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Help - can I oil my baseboard after bees are installed?

Hi! After a long wait to get our nucleus, I have installed our bees in our first hive (Flow Hive Classic).

However…my husband painted the hive ages ago (external only). And we just noticed the base board is still the original raw timber :grimacing: - somehow it was overlooked when he was painting the brood box.

Can I oil it with bees in situ? Can I shut them in and use a natural oil? Help !

Don’t want to impact my bees but I would like to coat it before it goes grey/mouldy.

I’m in Sydney , New South Wales. Thank you for any responses!!

Hi and welcome @RowMac72
If you paint the base board at night you should be OK. Maybe only do half the landing board/entrance one night and complete it the next night as some guard bees will certainly be interested in your night shift home improvements.
A couple of coats would be required so it will take a couple of days to complete. The sides and rear shouldn’t be an issue.
I use Organoil Tung Oil mixed 50/50 with Citrus Terpene, this should soak in and dry before morning.

Welcome to the forum Rowena, you will find lots of reading and good advice here.
Rather than oiling the base board with it in use, which I wouldn’t advise because if you do it after dark the landing board will still be wet and fuming in the morning.
My option would be to beg or borrow another base board then switch your own out of the hive and give hubby time to give it several coats of paint then reintroduce it to the hive. It isn’t as big a job as it sounds and the bees will be active as you do it but will settle again very quickly.
I prefer to paint my hives with white paint to keep the colony as cool as possible which with your climate in Sydney you might consider over oiling the hive which will make it hotter inside the hive.

There is another option if you can’t find another bottom board. All you need is another flat board of a similar size, the same or bigger. Place the board where the hive normally sits, then place the brood box on the board with the front of the hive hanging over the board so as to create an under entrance. You only need about a 10mil + the thickness of the hive body overhang. I’ve done this on many occasion & it works really well.

I have often used the migratory lid on existing colonies for this purpose.