Waterproofing a new Flow Hive

Hi, I just purchased a new beehive Flow.
I would like to waterproof the hives before putting it outside.
I would prefer to keep the beautiful pale wood color.
Do you know any sealing product, sold in NSW Australia, that would be transparent and food grade ?
My understanding is that we only need to cover the outside and the bees cover the inside, is that right?
Ideally, something durable.
Thank you in advance for your response.

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

It would really help to know what type of wood your purchased when you ordered your hive. Flow offers Araucaria pine or Western Red Cedar. It makes a big difference to which products are suitable to use on it if you want to keep the natural wood appearance. If you aren’t sure, a photo would help. :wink:

Hi Marie
We are in Brisbane. We have a Flow2 Aracuria hive that is 6 months old and used sikkens cetol supernatural which is clear water-based, breathable and waterproof. We coated only the external surfaces paying special attention to the joins. We used regular exterior housepaint for the roof. Summer has been quite wet and the timber seems well protected. just give the boxes plenty of time to dry and gas off any vapour.

It really depends whether you choose a product that needs to be reapplied regularly (6-18months) such as Lanoguard or the oils. A clear external water based deck coat will need a touch up every 10-15 years. Just depends on what you are comfortable doing.

The best option may be to find a local to wax dip your hive it will last even longer between treatments.

No matter which treatment I’d still recommend painting the roof inside and out with a good quality water based paint. If you wax dip your first coat with the paint need to be done when it is hot.

Look forward to seeing whatever you decide to do.


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I like clear deck coating. I used the lifetime sealant by olympic for mine. Love the results.

Hi Marie! Congratulations on your Flow Hive! I was in your shoes last year and tried tung oil first, and then switched to Odie’s Oil. A jar of Odie’s Oil is expensive, but it goes a long way. It only takes one coat and the finish is beautiful.

Tung oil takes forever to cure and you have to sand between coats.

Odie’s oil, on the other hand, takes only one coat — you let it soak in for a little while and then buff it off. And you’re done.

Here’s a picture that shows the difference between the two. In the beginning, I was going to do 2 or 3 coats of tung oil and started with the roof. But I didn’t like it and switched to Odie’s Oil for the rest. Eventually I’m going to sand down the roof and finish it with Odie’s Oil, too.


Hi @claire_c. Thank you for sharing. Is that a cedar flow hive? How many jars of Odie’s would you recommend I buy to cover a whole hive with 2 brood chambers? And do you have a good buffer you can recommend? TIA!

Hi Lillian! Yes, mine is a cedar flow hive. I did a 2 deep hive and super, and still have about 1/3 of the jar left. (I’ll use some of that to redo the roof.) I buffed it with the non-woven hand pads that they have on their site, which are basically the same as you can buy anywhere. I’m really happy with it! Claire

Ordered! Thank you so much!

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just be aware: oiling a cedar hive works fine- but simply oiling an aurucaria or regular pine hive may not last that many years. Cedar is very good outdoors- pine isn’t. Wax dipping is the best way to keep a natural finish for pine hives- the boiling wax penetrates the wood 100% and displaces all water in the wood. I doubt oil penetrates more than a few mm.


I wax dipped my cedar flowhive and have been very satisfied with the results. Still looks very new except for the roof which has faded but is still water repelling.


Hi Claire. Did you get the standard oil or the Super Duper?
Also, which size…9oz/266ml or 32oz/946ml?
Cheers Eddie.

Hi Claire,
The hive looks great. As asked above did you use the plain Odie’s Oil or one of the other types like Super Duper? How’s it looking three months later. Thanks

Hi Outbeck — I used plain Odie’s Oil, and it still looks great. In fact, this weekend I’m going to try Dark Odie’s Oil to seal a medium super that I ordered from BetterBee. It’s pine, but I hope it will blend in well with the cedar. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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Hi Eddie, Sorry I missed your msg. I used the plain Odie’s Oil, and it still looks good! — Claire

Yep, bought standard Odie’s Oil 266ml too. Wood finish looks great on brood and super, plenty remaining for future re-coat. Painted roof with exterior paint. Thanx for your info. Cheers, Ed.


its recomended to pain the gable with sunprof paint that has uv protaction i my self patinted my lang with taubmand sunproof exterior made with uv barrier for sun protection

Thank you for your info. I just ordered a flow hive and purchased the oil you suggested in another’s comments. PS. I was thinking about getting a second brood box. I see you have two. Do you recommend two? My regular Langstroth hive, I have 2 brood boxes. I was going to try the Flow as it comes with just one.

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Hello and welcome to the Flow forum! :blush:

You should treat the Flow hive like a regular Langstroth, it is only the harvesting that is different. If your old hive needs 2 brood boxes, then so will your Flow hive. You may be able to manage with just one, but it might take some careful management and diligent feeding over winter. :wink:

Thanks. I am in central Indiana.
I’m never. I have great mentors and they gave me a hive and I have two brood boxes.

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