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Exterior of Hive Boxes: Paint, Seal, or Leave Natural?

 
John Wolfram
Posts: 632
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Since Jacqueline Freeman is hanging out on the forums, I figured I would ask about paints/lacquers on the exterior of the hive boxes. I recently purchased an unpainted/untreated hive box and am considering whether or not I should paint it, apply some sort of water proofing substance to the exterior, or just leave it natural. Obviously, the interior is going to be left untreated/unpainted/unstained, but I any advice on the exterior would be appreciated. Going through the spiritbee website, it looks like some of Jacqueline's boxes are sealed or stained, some are painted, and some are left untreated. A hive with an untreated exterior would probably bother the bees less, but if the wood breaks down faster than a treated/painted hive, then the gains of leaving the box unpainted may be offset by having to move the hive to new box after a couple of years.
 
Pia Jensen
Posts: 218
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I wonder if it'd be a worthwhile investment to use hardwoods that have lasting characteristics, oak? not sure about Eucalyptus due to it's Allelopathic properties. Best to avoid paint/toxic compounds in bee home?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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IT DEPENDS

Is the hive protected from the weather or out in the open? What kind of wood?

What I did, for a cedar wood hive in the open. I treated the roof (Warre style hive) with linseed oil left the rest natural.

Not the right answer for the harsh summer sun of Kansas. I will be treating the outsides of all the boxes with oil, hopefully as they rotate out of the hives but some will have to be done while lived in. I will probably use waste vegetable oil for all the sides and be replacing the roof panels as most have cracked already. Or building a bee hut.
 
Pia Jensen
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what about treating wood exterior with honey oil?
 
Rob Browne
Posts: 65
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
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I just wipe the exterior with a mixture of warm linseed oil and bees wax. I add a new layer each autumn.
 
Pia Jensen
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Pia Jensen wrote:what about treating wood exterior with honey oil?


lol... okay, my thinking was... using that which the producer has to offer... beeswax - bee oil - along those lines... linseed oil covered with bees wax?
 
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