Hi, I have just ordered my first flow hive and have a couple of questions. I realise I have to paint the hive, but does that mean you paint the inside of the hive as well. The other question is I live in a climate that’s hot in the summer, can get to 45 Celsius, and winter not to bad but can have frosts. The hive will be in a sheltered back yard but exposed to the elements. Has anyone ever looked into insulation or shade shelters etc for the hive? Thanks for any answers.
you don’t need to paint the hive on the internal surfaces- and not on the top edges of the boxes. The roof in particular should be well painted- perhaps with an extra coat.
You can definately insulate the roof if you like- and also add screened ventilation holes if you want (not sure if the latest flow hives have a ventilation hole/s or not).
During heatwaves- I strongly reccomend adding a shade cloth over the hive- especially when temps are over 43c. This can simply be a piece of shadecloth draped over the hive. You can attach a few scraps of timber to the shadecloth so that it doesn’t sit directly on the hive and allows airflow around the hive- and weight it down at the edges somehow so it doesn’t flap around. You can remove it when the heat is not so bad. If there was an extended heatwave and it is easy to do- I would even consider draping something like hessian or an old towel over the hive and have it wick into a bucket of water to try and help keep the area a bit cooler. I lost two hives this year in a heatwave- and I think I might have been able to save them if I had realised how bad the heat was going to get.
Also when assembling hive do people use glue as well as the provided screws?
I don’t, but I am old school. If you ever need to repair a panel, it is much easier to disassemble and patch if it isn’t glued. If you glue it with a good PVA glue, the join is stronger than the wood, and you end up with a splintered mess and a much bigger job.
I have assembled my hives both dry jointed and glued. I have adopted for gluing to prevent warping and resulting water penetration. I also paint all the edges of my boxes as water can sit there for a long time and that promotes rotting of the timber. I have also made ventilated migratory lids for all of my hives, I was told the bees would wax up the vents but that has not happened so they are enjoying the extra air flow in winter to eliminate mold and mildew and in summer for the cooler hive.
Cheers and welcome to the forum where you will find lots of help and advise.
Thanks for feedback.
Thanks Semaphore, I was wondering if polystyrene and some sort of Velcro system would work. We like you had a couple 47 degrees here last year.
Hi there, just adding to the great feedback from others, I always paint both sides of the inspect panels on the side and rear otherwise they can swell and are difficult to remove. The bees have no contact with the inside of those panels anyway.