What type of paint do you use for your hives, do you use oil-base or latex? Do you use a primer? Do you paint outside only or do you paint inside and outside? How long before you can put bees in after painting? Any ideas?
Here's what I do...
I use a regular white Latex paint. As I'm told by hardware people, Oil based paints are being removed from the market and won't be available anymore. Besides, latex is easy to clean up. You can use whatever color you like although it has been recommended that Black NOT be used as it will make the hive too hot during the summer months. I completely paint (inside and outside) the bottom board only. I paint the outsides of the outer cover and hive/super bodies. I do not paint the inner cover or frames. By leaving the inside of the hive bodies unpainted, the bees will not tend to be bothered as much by the "new" paint smell, so you can start using the boxes as soon as the paint is completely dry. Generally, I use 2 - 3 coats of latex with no primer. You can use Bin as a primer if you prefer.
I use a primer before applying two top coats. Mostly because I figure if I'm not going to paint all surfaces, I need all the help I can get to get the top coat on the exterior surfaces to stick to the wood. I buy my paint from one of the big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) in the "returned" section for $1/qt. You can't pick and choose your color using this method (can't even get white), but fortunately, beige tinted exterior latex paint seems to be in vogue these days. 1 quart goes a long way. I paint the same surfaces Paul does and also paint the top and bottom edges of the supers.
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NewBee: What type of paint do you use for your hives, do you use oil-base or latex? Do you use a primer? Do you paint outside only or do you paint inside and outside? How long before you can put bees in after painting? Any ideas?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
All that I have ever read, and thats quite a lot, never paint the inside of the hive. Why? It makes sense since paint is poisoness to humans it would seem to be to bees also. Bees have a habit of nawing or chewing on things and therefore could ingest the paint. Also, wood will as you know absorb moisture and if the hive is painted inside the moisture has no place to go except run down the insides and drip on the bees. As far as what kind of paint, I don't think it really matters, I even use a lot of aluminum paint. I don't bother painting the edges since I stack deeps or supers as high as I can reasonably reach and spray a couple of coats of paint on them. bobby
Modern paints are not poisonous, only the old lead based paints. There is a good reason for painting the entire box, inside and out. It equalizes the vapor movement on both sides of the wood, and the wood is much less likely to warp. Dipped hives will stay straight and true, when hives painted only on the outside are pulling nails at the corners from cupping of the boards.
And contrary to the popular notion, the bees don't mind it a bit. They are a bit less likely to gum it up with propolis, that's all.
I get my paint from a painter who saves his exterior latex to swap for honey. He drains the remnants of his one gallon cans into a five gallon pail, so the colors can be quite creative...
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