How to paint beehives

Written by chérie de sues
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How to paint beehives
Locate your beehive in an area with many flowers. (boat and bee hive image by Shirley Hirst from

Tending a beehive is a great outdoor project for anyone, even children with the supervision of adults. Painting a beehive can be a family project with a couple of extra brushes. To begin a hive for bees, choose a wooden bee hive and paint the exterior to protect the wood for years of use. The beehive will last longer with the right paint, location and available nectar nearby the hive. With some simple steps, the beehive will become a new home for bees to make their honey.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 wooden beehive
  • 1 gallon of water-based, white semigloss, exterior latex paint
  • 2 synthetic brushes, 1/2-inch and 1-inch wide
  • 1 damp washcloth
  • 1 pair of latex gloves
  • 1 glass of tap water
  • 1 plastic sheet or newspaper

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  1. 1

    Prepare a flat surface area with plastic or newspapers, then set the beehive, paint, brushes, washcloth and gloves on the work table. Put on the latex gloves. Use the damp washcloth to rid the wooden beehive of dirt, dust or debris before painting the surface.

  2. 2

    Use the 1-inch brush to paint the white latex paint all over the surface of the beehive. Begin at the top and work steadily downward. Avoid plugging any holes or allowing paint to drip inside the beehive. Use the 1/2-inch brush to get into smaller spaces. Wash both brushes in soap and water, then allow the paint to dry for a couple of hours.

  3. 3

    Put on the latex gloves and look over the beehive for missed spots where paint is needed. Use the 1-inch brush and 1/2-inch brush for a second coat of white latex paint. Wash out the brushes in soap and water, then allow the beehive to dry overnight before use.

Tips and warnings

  • White water-based latex paint will reflect the sun's rays and keep the bees cool. A water-based paint is considered healthier for bees than a stain. Outdoor latex paint can withstand heat and cold, making it an excellent choice for sealing wood from the elements. Semi-gloss or satin is best so that mildew won't have a rough surface to cling to and multiply. Cleaning the dirt and mildew off of semigloss is easy with a little soap and water.
  • Allow the paint to dry and cure completely before introducing the bees to the hive.

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