Painting/Protecting the bee hives

Like your setup Gayle, looks perfect. Do you have any bee predators in your area. We have all sorts here, lizards, birds, preying mantis, small snakes and frogs. Always on the lookout for who is eating bees today.

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Definately birds are a problem now that their young have hatched. I just set up a concrete owl on one hive hoping it will scare them. I used to find deer tracks all around the hives before I put out the black plastic. Obviously they aren’t predators but I was afraid they would knock over a hive. We have plenty of snakes, possums, raccoons, and coyotes around but they have not bothered the beehives…yet. Knock on wood :slight_smile:

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Painted up a bare box with Tall Earth Eco-Safe Wood Treatment sample sent from Canadian Company Non-toxic VOC-free. 1 lifetime application. Silvery Fox look. Takes 2 weeks to ripen. WIll keep you posted with updates, photos and what we think. :smile:


Excellent! Two weeks is so much better than having to wait months for results. Thanks Andrea!

The hot sun speeds up the process.

LOL then there is no problem here, either. Thanks for the updates.

Here’s a post about bee hive security…

Cedar is not a wood that is typically painted or dipped but usually oiled with natural tung, an environmentally friendly wood finish, which is oil pressed from the tung tree (Vernicia fordii).

Cedar is often found in WBC hives in the UK and occasionally people do paint them, but oiling with a natural waterproofing material such as tung oil is the preferred method

Other options for weatherproofing your hive is to consider are hot oil/wax dips which are popular however more complicated due to the size of the dipping pit needed for each hive body piece.

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Our Bee group use engine oil for coating the hives - they say it is fine with the Bees. Otherwise they said clear Cuprinol is Bee safe

I imagine that what ever tiny lock could be put on, a pair of bolt cutters could take off.

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Our BKA have the hive bases chained to a concrete blocks - I asked why and they said Badgers. It would be possible to put a chain and lock system on that, but will only keep some thieves at bay not the really determined ones.
Only when out in the field it could be a pain

Have seen a site here in Australia with hives made from marine grade plywood. Looks nice and has some coat of varnish. Would think it would holdup pretty well. Cypress would be nice as well but costly here.

Kelly Beekeeping has some great advice on treating hives

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Can anyone in Western Australia tell me where I can buy pure Tung oil?
I think Bunnings sell it but it’s not the natural pure Tung oil

Hi @Raelene sceneys have pure tung oil and relatively cheap. They have distributers in WA. That’s what I used for my boxes.

Thank you so much @noddyc43, I have searched online and could not come up with anything in WA and the cost of postage from QLD would be very high.

@Raelene they have various distributors in WA. Here is the link.

I would think some of those stores could get it in for you even if they don’t stock it. 1 Litre cost me about $20 from my local paint store.

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I doubt seriously that it matters too much what color the boxes get painted, but white has always been recommended and so that’s what I use. However some used boxes I bought which I will be listing for sale because they are 8 frame and all I use are 10’s, were painted a yellow and blueish purple color and then someone added little fake window and made it look like a house and painted little bees and flowers on it. Found out later the set was owned by a woman. I do think in general there is way too many books on what to do and no sense of adventure in experimenting. As long as the paint you use is non-toxic, I doubt the bees are going to be caring all that much what color you use. I also highly doubt the wrong color will make them pack up and leave either. I have seen boxes painted black with active hives in them and no problems mentioned by the beekeeper.

Not sure if this is been asked and answered before and if so please direct me

I would like to keep the natural wood finish look of my boxes. I saw a YouTube video where a number of beekeepers were applying the tung oil or something like that to their boxes as described above and then applying fiberglass coating, on top of that. It appears to hold up quite well any thoughts?

And naturally this is only on the outside of the box.

Hi Raelene, I initially had the same concern as there was another product listed in the contents for the Bunnings version that looked artificial. If you find a supplier of pure Tung Oil you will see application notes referring to thinning the oil before application- 50/50. Recommended thinner is Citric Terpene (d-Limonese) and is the same extra ingredient on the Bunnings version (supplier Feast Watson). The d-Limonese is made from the skin of mandarines and oranges (so is natural) and you can certainly smell the citric note when applying it.

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