Painting degraded Poly Hive

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pargyle

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Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
I've been fortunate ? to have been given a Paynes Poly hive and 6 supers. Same as my usual hives. It came from a beekeeper that starved her bees in her first winter five years ago and never got back into it. She cleared the bees, removed the wax and sealed the hive up and it sat under a tree in her garden ever since. I did her a favour in return and got her petrol mower started (cleaned air filter and put some oil in - had about the same amount of maintenance as the hive and supers !)

When I saw it from a distance it looked like it have been painted black .. closer inspection showed it was actually covered in black mould, mildew or whatever from the tree above.

Inside was black as well, a couple of small signs of wax moth tracking but nothing to get excited about. The frames are probably bonfire material as they are black(ish) as well.

For want of a better method (and for those about to say - you shouldn't have done that - it's too late - I did it !) I took my power washer to it.

It's come up clean (inside and outside) but it's clear now that it has been washed that the unpainted exterior has suffered from UV, the algae and the weather generally. The surface is rough and has lost all its colour. There's no loose granules of poly generally - there was a bit in a couple of places - and it's structurally very sound. Just not the smooth surface of a new Paynes hive .. more like a fish box.

What I was thinking of doing was just giving it a coat or two of paint in the same way I do all my new hives, a coat of propolis varnish inside and it's a very serviceable spare hive. There's a few areas that might need a bit of filling but I don't think it's worth the effort of filling and rubbing down all the exterior surfaces - I'd be at it for a week.

I always paint my poly hives from new so I've no experience of painting degraded hives ..

Anyone got any better ideas ?
 

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Looks pretty good to me, I would think a thick gloss or just an extra coat or 2 to fill in the grain/granules
 
Wow Philip!
That’s brilliant
Yes a couple of coats of Cuprinol and a dose of your propolis wash and they will be good to go.
Now for more bees :D
 
Anyone got any better ideas ?
You could let us have them and we would look after them, we would give you a jar of honey or two :)
Seriously nice result, not even slightly jealous :)
just a few coats of paint? as our friend that had our first nuc waiting for a swarm last year and kept it outside for the year untreated and have found with the dulux weathersheild some colours cover/fill better than others, and you can find some of their discontinued colours on special.
 
Wow Philip!
That’s brilliant
Yes a couple of coats of Cuprinol and a dose of your propolis wash and they will be good to go.
Now for more bees :D

More bees ? 8 colonies (7 she can count) is a tad over the level considered as reasonable grounds for divorce as it is - I got into enough trouble bringing the freebee boxes home and cleaning them in the middle of the back lawn was probably not my best idea ...

But ... there's a plan afoot which may require the newly refurbished hive ...

I wish I'd taken a photo of the boxes before cleaning them and one of me afterwards ... I looked more like a chimney sweep than a beekeeper !
 
the propolis varnish you speak of!
Is that a homemade varnish using propolis or is it something to try and prevent its buildup?

I make my own .. just propolis and hive scrapings dissolved in meths .. I paint the interior of new hives and it leaves a finish close to what the bees do themselves and it leaves s lovely hive smell once the meths have evaporated.. just a few hours usually. I think it gives the bees a bit of a start.
 
I make my own .. just propolis and hive scrapings dissolved in meths .. I paint the interior of new hives and it leaves a finish close to what the bees do themselves and it leaves s lovely hive smell once the meths have evaporated.. just a few hours usually. I think it gives the bees a bit of a start.

It’s invaluable in bait hives too
 
I find Hammerite paint is great: bonds with the poly..
 
Do you thin it out at all or just use it straight ?

Use it straight.. My poly hive painted with it (Green Hammerite Garage Door paint) looks just like new and it is 5 years old . The bonding makes for a very durable finish...Apart from having to touch up bits I have scraped with a hive tool, it will not need repainting for another 5? 10 years.. No sign of fading like water based paints...
 
I make my own .. just propolis and hive scrapings dissolved in meths .. I paint the interior of new hives and it leaves a finish close to what the bees do themselves and it leaves s lovely hive smell once the meths have evaporated.. just a few hours usually. I think it gives the bees a bit of a start.

Fantastic, Thank you. i had never heard of it before and was wondering what it was and whats it use was.
 
Well .. it came up better than I thought. The roof and brood box seem to have suffered less degradation than the supers .. I wonder if the supers are a slightly less dense poly ?

Either way .. supers finished with Next Garden Paint - French Grey. Bought for a fiver a tin when they discontinued it (2.5 litres.. great bargain). Brood box in B&Q Garden Colours .. Anthracite. Damaged tin ... £2 for a litre.

They've both covered well .. two coats on each.

The surface is still a little rough to the touch but .. it's a freebie ... the brood box, floor and roof will make a spare hive. The supers I'm probably going to swap with the supers I have on the top of all my hives with insulation in them .. use the ones currently used for insulation as supers and the freebie ones in their place.

Beginners beware ... paint your poly hives before you use them.
 

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Use it straight.. My poly hive painted with it (Green Hammerite Garage Door paint) looks just like new and it is 5 years old . The bonding makes for a very durable finish...Apart from having to touch up bits I have scraped with a hive tool, it will not need repainting for another 5? 10 years.. No sign of fading like water based paints...

I think the formulation of Hammerite has changed during the last 5 years; it's certainly not the stuff with the unique odour and finish it was.
 
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