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Author Topic: to paint or not to paint  (Read 3708 times)
bbqbee
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« on: August 08, 2007, 12:19:12 PM »

I am experimenting with not painting or staining as I wander if the bees are sensitive to all the chemicals in paints and stains these days. As inexpensive as the hive boxs are I wander if the shortened life of wood products is worth the exchange for less chemicals in the bees world. Seems like hive bodys and suppers break from use before they rot out anyway. Of course I am in an area with little humidity and know that this wont work down south yaall. I was curious if anybody else is going "Natural" as well.

Bill
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bberry
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 12:40:04 PM »

I would recommend sealing them in some way even if you live in a mild climate. I have experimented with leaving some parts exposed and even in a temperate california climate the boxes warped almost immediately. There are all natural latex paints and they work great with no toxic stuff-my local ace had them but we live in a really 'green' area so most may not. There is a german company making beeswax based paints for interior use but i'm not sure if they make exterior or if you could use the interior and see. My bottom boards are all perafin coated and totally sealed-they just came that way-don't know if anyone else knows how to do this at home..seems mighty messy but effective.
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 12:53:27 PM »

i paint all the outside stuff.  not the inside.  it's very wet here.  wood absorbs moisture, so that was one consideration for me in addition to the rotting of equipment.  if you paint only the outside the bees have minimal contact with painted surfaces.

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bassman1977
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2007, 04:15:51 PM »

I paint mine with whatever I have laying around.  The majority of my boxes are painted with white indoor primer.  After 3 years, they still look good.  One recommendation that I have is to cover the edges with tape   before you paint and take it off afterwards.  What happens is that in the summer heat the paint between each box will cause the boxes to stick.  Granted this is going to happen anyway with the propolis, but why make it any more difficult on  yourself if you don't have to.   cool
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ooptec
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 05:31:56 PM »

From:          Originated by:    Agriculture Department
Title:  VALUE-ADDED PRODUCTS FROM BEEKEEPING...

 4.11.10 Wood preservative

For beekeeping, hive boxes can be weatherproofed by dipping them in hot linseed oil to which 5 to 10% of beeswax have been added. A much cheaper method which is not recommended because it is so dangerous has been described by a beekeeper in Argentina. It involves heating petrol (gasoline) in which old combs and hive scrapings have been melted. The hive bodies can be dipped into the hot fuel or be brushed with it.

Heat petrol ~referably lead free petrol) to 70 or 800C in an old bucket or steel drum. Be very careflil to keep open flames and sparks under control, keep the container covered and use a large high sided container only halffull. Keep the fire small. For painting remove the container from the fire so that dripping gasoline does not spill near the flames. Only work in the open air and stay well away from housing.

Immerse at least 2 kg of old comb and hive scrapings per 20 litres of fuel and careftilly stir. After 15 minutes remove from the fire, skim the scum off the su~ace and start painting or dipping. If the liquid has cooled too much (to below 55 0C) reheat and continue. The proportion of comb can be increased and/or 5 to 10% of linseed oil may be added. Before use, allow the boxes to dry and air for a couple of weeks.

I did a workbench top and also added some propolis, worked great

cheers

peter
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bbqbee
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 05:38:28 PM »

I think you missed my point... I am trying not to use chemicals ie. dipped in gasoline are you kidding!!!!!!!!
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ooptec
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 05:49:43 PM »

I missed nothing  ...lol   read agian the first sentence w/the boiled linseed oil part

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p
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Mici
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2007, 06:07:17 PM »

linseed oil is a great thing, but it takes forever to dry so if you're gonna use it, try buying the one that has..i think they're called sicats in it, for faster drying.
water proof can also be achieved with using "tung" oil, 6 layers have to be aplied however.

i hope i didn't miss the point to much, just giving out advice about protection (didn't read the original post)
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indypartridge
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2007, 06:54:32 AM »

I am experimenting with not painting or staining ... I was curious if anybody else is going "Natural" as well.

From Michael Bush:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#stoppainting
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bbqbee
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2007, 09:48:28 AM »

I quess what I was after with this post was replies from folks that have not painted or have found less toxic ways to protect hives from the elements. Thank you for the article on Brushy mtn. site.

I was just curious that an insect that lives in a man made box, that comunicates with pheremones, would be at its best in a chemically treated home. Seems like they are getting hit from all sides these days and they are not handling it very well anymore.

