Non paint Flow hive finishing

Can anyone recommend an appropriate non paint exterior surface finish please.

We’re wanting to retain the natural look and grain of the wood.


Hello and welcome!

What type of wood is your hive? I am assuming cedar if you’re attracted to the wood’s natural appearance…

I’d recommend hot wax frying/dipping!

Other natural finishes you’ll see discussed are tung oil and deck stain.

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Thank you and yes to the Cedar, I appreciate the reply, I don’t have the capability to hot wax dip. I’ve seen tung oil locally so will take s look at that. Do you know if boiled linseed oil is safe and effective…?

The oils will need to be reapplied every 6-12months.

Ian I see you are in the US it is likely someone will offer a service to wax dip the hive. Asking around the local bee supply and groups will likely find someone. Wax dipping would give you 15+ years before needing to redo.

The only other option is to use a mat varnish. This should last 5-10ths between application.

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Great feedback thank you. We start a beginner beekeeping course in a few weeks, and will ask when we start.

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Thank you both for the feedback, I found someone close by in Tappahannock Va who offers hot wax dipping. Great result thank you.


If you have the time it would be good to see the process and end result in some pictures