Natural varnish for hive bodies

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by sheeplady, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2003
    New York State
    I belong to a beekeeping club here in NYS. This month we had a great speaker who uses a lot of unique approaches to beekeeping, all natural and kinder to the bees.
    I will touch on some of his ideas in later posts.
    This one concerns how to paint the hive bodies. Think like a bee. Stay away from man made latex paints.
    When working your hives, one encounters, frames, boxes , etc. stuck together with propolis.The bees produce this propolis to seal up cracks and prevent air/water leaks in their hives. Instead of just scrapping it off, save it. Than add some cheap vodka ( or denatured alcohol) to cover it and let sit a few weeks. Than brush the solution on the hive bodies. It will be a weather resistant finish, looks natural and the bees will be happy. :happy:
  2. Timber

    Timber Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2003
    NE Ohio
    Hello sheeplady

    I, too belong to a bee club that have views of Amish beekeepers. They do paint their hives with latex, and some with oil.
    What one has to consider temperature of radiant heat gain associated with color. Second the hive woodenware should be able to breath to expel internal moisture (honey drying procees). Third is blistering

    Pulling my thread here... with latex paints one has too read the labels. Keeping away of chemicals of mildew resistants and insect resistants added to the paint what many cheap latex paints don't offer. The manufacture latex beehive paints do have a higher solid content.

    Think about the where do wild bees decide to make their nest in people homes and barns. The housing conditions must have been favorable.
    I'm not totally sold on the varnishing yet, Maybe an over hype IMHO.


  3. Randy Rooster

    Randy Rooster Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 13, 2004
    North Carolina
    1 quart of turpentine
    1/2 pint of pine tar
    1 quart of boiled linseed oil
    1/2 pint japan drier

    Put it together and you have a natural varnish that will protect the wood