I went ahead and moved a hive into new untreated boxs the other day and will see over the years how long it lasts. I feel that the cost of a hive body is cheap enough in exchange for being less toxic.

No I am not a tree hugger... just watching our world get tougher on all living things over the last 50 years of my life. Thank you for your responses.

Bill
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mgmoore7
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2007, 10:19:07 AM »

Personally, I paint the exterior only for the viewing pleasure of my wife.  If it were my decision 100%, I would just let them go natural. 
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Robo
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2007, 10:33:12 AM »

I'm one who is all for experimenting, and not trying to discourage you at all. But I wouldn't expect to see any measurable improvements in your colonies health. I suspect that any improvement would be so minimal that you could not conclusively tie it to untreated hive with all the other variables involed with keeping bees.

From my experience doing feral hive removals, when given a choice of where to build a nest,  bees aren't very fussy,  and they seem to thrive in painted and other areas,  including gas tanks... grin



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KONASDAD
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2007, 10:55:12 AM »

I seem to recollect that linseed oil can spontaneously combust if left on rags and piled up. Would that impact linseed dipped wood?

MONTANA- (love your state) you may have little humidity, but killer winters w/ snow. The wood would get wet and definitely shorten there lifespans considerably. It would be more work to replace than you think. I thought the same thing about the price of some beek items. They add up quickly however and I keep expanding so replacing equipment becomes secondary to expanding in my yard. Dip in bees wax for all natural water protection. MB's site is best place to look.
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Dan163
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2007, 11:18:21 AM »

I've got some stuff painted, some unpainted, and some part painted.  I can't believe the difference between how well the painted stuff holds up and how moldy the unpainted parts are.  Now, it is pretty wet here from October to spring, so you might do better in Montana. 

Ironically, the wood also takes a beating from the sun -- it fades and gets kind of spongy/fibrous on the outside.  The nails also rust more and faster.  I quite like the sun-beaten look, though.
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Mici
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2007, 11:36:42 AM »

konasdad, absolutely no.
the "spontanous" combastion is caused by heating-when drying linseed oil emmits heat, know a well soaked rag is just perfect to retain the heat, plus there's a lot of linseed oil in it.

but i'm not sure if it's the linseed oil that self combust, i think that Tung oil self combust when used improperly-soaked rag.
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bbqbee
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2007, 03:26:45 PM »

WOW !!! Rob you make a good point. Nice pictures.

Konasdad... actually over the last decade our winters are almost snow free here in WESTERN Montana(Bitterroot Valley). We ussually get 2-3 snows with not much over an 1-3 inchs per snow with it evaporating in a couple of days (Not like the old days). We do have a wet month around june though.

Thank you all for your input I will have to see what happens.

Bill
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2007, 03:59:16 PM »

WOW !!! Rob you make a good point. Nice pictures.

Konasdad... actually over the last decade our winters are almost snow free here in WESTERN Montana(Bitterroot Valley). We ussually get 2-3 snows with not much over an 1-3 inchs per snow with it evaporating in a couple of days (Not like the old days). We do have a wet month around june though.

Thank you all for your input I will have to see what happens.

Bill
I have friends that live on lake Flathead and have spent countless hrs fishing the Bitterrrot area. Love western Montana.
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2007, 05:52:17 PM »

I always paint the exterior parts of my hives.  It prolongs the life of the equipment and if done far enough in advance the odors associated with new paint will dissapate.  I build my equipment over winter and paint--by spring the equipment is aired out enough.

bbqbee;  I have some friends in the bitterroots--Art & Diane Paskett.
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Potlicker1
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2007, 09:45:11 PM »

Personally being just a few states over from you I'm going dark for a color. I think it outweighs traditional white because of it's ability to absorb heat in the overwintering season. The little extra heat in the summer months can be easily dealt with. Just my 2 cents. I know, I know, white is sooooo pretty.
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Zoot
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2007, 12:30:14 AM »

I attempted M. Bush's technique of dipping box components in hot parafin. Here's a suggestion if interested: pay CLOSE attention to the temperature of the wax and do not turn your back on the material. I did turn my back for a few seconds to talk to someone, the wax ignited (spectacularly), started my shirt on fire, completely incinerated a whole stack of freshly dipped, hand dovetailed cedar box parts and for good measure even started a brush fire.
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