How did you waterproof your hive?

So I’m getting my flow hive set and ready to go outside soon. I’ve assembled and sanded everything smooth, just need to waterproof to prevent mold/discoloration/warping in all the rain.

I saw the recomendation about tung oil, and it sure does look pretty, but I don’t want to have to reapply every few months. Ideally I’d like to stain and seal it w/ a waterproof coating, like a polyurethane.

What did you use? what brand? How many coats?

Did you need to stain or do some sort of oiling first to get the color to pop before sealing it?

If you bought the western red cedar all you need to do is apply tung oil to the exterior surfaces of the hive. If you bought any other wood then use a good exterior paint of your choice. Use brighter or neutral colors and not anything that will absorb the sun and add more heat to the hive.


won’t the cedar discolor over time w/o sealant and UV blocker? does tung oil need to be reapplied often?

Cedar goes silver over time. With Tung Oil, it stays the rich redwood color, even without UV blockers. I reapply Tung Oil once per year. It is a 15 minute job, maximum. My hives haven’t faded at all (or silvered) in the last 2 1/2 years.

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The one thing that needs waterproofing, from my observation is the roof.

I was given a flow hive. I finished up giving the roof 3 good coats of white house paint, making sure that all the gaps were filled. Then I sealed under the gable ends with silicone to stop water running back under via capillary action. Then I sealed all the gaps under the roof with silicone to remove hiding places for SHBs.


the cedar roof on mums hive did silver a lot even with the tung oil- and after only 18 months. We ended up wax dipping and insulating it. The walls of the hive body have stayed a lovely red color. The base is showing signs of aging- I’d also consider painting that- especially if I was in an area with a lot of rain.

I’d also paint the roof- if I didn’t have my own wax dipping machine… :wink:

My brother has the cedar version too- and I wax dipped the entire hive for him. I found that cedar takes up more wax than pine (though with pine it does penetrate 100%)- and afterwards the cedar hive was kind of slick with wax wheras pine ends up feeling almost dry. I weighed it before and after and it took up over 250 grams of bees wax and gum rosin. That hive is standing up nicely.