What paint/oils to use to protect new cedar Flow hive

Hi I’m new to bee keeping and have just bought a Flow Hive 2. What do other keepers suggest I use to protect the hive? It is made of cedar and I’m unsure which oil to use on it e.g. linseed, tung etc. Would appreciate any suggestions please.

Hi Jan
There’s loads of info here on the forum on hive protection etc. Some down to personal preference.
I’ve recently used Pure Tung Oil / Citrus Turpene in a 50:50 blend, then finished with a coat or two of 100% Tung Oil on my FH2.
The Citrus Turpene initially provides the penetration needed to draw the mix into the wood.
I personally wanted to bring out the natural look of the wood grain with the added protection of the oil.
Both products are bee friendly and bearing in mind you only need to coat the outside of your brood boxes and super.
For the roof I used Safe - Way Premium Wood Stain (beehive safe).
I’ve included a few photos of before and after treatment.
I hope this helps towards your choice and is useful to you as you enjoy building your hive.



Hello Nick,

Many many thanks for your informative and speedy reply. I found the info most helpful. As a newbie to beekeeping there is so much info to read and absorb. We’ve already had a lot of negative response when we say we are using a Flowhive but we feel we have to move with the times and give these new products and ideas a chance! We shall see if we’ve made the right decision in due course :wink:


What beautiful results, @nickg7!


Hello there @Magpie40 and welcome! I’m excited for you to have your first Flow hive :blush::+1:

Sounds like you’re diving into beekeeping headfirst and I wish you all the best. I did the same a few years ago, and have learned so so much here on this forum - so please stay around and ask as many questions as you need to.

Sorry to hear you’re getting negativity about the Flow system. Sad to say that many of us have. Much of the criticism seems to be due to misunderstanding and believing negative hype. I also wonder if some of this gets inadvertently reinforced when an experienced beek questions a new beek about it, and the poor new beek doesn’t quite have enough basic beekeeping knowledge to put the questions into proper context. Those of us who have kept bees for years and have used the Flow successfully can help with that.

Anyway - stand your ground and be proud as a Flow owner and fresh new beekeeper! :rainbow::sunglasses::honeybee:


I also used Tung oil Jan, for the same reason as Nick did; to bring out the grain and colour. Over time the side that is exposed to full sun will fade (maybe not in England:)) but it’s simple to add another coat later on.

If you want to use oil to retain the timber look Tung oil is a good as any. Only paint it on the outsides and I recommend doing the top and bottom edges of the boxes to give better protection to the timber. I would also paint the hive roof with a few coats of white acrylic paint. Doing that will stop mold growing on the outside of the roof and it won’t need any attention for a few years. Linseed oil is best left in the can :grinning:
Ignore the negativity, it usually comes from people who haven’t got any personal experience with a Flow Hive. I have two in my apiary and 10 langstroths. While I did have some initial issues with my first extraction it is now a smooth job and just needs taking my time and not trying to rush. It really is an easy procedure.
You will feel at times you are ‘out of your depth’ but there are lot on the forum who have gone before you and only to happy to help with good advice.


Beautiful! I’m trying to achieve the same effect as the hive featured here… your finish looks similar, would you guess it’s 50:50 tung oil/citrus? Ty in advance

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Perhaps @Freebee2 or @KieranPI can comment on what Flow used, and whether it was Pine or WRC?


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If you can find someone to wax dip the hive components locally that is the best treatment for longevity. Here is one we had done for the training apiary.

Just assembled

Super being done, with stand in foreground

3 years on, right of photo and not the best photo I’ve every taken (I’ve just bought some more waxed dipped pine supers to replace the painted ones, you can see one above the yellow and blue supers). The two “natural” looking pine supers next to it were treated with lanoguard, which we need to reapply every 6-12 months.


Wow, thanks Adam, looks beautiful :star_struck: