The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Hive box painting

bee box painting

It took me several boxes to figure out this 5 gallon bucket method.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Paint? 1 part beeswax to 20 parts boiled linseed oil. Wondering when you're going to transition to top bar hives.
Comment by Dean Fri Jun 25 18:30:35 2010

Some folks don't even paint their boxes, and I was tempted to give that a shot. They say that the unpainted wood lasts longer than painted because it can breathe better. Still, we had that can of paint in the barn leftover from the previous boxes, so paint we did.

One of these days I'll probably try top bar, but we had so much free Langstroth equipment that I couldn't imagine letting it go to waste! And I really do enjoy the modular nature... Maybe this winter I'll read up on top bar and be sold on the concept.

Comment by anna Fri Jun 25 18:55:58 2010
My father had several hives of bees years ago, and he always painted his hives white to help protect the hives from excessive heat. With you living farther south I would think that you would want to paint your hives white.
Comment by zimmy Sat Jun 26 13:39:52 2010
I've read various studies on bee box color, and they all end up concluding that it's six of one and half a dozen of the other unless you live in an extremely hot or cold climate. White hives do help with summer heat, but dark hives help with winter cold. If anything, our bees have a harder time with the latter than the former --- after all, bees aim for keeping the hive's internal temperature at about 93 degrees Fahrenheit. If we saw them on the outside of the hive fanning a lot, then we'd think they were too hot, but we only see that now and then.
Comment by anna Sat Jun 26 14:41:20 2010

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