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Newbie looking for thoughts on my paint choices

Hello all, just got my Flow Hive 2 araucaria in and want to start off right with the best protection for the hive that I can. First off, I would have ordered the cedar hive but for some reason I read or thought that I could only order the flow hive in Araucaria if in the U.S. So I did. Oh well, that’s water under the bridge as they say.

Moving on to my new Araucaria Flow hive now. I’ve been looking at paints to protect the new hive and Behr paint gets really good ratings from what I read. The problem is I don’t know which to chose out of these two paints.

First is the BEHR ULTRA Exterior Semi-Gloss Enamel paint and primer in one. Suppose to be a top of the line, long lasting, exterior paint.

Next is the BEHR PREMIUM Solid Color Waterproofing Stain & Sealer. This 100% acrylic formula seals out the elements, and the sun’s harmful UV rays, for up to 10 yrs. on decks and up to 25 yrs. on fences and siding.

I’ll be painting my hive white because of the high heat we have down here in south Mississippi. And because just about every hive I’ve ever seen in this area is white for that reason I’m sure.

We also have high humidity to deal with also. So any thoughts or ideas on my choices here will be much appreciated.

Thanks, foots

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Great choice. Just let it dry for a month before you put bees in it. :wink:

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Either paint sounds like a good choice but that brand isn’t available in Australia. I have been using acrylic (plastic water clean up) for decades and in that time it has become a much better product. When I paint a new hive I give it 3 good thick coats 24 hours apart and give it a week to fully dry and fume off then I put it to use.
Paint the outside of the hive, leave the inside unpainted but make sure you do the top and bottom edges where rain water can sit and become an issue with mold and rotting of the timber.
Cheers

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Hi Dale,

Both of those will work well. Give it two good coats with plenty of time to dry well after each coat.

You’ll only need to paint the outside of the hive - the inside should be left natural for the bees.

Good tips from Peter there also.

Don’t forget to post some photos if you decide to get a bit creative :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Going to get started tomorrow, hopefully. Not sure of which one I’ll chose yet, but good to know either one will work for this. Again thanks.

foots

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Hey foots, don’t get too bogged down on paint mate. New beekeepers tend to overthink the paint that goes on their hive - I sure did!

My advice is simple: choose a light colour if your’e in a hot climate, which you are doing.

Just use any quality exterior grade water based paint. Ignore any warranty they advertise, it’s just a marketing gimmick (read the fine print for warranty).

The most important thing is to apply the paint according to manufacturer’s recommendation. If they say one coat of undercoat and two top coats - do that. Some self priming paints need three coats, so do that. If you want to go overboard, give an extra top coat. I do.

@Peter48’s advice to paint the edges is great, so do that too. To stop the boxes sticking together after the paint cures, smear some show wax polish (or similar wax) on the edges.

You will soon find out that hives don’t stay looking like new for a long time… no matter what paint you use.

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Thanks for the feedback Zzz… Got it!

Just wanted to say that I liked your choice of the Behr paint as it was one of the top performers in an independent long term Consumer Reports test. That is why I picked it. :wink:

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Dawn_SD, you used the the Ultra right? And how long?

I used Tung Oil on my hives because mine were cedar. However, my back doors are painted with the Ultra, yes. About 3 years so far, and they still look new. :blush:

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Great!, that’s good to hear. Yes I can’t wait to get this hive built an painted. Again, thanks for the info.

foots

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Personally I won’t use enamel paint on a hive. Enamel sets very hard (it’s a nicer finish, great for doors and windows) but it tends to chip a lot more with the hive tool.

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Totally agree with not using enamel paint for the same reason. I use what might be termed a second string paint, not the well known brand names. Actually it is a paint made for white picket fences and the like, it is about 30% cheaper than the known brands. I put an extra coat of paint on and get 6 to 8 years before it needs a re-coat. I also use plastic paint for its fast drying time, I’m always playing catch-up with bee gear, I always have spares of everything but never enough.
You are right about the warranty, if it fails the manufacturer will say the error was in the application of the paint.
Cheers

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Just to add to that great advice do paint both sides of all the inspection panels and the key entry panel. Otherwise swelling will occur and then they are hard to remove. The bees have no contact with those areas.
Good luck

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You did ask a beekeeping question so I’ll give you some different advice that I received.

Paint inside and out the box will last longer and clean up easier.

There is no benefit in moisture control to leaving just the inside unpainted, it doesn’t “wick” through the outside painted side.

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It would be a good idea to use interior grade paint for the interior of the hive, because they have a lot less VOCs.

Personally I would never paint the inside because I do not find it is needed. The bees cover the entire surface of the inside of the hive with wax. At least my bees do - I just swapped a brood box and I was amazed by the wax coating inside. Before use, I just brush some melted beeswax in the corners to prevent moisture penetrating the joints, and that’s about it, the bees do the rest.

I do paint the inside of the roof though.

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My strategy for Araucaria (hoop pine) is to treat it with copper naphthenate before letting it dry out, before giving the boxes 3 coats of paint inside & out. My bees have no problem whatsoever with that treatment & I know my boxes wont rot anywhere.

Even by just painting the outside, as well as the top & bottom edges, during prolonged wet periods, water will make it’s way to the unpainted areas through capillary action & therefore start the rot process.

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Hiya Jeff, can you copper naphthenate painted hives?

Pretty sure you can’t, unless you sand back to bare timber. It has to be absorbed into the wood fibres.

I can’t find Copper Naphthenate anymore, Bunnings used to sell it in spray form, now they only supply Zinc Naphthenate, and I don’t know much about it.

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Hi @skeggley, the same as @Zzz said, sand back to bare timber which is what I do with old boxes that haven’t been treated, before I repair them.

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