Hi, just setting up our flow hive 2. Is it recommended that I paint it? If so then what type of paint is best to use? We have not put bees in it yet and thought we should sort this out first. Thanks
I would paint the hive but others would go for an oil treatment like tung oil and others would go for a clear epoxy paint. The choice is yours to make. Painting a hive is probably the easiest way to go and I use water based paint, I do 3 heavy coats a day apart and wait a few days before introducing bees into the hive, or a couple of days after the paint is dry, so there is no odor which can upset the bees.
Painting the hive will give excellent protection for years without repainting. Tung oil keeps a natural timber look but mould might be an issue in your climate.
Listen to Peter, his advice is sound.
basically what Peter said- but if your hive is made of Cedar you can get away with just Tung oil- but not on a pine hive- no way. You just need to reapply oil ever year or so- and you can do this on site very easily. Also on a cedar hive I would heavily paint the base and the roof- only oiling the boxes. The base and roof cop more weather and water. I would also consider insulating the roof.
Lastly: I feel the #1 best solution is to hot wax dip and paint. This is difficult unless you can find a commercial beekeeper/hive maker who has a dipping tank.
I hot wax dip all my hives now. Treat once and your good to go for up to 20years. Any other treatment, oil or paint will need regular refinishing, some more than others. You might have a commercial beekeeper that will do yours for a small fee. I built my own gear and do other people’s hives. Once the wax is up to temperature, I can do a full Flow Hive in 30 minutes and it’s cooled down enough in 15minutes ready to use straight away.
I’m building a second vat for my new Long Langstroth hives.
This is interesting. I was considering asking about particular colours the bees may like more than others? I was going to assemble mine today and give it a paint and then let my kids decorate it so they really feel part of the process.
I do like the cedar look so maybe oiling is easy enough or like aussiemike said, waxing? Any idea where I could get this done in Sydney?
As far as colours go, any light colour is fine, but avoid red and black. Small details in those colours are fine, but not a good idea to paint a large area with dark tints. Lighter tones also help reduce heat inside the hive in the summer.
@Rodderick may know of somebody who can dip for you, if you decide that you prefer that option.
@Rodderick is located on the northern beaches in your area so if there is someone there that does hive waxing he will know about them You may be lucky to find someone waxing other hives prepared to do yours at the same time like @Aussiemike but he is at least a 2 hour drive away at least.
One thing to consider is that the climate is getting hotter and a white painted hive will be cooler for the bees inside the hive and if you can select a position with some shade, even by a tree, from the heat of the afternoons can make a big difference to the bees. More bees needed to fan the hive cool means less be able to fly out to forage for nectar and pollen. there is lots to consider about selecting the location of a hive.
In summer my house gets a cross flow of NE summer sea breeze. Enough trees around to offer some protection from the wind as well as some shade so I feel like it might be pretty ideal.
I’m not opposed to oiling the hive annually but reading about waxing seemed like a good idea. I’ll paint the base and roof a few coats in a nice light blue colour and I may let the kids decorate it with sea shells or something nice
to do. I’m excited to get them involved. I appreciate the tips and contacts.
Sent while out and about.
Some people that wax dip also paint them. It’s on my list of things to experiment with. When the wax is still hot and wet, it sucks into the pores of the wood. This is the only time it’s possible to apply paint which also gets sucked not. Best of both worlds, long preservation from the wax and whatever colour you want.
Glad to be of help Lee, that is what makes this a great forum to be involved in. After all, we are all family in learning about bee keeping, and after 45+ years I’m still learning. Am amazing interest and hobby.
Will both water based paint and oil based based paint apply onto wax Mike? If the wood can be dipped and still painted white it might be an option in the hot climate up here then, not as hot as Richmond in Summer but today was 34C and too hot for a bee suit, and this is 2 weeks into Spring, I’m not looking forward to Summer, I fear it will be a long and hot one…
I don’t know about oil based, Peter but Solaguard is a popular choice. I’ll let you know how my experiments go.
Way warmer up there than here at the moment. Good start to the season.
Thanks and look forward to knowing more about that.
I had to take off my full suit today, it was just too hot. We could really do with some rain to put some nectar in the flowers but the forecast isn’t at all good. At least I’m saving on mower fuel