How to Paint Hive Boxes

This is one way to paint hive boxes (or supers). Hang them between two saw horses (like Rusty does at Honey Bee Suite) and paint them:

I don’t have any saw horses, but I managed to improvise something like this:

Painted hive boxes drying.

Here’s the video:

I painted my hives with linseed oil when I first got into beekeeping because I was all hung up on being as natural as I could be. I still like the look of the natural wood, but the linseed oil doesn’t last. I’d have to repaint the hives just about every year if I stuck with linseed oil. I use 100% acrylic latex paint now. The colour isn’t so important, but I picked a dark green so it’ll heat up in the sun on cold days. We get plenty of those in Newfoundland.

A drop or two of paint inside isn’t the end of the world, but paint on the bottom or top edges is not a good idea because it acts like glue and creates some pain in the neck difficulties when removing supers or inner covers, kind of like trying to open an old window that’s been painted shut.

9 thoughts on “How to Paint Hive Boxes

  1. Well, that’s not how I’ve BEEN painting them, but it will be now. Thank you!

    • Those are my last two Beemaid deeps. My table saw is more or less together now. (Almost there, no thanks to the instructions.) I hope by this weekend I can start making my own deeps.

  2. Love your blog! Question for you. I’m an absolute beginner beekeeper and I have the yellow plastic cell foundation that seems like it has a waxy texture on it already, but at my Week 1 inspection it didn’t appear that the bees were even remotely interested. Do you usually add more wax to yours?

    • They may not touch the empty frame for a while if it’s on the outside of the brood nest. I’ve seen full hives that completely ignore the frames on the ends. Some colonies build up and out first instead of out and up.

      When I’m starting from a nuc, I place empty frames between drawn out frames. The bees will go to work on the empty frames in no time then. That’s a safe practice as long there are enough bees to keep the split brood warm (if inserting empty frames splits the brood nest).

  3. I made my first honey super today. Woo-hoo!

    I’m nowhere close to mastering my table saw, and the simple cuts I used are probably the worst type of cut for constructing a honey super, but I don’t care. It’ll never have to live through a Newfoundland winter. So it’s not just good, it’s good enough.

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