyurethane. Most will not hold up more than a couple off years. You might check out Skeikins (sp) with three coat I have gotten 5 + years out of it. Pricey

David of David's painting and wall cover
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,677 Posts
Levi's Bees - I watched your video. Your hives look really nice. How long will the fiber glass resin you used stand up to UV light?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
746 Posts
Our bee club in Marin just had a great guest speaker, Marla Spivak of McKnight University, who discussed some of the research her students are doing on bees. One is studying the effects of propolis on hive health, and he did an experiment where he coated the inside of hive boxes with varying amounts of a "propolis shield", basically a "paint" made of propolis dissolved in alcohol. THis mimics what bees do in natural hive cavities, where they coat the inside with propolis. The conclusion was that the more of the inside of the hive that was covered by propolis, the healthier the hive. Interestingly, bees tend NOT to coat the inside walls of typical smooth-cut Lang hive boxes, concentrating their propolis in the cracks and around frame rests. They are testing the effects of rough-cut hive boxes versus smooth as bees tend to fill the rough areas with propolis.

Her advice was to either use rough cut boards for hives or to manually rough them up by scratching and scraping the boards so that the bees will propolize them. Her logic was that it's a simple and cheap way to improve hive health.

Seems to me that ANY treatment to the inside of the hive would accomplish the opposite of this, namely discourage the bees from propolizing the walls.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,453 Posts
that's why i just let them coat the inside surfaces naturally and don't introduce any contaminants that might disrupt the microbiota than develops on those surfaces. the properties of propolis help the bees in their natural immunity against disease. it may allow for a thicker coating if the surfaces were roughed up, but i find the bees do an adequate job coating the smooth surfaces. i usually give the insides of the boxes a good scraping with the hive tool when they are taken off line, this might be a little aggravating to do on a real rough surface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
My boxes are the smooth inside type, and I see little coating by the bees. I have wondered about folk writing that bees coat the hive internals. I may try to rough up the inside walls. I do seal the inside corners to prevent crevices for SHB eggs and such.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,453 Posts
I do seal the inside corners to prevent crevices for SHB eggs and such.
if you didn't seal the corners you would see that most colonies would have them sealed up in no time with propolis.

some colonies are heavy propilizers and some are not. my strongest hives tend to have more propolis in them, and vice versa.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
just an idea u might want to see this is what im doing to my new beehive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jql0Nue95vA
I hadn't thought of UV resistance. I did some more reading and it sounds like epoxy resin (a common resin used in fiberglass) doesn't hold up well against UV either unless you buy a kind with special additives. maybe i'll have to do more looking.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top