This is a work in progress and simply outlines my most recent efforts to darken and paint my hives. Close-up

The first hive is a mere suggestion here that BEES need a flag or deserve one. Mind you, the territory of ELBA has one.







Top and Caucasian side Slovenian and Carnolian side Caucasian closeup Italian side

This second hive was sheer whimsy as bees do everything hexagonally, so I opted for TRIANGLES.

Side One Front Side Two Another Top

My Blue Hive represents some of my frustrations with beekeeping in the Pacific NorthWET.

Front Banana Belt Hype Lazy Bees The Winter Deluge

Next up will be a political one and dealing with the job opportunities for worker bees and the plight of the Drone bee. 

Here in the Pacific NorthWET we still follow the set pattern of having white beehives which considering the heat degree challenged days makes no sense whatsoever. So I opted to redo my own in darker colors hoping to give a boost to those many months where the sun makes its reluctant entrance. BTW – darker colored hives are also much harder to locate from a google map or the lurking poacher or beehive vandal. 

Cutting firewood also gave me tons of bark to use, so what better for a woodsy bait hive?  Closeup. and 2.

Which hive decoration did you enjoy the most? You have TWO votes!

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My fun began when I accumulated a number of paint colors that allowed me to turn  the hives into abstract paintings or even message boards. Why settle on camouflage green and brown when you can create cartoonish or attractive creations that will further decorate the multi colored garden the hive is plopped into.

It remains crucial to remind everyone to use latex outdoor paints for the basic overlay and never apply paint to the inside of the hive. Hives should only be applied on the outside walls and if you add acrylic/enamel flowers or cartoons one should do so sparingly and leave the back side unadorned.

Some of these darker colors may also fade in sunlight and or damp conditions, so you may have to further undermine the hive breath-ability by covering those smaller dabs with a clear layer of Polyurethane sealant.

Go POLITICAL. Workers unite for better working conditions. 🙂 Or be folk artsy and put in some creative landscapes or historical Egyptian, Grecian bee outlines.

Use stencils if you need the help or simply trace the outline of your creation with carbon paper. Wash those stencils in soapy warm water as soon as you have finished. 

Your options are endless. Color combinations??? Think Indian or use a color wheel and utilize Paint 3D or Paint Net to plan out your design.

Always use a latex primer for the first coat and finalize the basic color before attempting artistic strokes. And hey, paint makes for a great eraser when you botch things up. So don’t worry. Have FUN!

Let the layers dry before starting anew unless you are trying to blend colors. Mind you, sometimes using the right brush laden with different colors can lead to interesting results.

One last note. Never mix enamel paints with latex and the latex MUST go on first. Enamel as a primary coat is a no no, although such hives are sold in stores. Never a good idea. Some like our Coastal even sell hive bodies enamel coated inside and out. Sanding those inside surfaces down is a pain!

Sponges, dot brushes and especially slanted flat brushes have worked best for me. Rounded brushes less so.

A recount of the basics: Temperature for painting should be in the fifties!!!

Completely cover the hive with a base layer of exterior latex paint.
Lightly sketch the design on the hive using a pencil. Use a stencil or carbon paper a print out.

Outlines help. paint them in black and allow to dry. When finished fill in with color.

 Acrylic paints dry a little slower and contain more pigment for better coverage and usually are a lot brighter. Exterior latex is cheaper. Paint away! If using acrylics, apply a protective polyurethane coat to the finished painting.

Do a message tour and emphasize the importance of pollinating insects. 

Use the bank, the library, city hall, grocery store, farmers’ market, or other local businesses to display your hives. Suggest to the schools or library that the art programs offer incentives for kids to do their own projects be in in crayon or chalk.

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  1. VERY COOL !!!

    I like the trangles

    Your EuroBees will feel right at home ! I once saw an Italian hive painted like a can of Ravoli with the name “Sheffboyarebees” (Don’t have a pic)

    • Thanks Greg.
      I was trying to think of something for the Italians. Your idea would have been perfect.
      Had to be careful about the Caucasian angle. Love em to death, but I had to be careful not to over play that one.

  2. True labor of love, both the hives and your article! Thank you for bee-ing such a voice for Nature and an inspiration to others!

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