Paint Tips For Beekeepers

Beekeepers often tend to be crafty, handy people.  Sometimes it’s due to being frugal, other times because we like to do things ourselves.  One of the things beekeeper’s often find ourselves doing is paint.

We paint hive parts.  We paint hive stands. We paint sheds and honey houses and all kinds of related to beekeeping things.

It’s interesting how often I get asked, especially by those who also know me as a handyman, how to go about painting.  So I offer you some basic tips that might answer some other people’s painting questions.

For example, types of paint and primer.  Nowadays you’ll mostly find paint with primer already mixed in.  It’s nice and can help somewhat reduce how much paint is bought and used.  The big questions have to do with what kind of paint to get.

First of all, use exterior paints.  They are made to withstand the elements and give outside things longer life with better durability.

So, do you use oil based or latex paints?  Here are some basic rules of thumb;

In regard to oil-based paint;

  1. Use on bare wood (especially, but not limited to: Redwood, Cedar, and Pine)
  2. Use on metal, like doors, cover tops,  etc…(But not galvanized metal)
  3. Over previously painted or even stained surfaces
  4. Also on hardboard siding.  (If it was primed at the factory, still a good idea)

Most beekeepers use Pine and sometimes Cedar.  Using an oil based primer/paint is better for wood hive parts, hive stands, etc…

What about Latex?

There are used for an exterior latex paints for beekeepers as well.

  1. Concrete and masonry surfaces.
  2. Aluminum or vinyl siding, etc.. (like on an out-building, etc…)
  3. Stucco or brick surfaces.
  4. Exterior grade Plywood
  5. Galvanized metal
  6. Surfaces that were originally stained then painted on.

Beelieve it or not, The next most common painting related questions are about what to use to paint with.

When it comes to brushes and rollers, it comes out a lot smoother and a better finish if you use natural fibre bristle brushes or roller covers with oil-based paints.

Latex paint is a little more forgiving and you turn out just fine, maybe better in some cases, if you use nylon or polyester bristle brushes with latex paints.

Brush or Roller?

As with general painting, brushes are better for closer, specific, or detailed work.  I recommend brushes for hive parts and hive stands.

For out-buildings, sheds, etc…  rollers cover a lot more area better.

I hope this helps at least somewhat.  I know beekeepers tend to go with the lowest price a lot.  But if you trying to come out with a specific result or quality, maybe these tips can bee useful.

If you’d like to support the Bee Smart beekeeping project to continue providing articles like this, podcast episodes, and videos, please consider signing up at the Bee Smart beekeeping project Patreon page.

Author: Big Bear

Owner of BBE-Tech Apiary Services and professional apiarist. Beekeeping instructor at Metro Community College. Exec. Producer, Director and Host of Bee Smart beekeeping project podcast and videos.

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