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WR Cedar roofs- paint or oil?


So my hives have turned up and I’ve finished building one of them, except for the roof.
For the people who have oiled them, (pure Tung oil) how do you think they’ve fared?
I’ve been looking on YouTube and I’ve seen a mixed bag, some have retained colour and some have greyed looking like old fence palings.
I realise wrc naturally greys when untreated but I do like the oiled with colour look…but I’m lazy and don’t want to have to reapply every few months.


Mine is sealed with Tung Oil and has weathered worse (greying) than the super. If you don’t like the greying and don’t want to seasonally reapply, paint. Water based. Ideally paint with no fungicide.

I’ve always put 2-3 coats of tung oil, with a day or two between coats.


I have painted all of my new hives with two coats of acrylic white paint. The hive will not heat up like an oiled hive and that is important in my climate. I also have more to do with my bee time than oiling the hives every few months.
I used a white fencing paint from a Mitre10 that has no bad chemicals added, it touch dries in 10 to 20 minutes and re-coat after 20 minutes, it does it for me.


Where you are I would paint the whole hive and roof white to try and keep the it cooler.



No thanks, if I’d wanted a fully painted hive I’d have bought pine.


Thanks for the reply, very helpful.


You can use a waterproof clear paint, sealer or stain. This will keep the hive looking natural, and also make it waterproof.
You can also use some sealer along the ridges to seal any gaps.


…and don’t forget to ensure the ends of the supers are sealed too, especially in humid environments, to help minimise the potential for warping.


The past roofs have been the weakest link. Mine are painted for strengthening the roof and so far so good. Im glad I painted them as it takes the brunt of the sun, rain, snow etc. Plus I can always repaint it, touch it up etc. After the elements of sun, sap from trees, humidity, bird droppings it cleans up easier. Many paint the top so the bees can identify the hive in multiple flow hive situations. Check out the new FH2 videos they have painted the roofs. :smiley:


I have heard this however if I was to move a hive a hive width away from the original location confusion reigns so I’m not sold on the colour theory. :wink:


I think the bees see color. They frequently check out my nail polish color and I’m no :cherry_blossom: flower. :grinning:


So who is the good looking girl in you icon petal.:grin:


My Flow Hive 2 is due out for delivery next month and i was wondering which way to go when it comes to preparing the hive roof. I’ve come up with this product - https://www.thorne.co.uk/hives-and-bees/beehive-protection?product_id=7189 - which is available in the UK.
My personal choice is to keep the grain and the look of the timber as well as giving good weatherproof protection.
Maybe, this type of product would be of interest to others also.
I’ll be using Tung Oil on the brood box etc.
Just my preference over painting when back in the day i used to repaint my WBC hive lifts brilliant white twice a year or more to keep them looking fresh!!
All the best…Nick


Definitely I would paint the roof. The boxes weather well but the roof just cops too much of everything, rain and sun. I’d also consider painting the base as it can get more damp.

And: I’d insulate the roof with a thin layer of aluminum flashing over the a frame- and drill some vent holes if there aren’t any vents already.


I’ve already drilled and used used the Dremmel to make the Flow logo a full depth cut with some screen stapled behind it, I figure if the bees don’t like it they’ll seal it.
With the insulation, is that sheet aluminium or the flexible hot water wrap type?


Thanks, that sounds like a great product. I too am a fan of the timber look but while I disagree with calling our climate hot (I’d go for pleasant) we do get a lot of sun so I’ve decided that painting the roofs is my best option.


A good decision to paint the roof, that will make the hive cooler and so more bees can be out foraging rather than in cooling the hive.
I guess some would even say compared to their climate we are in a constant heatwave. But it is all relative, for me our subtropical climate is perfect and as my bees happily forage all year they must agree with me. I love that our climate is consistent, compared to the averages we have a mild and short Winter and not too hot in Summer.
I too like the natural look of timber but have yet to find a better option to white paint for me.


I did mine with a reflective insulation material- it’s blue on one side and silver on the other. It is only paper thin. I think people use it to insulate shed roofs and that type of thing? I think it just helps reflect radiant heat. You can put a layer of it over the a frame before you screw down the roof slats and just screw right through it.


Sounds like a great idea. Thanks


lol I meant that literally! I’m human! :grinning: