Painting a Beehive – Where & How to Paint


Today I’m hanging out in the garage. And I’m going to be painting my beehive. And i thought I could just share a few tips
on things I’m going to be looking out for. Specifically how to choose your paint and
where to paint. So first off, if you think about a traditional
looking beehive, one that is already finished, not just the bare wood like this, if you think
about the beehives you’ve seen in the past, they’re usually white, right? So think about what the color white does. It reflects heat. Well, up here in Alaska, we have to do the
opposite for our beehives. We want to paint a dark colored stain so it
absorbs the heat because the bees need to stay warm to be happy and to thrive and to
make us more honey. So I picked a dark gray color – it’s actually
going to match my chicken coop. So I went with that. And obviously you want to pick an outdoor
stain or paint. You don’t want to pick something that’s an
indoor paint because the beehive lives outside. Then the second part is where to actually
apply the paint. So you’re only going to paint the outside
of your beehive. You don’t need to paint the inside. The inside of the hive is going to stay natural
wood. Just the natural finish. You’re not going to put any paint on it. The bees prefer a natural wood inside of their
home. So at first, I started taking apart all of
the pieces of the hive. Like, I had my boxes out and my lid out base
out, and I started trying to figure out how I’m going to tilt each of these at the right
angle and how many times am I going to have to flip each piece while each side dries. Then I realized, why don’t I just set it up,
because this is how it’s going to be outside. Then I’ll just paint everything like this. So that’s what I’m going to try. So as I’m getting into this a little more,
I’ve realized that I really need a crappy old paintbrush. Something I can wedge in between corners and
not worry about keeping the pristine of the bristles. And I’ve been using a sponge. And what I’ve been doing is, okay, so the
beehive, all the corners, are just pieces of unfinished wood that are interlaced. Like this. So we’ve got a lot of rough corner ends here. So what I’ve been doing is just getting my
paint brush really saturated, and then just smearing it on. Getting in between the cracks, filling in
all the staple holes. So right now, that looks pretty gross. And this is a stain, so it’s not supposed
to be just slapped on like a paint. So then once I get the corner good, what I
do is I come back with my sponge. And then I smear it out. And you just work the sponge around and kind
of spread it. And that way you’ve filled in all of the rough
ends of the wood so you don’t have any exposed wood that hasn’t been stain treated. And the sponge is doing a really good job
of just spreading out the excess. The excess, uh, stain. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Granted, I am not a professional painter. But some of these spots are just kind of tricky
to get. And it’s not an amazing quality of wood. There are a lot of, well, as I’m painting
this, I keep finding that there are a lot of grooves and little knobs and nicks in the
wood. I mean, this whole thing it held together
kind of by staples. A staple gun. So there are tons of staple gun marks on this
that you want to cover up, too, right? This paint brush combo with a sponge has been
working like a trick for me. And this is all I’m doing. Just going through and taking turns with my
paint brush, then the sponge. Getting the paint brush really saturated. Now over here. I mean, and this beehive is going outside,
right, so I’m not going to be a perfectionist. You know, I just want it to serve a purpose. I want it to look nice, obviously, but above
anything else, it’s serving a purpose. And I’m going to get down here. You can’t really see it, but this is a brood
box and this is a base. So I’m just getting in between the crack. Filling in all the staple holes down here. Now take my sponge. Come back over. Work it in. I’m really digging this color. It’s really nice. I like that you can see all of the natural
grain of the wood. Okay, so that’s it. Now the next side. Alright, I’ll show you where we are so far. Pretty close, right? I don’t have a whole lot left to do. This method seems to be working out pretty
well. So I’m happy with it. Here she is after just the first coat of stain. I think it’s looking good so far. And I just washed out my brush and my sponge. I’m going to find a piece of tin foil to cover
the stain. And we’ll give this a full day or two to dry. Then I’ll come back and do the next coat. So it’s two days later now. I let the first coat of the stain dry out
pretty well. And I was expecting to find that when I lifted
up the different layers, I thought that everything would be kind of stuck together. But it really wasn’t. So anyway, I offset it just to kind of show
you how well this method is working. Really nothing, or very little of the stain
is going inside on the frames, which is what you want. So now that everything is pretty well dry,
I’m just gonna set it back up, line it up. Just the way I actually would if I had bees
in it. Then I’ll do my second coat. Hopefully it goes as well as the first! And this is the final product. It’s totally dry now, a couple days after
the second coat. This is two coats of a semi-transparent stain. Should be getting the bees soon, so hopefully
they like it!

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