Paint for feeders

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New Bee
Feb 27, 2010
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Basingstoke, Hants
Hive Type
Number of Hives
3 plus 1 nuc
Making some Ashworth type feeders what us the best paint for the feed area. Was looking to use a White paint but can't seem to locate a polyurethane version.
I am also interested in something suitable to seal feeders. I have watched hedgerow pete's videos on building feeders, frame and milner. In his milner feeder vid he uses polyester/glassfibre resin but in his frame feeder vid he says that the bees didn't like it. I have plenty of this resin but don't want to spoil my feeders by using something the bees dislike. I know it takes several days for the smell of the resin to clear. Perhaps pete could comment? Wax would be a bit of a pain for me to use.
Paint it with bees wax.

I agree place a small piece of wax in the feeder and heat with a gas torch /heat gun when the wax melts run it around the inside to coat lovely job and no mess,
Thanks for replies so far. Have considered the beeswax option but was wanting a White paint option simply as it gives a nice and obvious clean looking option. Want to be able to quickly see that it is clean etc. You know how sell theres with a White paint finish inside.
Why not just paint give it plenty of time to dry and harden.
That's what I want to do Tom but what is the correct paint?
Will straight forward White gloss be the way to go.
Wood, of course 'moves' - it expands and contracts with humidity and temperature. Therefore one needs a flexible coating, unless the structure is very solidly built, which most are not.

I used the bathroom/ceiling polytex stuff from years ago and that has survived being left out in the summer and winter. It was the remains of a bucket of the stuff and had those tiny grains in it to give a texture - good for bees to grip on. I would not recommend 'a couple of coats' of thin surface coating in most cases.

Regards, RAB
That's what I want to do Tom but what is the correct paint?
Will straight forward White gloss be the way to go.

I dont see why not the problem is people rely on the paint to seal the feeder if it is made and glued correctly it should be water tight without the paint. You will need to rough up the surface to give the bees something to grip to you can sprinkle a bit of sand onto the wet paint and when dry paint over again this is a cheap method of creating anty slip paint and no reason why it wont work.
Tom thanks. Agree do not see paint as a joint sealer that will be resolved as you suggest by screws and liberal amounts of PVA. On the grip issue have used sand in varnish before for no slip options on other projects so happy with that Sutherland paint.
Opening this up to the design of the Ashworth type feeder:
is there any specific reason for the outside baffle(s) being vertical and not at an angle thereby giving more grip. I say this because the Brother Adam type has a sloped cone and the two plastic feeders I purchased from Fragile Planet are basically Ashworth type but gave a baffle that is sloped on both sides to allow bees acces to the feed. Observation shows this to work well. I am contemplating trying this on a full size Ashworth will vertical baffles next to the slot with the two outside ones running at an angle into the feed.
Polyurethane paint is readily available at yacht chandlers: almost any colour you like!
Household gloss will soften under longterm immersion in water/syrup.
I wouldn't use PVA as a sealer for the same reason.

The beauty of the wax treatment is you can reseal with a quick blast of hot air. the downside is when you want to repaint.....removing wax involves nasty chemicals.
I have always used Bitumen paint, it is flexible and will not crack at the joints, it is non toxic.
I used standard primer+white gloss (Dulux) last year with no problems. No evidence of softening and the joints all seem intact this year. However, I sealed all my frame feeders with beeswax and think that's a much better option and the one I'll use in the future. As an alternative I've also used melted 'nightlights' spread on with a paintbrush and worked into the joints.


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