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Pine flow hive paint/stain suggestions


Does anyone have any suggestions for a weatherproof stain/sealant for the pine flow hive. I do not want to paint it a color just maintain the natural wood


I have been using Intergrain stains on my hives, but Cabots or Sikkens are also very good. Just make sure they are water-based and U.V. resistant. I have found Ultradeck to be particularly good. Tung Oil has been used on many a hive however your timber will go dark as moisture breaks through the surface depending on where you live and the humidity but you will be lucky to get a year out of it. Just make sure whatever you decide on that you apply at least one coat prior to assembling your hive so that the treatment is applied into the joints. Painting the inside of the hive is not necessary.

Linseed vs Tung on a Flow Hive 2 Araucaria?

the other option is dipping in hot wax- it’s not easy to do as such- but perhaps you could find a local beekeeper or hive supplier who does it. I built my own dipper- but it wouldn’t be worth all that effort for a single hive:


I’ve got both wrc and pine hives and the wrc is almost a year old and certainly needs a refresh of tung oil. I was reluctant to use stain on the pine hive because of the harsh tropical weather so I’ve painted them with exterior water based house paint. The problem I had with the pine hives is that they are so accurately laser cut, that a coat of paint on any of the viewing and access window joints means they have to be trimmed or else left untouched and im not sure they’ll last well.I’ve got another pine hive to assemble and I might try #Rodderick decking stain idea and see how well it weathers.


Be careful as the vast majority of exterior paint/varnishes available from hardware stores contain anti-fungal and anti-borer additives. I avoid anything which is designed to kill or repel anything.
I agree that tung oil will require more coats. A decent quality water based coating should last 7-10 years or more


Hi Rodderick. I’m looking to use UltraDeck on my Flow Hive, although I haven’t assembled it yet. (We had some UltraClear at home which I was going to use until I realised the UltraDeck was way more suitable.) When I was in the store, the paint guy said that it would probably need to be reapplied every year though - just wondering what your experience is? I was surprised, I thought it would last more than a year… and when it comes to re-application, is it ok to just paint it on while the bees are in there? As I’ll only have one hive, I’m not sure how I will manage it if I need to move the bees out first. (Btw if I sound like a total newbie, it’s because I am one.)

Also noticed the recommendation to put a mould prevention layer in wet/humid environments (which means us - in SEQ on a mountain, we get a lot of mould). But I don’t know if it’s ok to put an anti-mould treatment on the outside of a beehive!? Neither did the paint people…

I’d really love to know what your experience is. :slight_smile: Thanks!


Hi Wynne, the Ultra deck on my hive is already two years old and still looking good, it’s meant for hard wearing surfaces and is not an oil. Oils need to be re-applied yearly.
As for painting with bees in the hive, I wouldn’t recommend they get pretty stroppy. Why not shift them into another box temporarily, chances are you going to need one at some later stage anyway. It’s swarming season here in Sydney and I’ve been chasing my bees all over the neighborhood these last few days, just when you thought you have them figured out. I am now the proud owner of 10 more colonies than I had last week. :scream:


Thanks Rodderick, for some reason I didn’t see your reply until now. My other half is an architect and has a Dulux rep who he called on my behalf; they also said it depends on wear/exposure but we could expect to get a couple of years out of it before having to recoat (no need to sand it first, just cleaned with a pressure hose is ok, and definitely don’t use the Reviva - as recommended for decking - as it would be toxic for the bees). I guess that gives me a couple of years to find myself some back up boxes. :slight_smile: I ended up buying a tinted version so I hope it looks ok on the hoop pine. Assembly is this week! :honeybee:


Hi Wynnie, this is a faux wood look on monterey pine boxes. Brown exterior water based paint. Bit of fun!


Hi Dan, this looks like a much simpler and easier option but I do really prefer the real deal to faux anything :stuck_out_tongue: But ask me in a year or two, I’ll probably wish I had just painted it! (I also bet my care for aesthetics will probably have an inversely proportional relationship to the number of hives I end up with…) lol


For anyone who might be interested in the final outcome here is how it turned out :slight_smile:


I wished I never used ultra deck on my pine hives. Water seeps in at every join. You can see the moisture creeping into the timber just after 6 months.
Dulux primer and dulux premium water based house paint lasts for me. Looks as new and the paint seals all cracks.