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barry 

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hi all
getting my first hive at the weekend and once its built i will need to protect it. what to use? i dont think its red cedar but is timber not ply. cuprinol have had to change thier formula due to europe and have not tested it yet so will not say if bee safe. have been told linseed oil but wondered how long that would last. did read an old thread where sadolin was used.your advice and opinions would be most appreciated.
 

VEG 

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Cuprinol clear wood preserver and then cuprinol ducksback fence paint. Used this the last 3-4 seasons and not done any harm. You will get a lot of different answers on this one.
 

Brosville 

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Food-grade boiled linseed (Rustin's) with some beeswax melted into it - applied hot! Fresh coat once a year - waterproof, non toxic, smells gorgeous, looks good, and is cheaper than 'orrible chemicals.......:)
 

Frithgar 

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I know that in the U.S. painting the outside of hives is popular, it doesn't matter what paint you use so long as you leave it outside for a week to dry and let the fumes escape etc.

Here in the UK painting seems to be frowned upon so I would go with cuprinol or something like, although I would say that any chemical preservative or paint shouldn't be applied whilst the bees are inside, do it when you've removed the items, then air them for a week before putting back onto the hive.
 

Nellie 

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On the recommendation of others, I've started to use Cuprinol Shades another water based wood coat.

Usual deal about painting outsides only and giving it plenty of time to dry out thoroughly before letting bees near it.
 

madasafish 

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Cheap and nasty rape oil (sub £1 Tesco) plus melted candlewax or beeswax.

Why spend money when it's not needed?
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
how about the Cuprinol Sprayable Fence Treatment or Ronseal Sprayable & Brushable Fence Life?

both of these appear to be wax based wood coatings.....

no warnings on the labels about not being safe to use.....

Forest Oak brought a manky old national BB up a treat, just wondering if it's ok to use on "good" equipment?
 

Moonrocker 

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I'm also a new beekeeper this year. The hive is 18mm birch ply Dartington.

Most paint manufacturers seem to suggest a waiting period of 6-12 weeks before putting bees into the painted box. I didn't want to do that so in the end I went for the Beehive Paint sold by Thorne's. No solvents. We'll see how well the finish lasts through the winter.
 

Dewin Dwl 

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CreoCote (not creosote!): Only on outer surfaces and a little way onto the box-edges (ie where you can see rain getting to) but needs a couple of weeks airing/weathering before putting in service. Not sexy but cheap, with a gallon doing a hell of a lot of surface.
My mentor uses this approach, he's kept dozens of hives this way for decades (even in creosote days!) and produces loads of honey very successfully. Hence I trust it as a method.
 

oliver90owner 

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Frithgar,

Most UK wooden hives are cedar and don't need paint. Most North American hives are...?

I am thinking 'not cedar' and therefore need a surface coating of some sort?

Plywood in the UK will need to be UV/water protected or the outer layers will delaminate/deteriorate; most softwoods would rot fairly quickly in the UK climate.

I think that may be the difference between the UK and North America, nothing other than practicality.

Regards, RAB
 

sahtlinurk 

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i am using any cuprinol paint which says harmless to pets... have painted even when bees in the hive. didn't notice any problems afterwards. Regarding linseed and wax how much wax goes to 1 liter of linseed oil?

Cheers,
Lauri
 

milkermel 

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i am using any cuprinol paint which says harmless to pets... have painted even when bees in the hive. didn't notice any problems afterwards. Regarding linseed and wax how much wax goes to 1 liter of linseed oil?

Cheers,
Lauri
You beat me to it lauri I was going to ask the same question! my first hive was covered with cuprinol shades as oked at the time for bees ( I tripple checked) But love the idea of the oil/beeswax option seems a better idea than making a few candles from the little bit I had last year would rather reuse for my couple of new hives
 

SixFooter 

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I have cedar hives and plywood nucs. The hives are left untreated and the nucs painted on the outside with primer,undercoat and coloured gloss. I was laughed at when I told someone this at our local assoc. Apparently using ordinary paint like this is outrageous.

I dont like the woodstains and I cant see any evidence that gloss paint harms the bees in any way.
 

admin 

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I dont like the woodstains and I cant see any evidence that gloss paint harms the bees in any way.
How many Lagstroth hives in the usa are painted with gloss paint.

I now await someone to tell us that Gloss paint causes CCD.:toetap05:
 

susbees 

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You beat me to it lauri I was going to ask the same question! my first hive was covered with cuprinol shades as oked at the time for bees ( I tripple checked) But love the idea of the oil/beeswax option seems a better idea than making a few candles from the little bit I had last year would rather reuse for my couple of new hives
One part wax to twenty of linseed. Rustins boiled is food grade...though their online datasheet doesn't say so. It's also not so readily available. We buy ordinary, bring it to the boil (slowly - watch it!) then add to the gently melted wax.

We've used it on four HTBH, two nuc HTBH and five marine ply National nucs this year. Everything else is, thankfully, cedar or ancient cedar ;). It DOES like a patch of breezy warm weather to cure it.
 

m100 

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I dont like the woodstains and I cant see any evidence that gloss paint harms the bees in any way.
It's not the gloss paint, it's the fact that with gloss paint the wood gets saturated with moisture on the inside because of respiration and the moisture doesn't have any means of escape. Bees can cope with cold, but hate the damp, the open mesh floor goes some way to reducing the impact but the wood will gradually get wetter and wetter. Drop the temperature over winter and that moisture becomes ice, the water expands, the wood splits, the paint falls off.

You can always use a microporous gloss paint.
 

oliver90owner 

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Not sure about totally waterproof paints; If water does get behind the surface coating things may start to rot out of sight.

Ply, I think, really needs some UV protection as the outer veneer can be affected and delaminate.

Regular linseed and wax seems a good combination as long as you know the provenance of the wax (your own) and some addition, to reduce light transmittance, might be good. Not tried it myself as 'anything goes' as a light filter. One of the Dartingtons is pink(!), the other brownish.

Regards, RAB
 

SixFooter 

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How many Lagstroth hives in the usa are painted with gloss paint.

I now await someone to tell us that Gloss paint causes CCD.:toetap05:
What about thymol, fumidil b, acetic acid, oxalic acid, formic acid, lactic acid, and pdb.

I was expecting a lecture on carcinogenic chemicals and VOCs present in gloss paint.
 

m100 

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I was expecting a lecture on carcinogenic chemicals and VOCs present in gloss paint.
No doubt the resident eco warrior will be along shortly to inform us why we should be painting our hives with crushed beetle extract at midnight under a full moon rather than use something that lines the pockets of big chem.
 

SixFooter 

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It's not the gloss paint, it's the fact that with gloss paint the wood gets saturated with moisture on the inside because of respiration and the moisture doesn't have any means of escape. Bees can cope with cold, but hate the damp, the open mesh floor goes some way to reducing the impact but the wood will gradually get wetter and wetter. Drop the temperature over winter and that moisture becomes ice, the water expands, the wood splits, the paint falls off.

You can always use a microporous gloss paint.

I'm not planning to use them over winter, so I'll store them indoors to dry. I've a couple not treated yet and tbh I've bought some microporous paint to use next. I go to a paint shop and buy the damaged/returned tins of gloss for very little and just get whatever they have on offer.
 

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