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What colour/paint/sealant to use in UK?


I am a newbie and I guess one of the first decisions I need to make is what colour and what type of paint/sealant I should use to protect the hive once it’s assembled? I am in England, so plenty of rain and much less sunshine. Are there any particular types of paint or colours to avoid? Any recommendations gratefully received! :slight_smile:



What kind of hive? If it is a Western Red Cedar Flow hive, you don’t need to paint it at all. You don’t even need to seal it. However, I would. I use Tung Oil 100% pure - not a blend with any chemicals. It preserves the color of the wood. If you don’t do that, the wood weathers to a silver grey, but it won’t rot. Search this forum for “tung oil” for advice on where to get it and how to apply it.

If it is pine, you need to paint it. Any exterior house paint is fine. Most people use a light colour, but you may choose camouflage colouring if you want. Don’t use red or black.

Paint or seal at least 4 weeks before you intend to install the bees, so that the paint/sealant can dry properly in your chilly climate. :slight_smile:

What’s you favorite color? What color of paint do you already have around? It really doesn’t matter.

If you are patriotic like me, being a Pom, maybe you can paint it with a Union Jack. I painted my latest hive to please my German wife. You know what they say, “Happy wife, happy life”

I’ve heard that bees don’t see red and black is the devil to them but don’t tell my Italians, they don’t seem to mind.


Used tung oil on my Flow Hives and painted my other two hives. I live in Seattle, Washington and we get a fair amount of rain. All four seem to be surviving the weater just fine.

Seattle’s weather is very similar to the UK, so this is helpful info. :wink:

Thanks Dawn! It’s a pine one, so I better paint it. It will be at a small urban garden so I am thinking painting it green not to stick out too much - and yes a while in advance of bees moving in :slight_smile:

Many thanks! Been to Seattle, I guess that’s right about the weather - I hope bees don’t mind it too much! :slight_smile:

Thanks! Love pleasing the wife but I’d rather stick to a conservative colour - green/olive I think! :smile: