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Paint or oil for new Hoop Pine hives?


Hi folks, myself and a few mates have just formed a syndicate and purchased a new Flow Hive.
We are slowly getting everything together, but I was wondering if it is best to seal the hoop pine hive with housepaint or the oil that is used to treat western red cedar on houses.
If it is better to use paint, should it be a lighter colour to keep the hive cooler?


I’m not an expert but my guess is a good outdoor paint will protect hoop pine better than oil. Especially for the roof which cops the sun and weather. No need to paint the interior surfaces. Also yes to a light color.

Another option is to hot wax dip it- if you can find any commercial beekeepers in WA that do hot dipping.

I hot dipped my own hoop pine hives and they are standing up well:


I painted all my hives with white picket fencing paint that is available at a Mitre10 store; it is considerable cheaper than leading brand paints but it needs a couple of thick coats to give good protection. Painting the hive, only on the outside, will last longer before it will need repainting. No undercoating is needed and it is free of any chemicals that could harm your bees. the brushes can be water washed to clean them. Use white paint to keep the hive cool in summer heat.
Hope that helps


Agreed. For pine use paint. Don’t forget to use the paint to seal the open end grain if you’re being meticulous. Also, do NOT paint the inside…

And avoid paint with anti fungal or herbicide additives.


I paint all my hives with pale, left overs I scrounge from friends. Sometimes makes for a colourful hive. The roof should get a really good doing with white paint to reflect as much heat as possible in summer.



Thanks folks. Seems that the white paint is the go. Interesting that you mentioned the anti fungal and herbicide additives SnowflakeHoney. Had not crossed my mind but makes a lot of sense.


That is why I suggested the white picket fence paint, it is a water based acrylic paint with no nasties in it.


As others have mention white or light paint the outside, but also paint or seal the side and rear inspection panels on both sides to prevent the timber swelling. If you don’t the panels will jam sometimes in humid weather. We had to take a little off the edges to make it easy to remove them.