Stained and Varnished Hives

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Joined
Apr 9, 2023
Messages
61
Reaction score
37
Location
Constantine, MI USA
Hive Type
Langstroth
Number of Hives
6
Good morning everyone!

I am interested in staining and varnishing hives to have a more original wood look. Has anyone done this before?

What are some pros and cons of using stain and outdoor varnish instead of regular paint as many use in my community?

Also, would it be a possible health concern for the bees?

I have unpainted assembled Langstroth hive boxes.
 
Stain/preserver… don’t varnish you’ll just be giving yourself a world of pain😂 and whatever you use if it’s on the outside or just internal edges, provided a period to dry I’ve had no issues with multiple products.
 
Good morning everyone!

I am interested in staining and varnishing hives to have a more original wood look. Has anyone done this before?

What are some pros and cons of using stain and outdoor varnish instead of regular paint as many use in my community?

Also, would it be a possible health concern for the bees?

I have unpainted assembled Langstroth hive boxes.
What wood are the boxes made from?
 
What is the issue with varnish?
Rather like paint I’d suggest it would trap moisture in. I don’t paint mine but have picked some up over the years and they are the first to rot.
It takes twice as long to apply properly as a stain/preserver. You can also dip stains if you wish.
When it’s time to re coat they will need work to prep. Stained boxes just need a brush off.
I thought in the US the wax dipping was popular! Surely this would maintain the natural look and last?
 
I have used danish oil with success in the past.
Wouldn't bother with varnish much like paint it will flake deteriorate after time and need sorting out.
 
Rather like paint I’d suggest it would trap moisture in. I don’t paint mine but have picked some up over the years and they are the first to rot.
It takes twice as long to apply properly as a stain/preserver. You can also dip stains if you wish.
When it’s time to re coat they will need work to prep. Stained boxes just need a brush off.
I thought in the US the wax dipping was popular! Surely this would maintain the natural look and last?
Thanks a lot!

Wax dipping maybe is popular but I have never heard of it in my area.

So not just a wood finish stain but a oil stain/preserver is what your referring to? We treated our porch with "Australian Timber Oil" (just a fancy name for common preservative oils). I think that may work since it will not trap in moisture but resists water, mildew, and UV.
 
I build my own hives from red cedar and just re sanded the boxes after ten years outside and re oiled with boiled linseed oil. They look new again so i will do them again in another ten years. That is three years in the UK and the rest of the time here in France.
 
Thanks a lot!

Wax dipping maybe is popular but I have never heard of it in my area.

So not just a wood finish stain but a oil stain/preserver is what your referring to? We treated our porch with "Australian Timber Oil" (just a fancy name for common preservative oils). I think that may work since it will not trap in moisture but resists water, mildew, and UV.

As per Ian's comments above about wax dipping. These guys wax dip in Michigan for $4 for the whole hive body including lid and floor. For 2023 they say wax dipping was April 8th, so you've missed that unless they do more...but worth checking as that is the best way to go. You can see the photo there of the wax dipped pine.

https://www.rexapiary.com/services-6
 
As per Ian's comments above about wax dipping. These guys wax dip in Michigan for $4 for the whole hive body including lid and floor. For 2023 they say wax dipping was April 8th, so you've missed that unless they do more...but worth checking as that is the best way to go. You can see the photo there of the wax dipped pine.

https://www.rexapiary.com/services-6
Thanks!
 
I stain all wood. Lasts well.
Varnish peels after a few years.
 
If I remember correctly Murray dips his hives
 
As per Ian's comments above about wax dipping. These guys wax dip in Michigan for $4 for the whole hive body including lid and floor. For 2023 they say wax dipping was April 8th, so you've missed that unless they do more...but worth checking as that is the best way to go. You can see the photo there of the wax dipped pine.

https://www.rexapiary.com/services-6
I checked about the waxing and I think I will wait till next year to try it on their dipping date. I will probably try to have them do as much as I can at the same time since they are over a 2.5 hour drive away from me.

Thanks again for the resource!
 

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