What Paint Should I Use For My Hives?

When it comes to designing a beehive there are some rules that should be adhered to in order to ensure the health of the honey bees that will inhabit it.

First and foremost a non-petroleum based paint is highly recommended. This will prevent any harmful chemicals from off-gassing or leaching into the hive.

NBee Gold carries a plant based Bee Safe paint produced by Pure Paint Laboratories in Nova Scotia. This paint is Eco friendly and contains no harmful chemicals or by products. It also has better coverage than traditional petroleum based paints, so a litre will go further for your dollar.

Bee Safe Hive Paint

The second rule that you should follow when painting your hives is to only paint exterior surfaces. Nothing that is inside the beehive should be painted including the entrance reducers as the bees often gnaw at the reducers with their mandibles which could cause them to ingest the paint used.

The main reason we paint beehives is to properly seal the wooden-ware so that it does not absorb moisture and begin to rot. Painting your hive components properly can greatly extend their service life and provide you and your bees lots of years of use.

Another reason hives are painted can be to help give the bees something to recognize or orientate to. This becomes important if you have multiple hives in one yard. Some beekeepers believe that it helps the bees identify their hives more easily and helps to reduce drift of bees from one colony to another if each hive in the apiary has distinct colours or patterns.

Just know that honey bees see in the UV spectrum so they don't perceive colours as humans do.  The below table is an approximate colour conversion for how bees would perceive a colour differently than a person.

When it comes to choosing a colour for your hives, anything will really do however some scientists believe that the most attractive colours to honey bees are purple, violet and blue as these are more vibrant in the UV spectrum that the bees are capable of seeing in.

Whatever colours you choose designing your hive is a fun family activity and gets you even more excited for the amazing honey bees that will soon live in your hive!

Have fun painting your hives!

Humans Honeybees
Red Black
Yellow Yellow-Green
Orange Yellow – Green (darker perhaps than yellow)
Green Green
Blue Blue plus Ultraviolet blue
Violet Blue plus Ultraviolet
Purple Blue
White Blue-Green
Black Black

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