I'll spend the winter putting the boxes together, then sand and paint them to a nice weather-tight finish. Should the paint be flat, semi-gloss, or gloss?
Should I paint the insides of the boxes? The frames too?
I'd like to wish everyone here on the forum, and their families happy holidays and a healthy new year!
Thank you! And many happy returns of the day to you and yours!
As far as the finish of the paint, the bees won't care if it is flat, semi or otherwise. So go with what you like! As far as what to paint there seems to be mixed opinion on this ( big suprise huh? ).
If you go by the BeeSource.com plans, they tell you and I quote - Fill any holes and paint all surfaces, both outside and inside and top and bottom edges, with two coats of paint.
Here is an exerpt from Beekeeping a Practical Guide by Richard E. Bonney - Traditional wisdom says not to paint any inside surface of the hive because the bees don't like it. Take this with a grain of salt. Bees do not object to paint if it is dry and has weathered long enough for odors to dissipate. As a practical matter, I paint the entire bottom board and outer cover. Both of these take abuse from the bees, from the beekeeper, and from the weather. I do not paint any part of the frames or the inner cover. I paint only those surfaces of the hive bodies and supers that are exposed to the weather. Some beekeepers paint the inner cover and the inner surfaces of hive bodies and supers with no apparent ill effects. ( Again, it is important that the paint be thoroughly dry and the odors dissipated before the equipment is given to the bees.)
White is the traditional color for painting hives--it has the advantage of reflecting the sun and helps to keep the hive a little cooler in very hot weather. Dark colors absorb sunlight and can cause the hive to overheat. A disadvantage of white is that the hive stands out starkly against the landscape, making it a more likely target for vandalism or theft. Actually, any light color is satisfactory. I use light green, which helps to comouflage my hives. If your bees are in your own backyard, theft or vandalism probably are not a problem, but if you have outyards, give color and other means of camoujlage some thought.
Hope this helps and again, have a wonderful holiday season!