I’m guessing it looks a bit like this?
I reckon you could just take the roof off on a nice morning, block the inner cover hole with a brick or wooden block and take the time sanding it nicely, undercoat with good dulux exterior sealer/undercoat and even get a first coat of waterbased exterior paint on that dries enough for the roof to go back onto the hive before night fall.
Equipped with that experience you can make an informed decision on how to deal with the boxes.
The right one is a cedar hive roof that I tung oiled one day, undercoated the next with waterbased sealer/undercoat and painted twice the following day. They hold up beautifully.
I just had this idea that tung oil first nourishes the timber. But that’s just my idea.
Have you tried to clean with anything? I had a roof that looked similar and I gave it a scrub with a solution of napisan ( sodium hypochlorite is the main ingredient I believe) and dried it in the sun. It came up very well. Not like new exactly but so so much better.
Not exactly. Although it is an oil, it doesn’t behave like one in the way we use it. It is actually one of a group of “drying oils”. As it reacts with oxygen from the air, it polymerizes into a kind of tough resin coat. That is why you shouldn’t keep a half-used container of Tung Oil - it will begin to “set” in the bottle, and the remaining liquid portion may not coat evenly or dry properly when you use it. Linseed oil behaves much the same way, but it is my impression that it dries more slowly than Tung oil.
Thanks for the info @Dawn_SD.
The half empty steel bottle of 2 years seems to hold this in check, but the tung mix I made up with turps and kept in a large yoghurt container has certainly set a thick solid skin.
Sorry for the delayed response. I was having trouble loading the photos. Yes, that’s exactly what it looks like!
To be honest @cathiemac, we havent actually tried cleaning it! That may be a good place to start - thank you! I think because we thought it would be damaging the timber we thought best to just paint it, but I think trying to clean it is a good idea - thank you.
Dawn n others gave good advice. Sanding with 200 grit is just lifting the gain n giving it as we call “tooth” to allow the paint to hold better n cleaning up bad areas. Now as for the bees attitude… Who knows ?! . Each n every colony n day might be different. I’d sure keep the suit handy if not “on” !! Keep us posted n a pix or two is nice as well.
Good luck ,
Box costs about $20 and you will need it eventually. Painting a box with bees in it is asking for trouble.
I would say that the black is mold but I certainly would advise against painting over it. Use some cleaning vinegar liberally and it should kill the mold. Don’t paint the roof with it on the hive -sticky feet will try to walk on it. If you want to paint it use something you have around as a temporary roof and paint the roof away from the bees, I bought a quick drying acrylic fencing paint from Mitre 10 in a plastic pail, comes in 2 litre size and two coats gave a very good finish. It comes in white so will help reflect heat from the hive as well…
Hope that helps
A bit of corflute (old realestate sign) or plywood will work as a roof. Just put some rocks on it and the you can play with your roof at your leisure. Don’t use cleaners on your hives while the bees are in it!