April 16, 2015

Beehive: Painting and Naming

Warré hives are not usually painted. I suppose no paint goes with the natural in natural beekeeping. But our humidity is such that our outbuildings all grow a patina of green mold wherever they remain in the shade. For the service life of the hive, I decided to paint it.

I started with white barn paint because we had a partial can in the carport.

At one time it was standard to paint beehives white. I read that was because white implied cleanliness in handling a food product. Nowadays any color goes and if you do an internet search for images of painted beehives you're in for an eye candy treat. Even though I plan to keep my hive out of our scorching southern sun as much as possible, I decided to start with white as a base color because of our summer heat.

The Honeysuckle Hive
It was the naming that gave me a theme for painting. It's funny because I'm not one to name things. I've never named a car or bicycle, our homestead doesn't have a name, and neither do any of our chickens. Heck, I'm usually slow to name our goats. But for some reason I had no trouble naming our beehive. I got the idea after reading a professional beekeeper discuss his commercial hives. They were named according to location and number, and that made sense to me. Since I'm hoping to eventually have several hives, naming them seemed like a good idea. Our first beehive will be Honeysuckle and it turned out better than I thought.

I had hoped to have set it up outside by now, but it's been pouring rain. Hopefully that will subside soon because bee arrival day is imminent.

Next - Essential Oils and Feeding Bees


1st Man said...

We are posting all week about our imminent bee arrival too, ha. Great!!!

Love your beautiful painting. I'm not that talented, ha. Also finalizing the names of our hives as well. It is fun isn't it?

Ironically, our bees are ready Saturday, but Friday it's supposed to be a monsoon rain and then possibly into saturday. Sigh.

jewlz said...

Bees! They're the topic everywhere eh :). The hive's absolutely charming, and it will be fun to read of your adventures with the new project.

Dawn said...

Our hives just have bee friendly preservative I like the look of painted hives yours looks cute, I am doing a hive inspection today.
I number my hives no names same with chickens they have numbers and the raised beds are numbered, I struggle with giving names :-)

Kev Alviti said...

I love the look of your hive! It's good to have numbers of things (or names) so you can keep better records of how things do. I try to draw up plans but always forget to do it!

Leigh said...

1st Man, how fun. I'm looking forward to your post! Mine are supposed to arrive on Saturday too with the same potential weather problem. They're supposed to call if weather is bad but I hope there's no delay!

JW, thanks! And yes, it's definitely time to either get bees or do spring inspections. Here's hoping for all good adventures!

Dawn, as pleased as I am that my paintjob came out nicely, I really prefer the look of natural wood hives. the warrebeekeeping group has been talking about using tung oil as a hive preservative. Dan and I talked about it but he pointed out that it has to be routinely reapplied, so paint seemed like the best option for us.

Kev, very true, especially when it comes to problems, solutions, and treatments. It's also helpful when trying to communicate with someone else!

Farmer Barb said...

I just LOVE it! The colors, the flowers, and the name are perfect. Do you plan to paint anything else decoratively? My tractor's name is Karl, the Kubota. As he has become my best friend, I thought he needed a name.

wtf-ery said...


PioneerPreppy said...

Good looking hive. Blistering sun isn't necessarily a bad thing as it really helps keep the wax moths under control. Wax moths and the larva can't stand the heat nearly as well as the bees.

Leigh said...

Barb, the only other thing I'm planning to paint like that are more beehives! My daughter once named a laptop "Bobby", but I didn't get it. :)

Shelia, thanks!

PP, thank you for that tidbit! Sets my mind at ease because our temps in the sun can be stiffing. I'll go for some shade but not worry about how perfect it is. :)

Ed said...

We always painted our hives basic white to reflect all the sunlight and keep them cool in the summer. At least that was our reasoning. Also, bees are supposed to be calmed by white compared to other bright colors.

I have wanted to name our homestead ever since we bought it but could never think of a good name so it remains unnamed. But I have named all my cars.

Sandy Livesay said...


You did a beautiful job painting your hive. Honeysuckle, is a great name. Can't wait to see posts on your bee arrival, and placement to their new home.

DFW said...

OH my Leigh, that turned out lovely! I'm sure the bees will appreciate it too.

Mama Pea said...

That has got to be the most beautiful hive I've ever seen! My husband gets your blog posts now, too, so I'm just waiting to hear what he says. He is the original Mr. Just As Long As It's Functional, I Don't Care What It Looks Like! (For which I am constantly giving him a hard time.) I'm sure the honey from that gorgeously decorated hive with be super-delicious!

Michelle said...

It's lovely!!! I can't wait to hear more about your adventures in beekeeping. :-)

Mama Mess said...

It's beautiful! I love the name as well! I'm a namer, and our truck is named Betty White, and our car is Rudolpho.... ha!

Melanie said...

It's lovely, and I adore your chosen name! I name everything, so naming my hive is something I will do as soon as the right one pops into my head. The only downfall of using an old hive is that I couldn't paint it my chosen color. At least it's already painted white.

I, too, am loving all of these bee posts by everyone lately, I need all the inspiration I get!

Have a great day!

Meredith said...

Beautiful - great job!

Leigh said...

Ed, I didn't know that about bees and colors. Something to look into!
I think the reason we haven't named our homestead either is for the same reason as you - can't come up with a good one!

Sandy, thanks! Hoping for no rain tomorrow so I can get it set up and ready.

DFW, I hope so!

Mama Pea, wow! Hi Papa Pea! Dan is pretty much the same way but he's tolerant of my insistence of making things aesthetic as well as functional. :)

Michelle, thanks! Hopefully they will all be good adventures.

the Goodwife, that's funny. Somehow I've never been able to see a car with a name, but a lot of folks do.

Melanie, any chance of adding some designs in your chosen color. :)

Meredith, thanks!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi! I love your pretty painted beehive. I hope the bees appreciate it! LOL Nancy

Chris said...

I love the colour scheme, even if it will probably fade in the elements. The coat of paint will protect the wood from mould, if you have a problem with it in your area. Plus it doesn't hurt to be a little creative with our projects!

May your honeysuckle overfloweth. ;)

Coincidentally, I name my chicken coops for the same reason of making it easier to differentiate. :)

Leigh said...

Nancy, thanks! But somehow I doubt the bees will care, LOL

Chris, I'm sure it will weather, but still, paint has got to be longer lasting than bare wood. I hadn't thought about naming chicken coops but that's a good idea.