Pine beehives are popular and economical and we highly recommend painting them to protect from the elements. If you paint them now, you won’t have to hurry or worry when it’s time to pick up your bees in the spring!

Here’s how to paint your pine hives:

  • Step 1: Throughout the process, ensure that you are applying primer and paint to ONLY the outside of the hive boxes. It's not healthy for bees to have paint is inside their homes.
  • Step 2: Apply a coat of primer and allow to dry completely.
  • Step 3: Apply a coat of exterior latex paint. (You can also use all-in-one primer/paint if you want to save a bit of time).
  • Step 4: Allow paint to dry completely before installing bees.

What color to paint your hives?

  • Many beekeepers paint their hives white, and that is fine.
  • There is no reason you can’t get creative! A few ideas:
    • Paint your hive the same color as your house for a classy look.
    • Paint your hive green if it’s in an area with lots of foliage, so it’ll blend in.
    • According to science, the colors most likely to attract bees are purple, violet, and blue—so why not give them what they like?
    • Your whole hive doesn’t need to be the same color or shade—how about an ombre or rainbow hive?
  • One school of thought says that if you have multiple hives close to each other, your hives should be differentiated. Example: each hive a different color, or each hive with a different configuration of boxes in a variety of colors. Bees can see large patterns of color, and this helps ensure they return to the correct hive, especially the queen—if she returns from her mating flight to the wrong hive and is killed by the worker bees, her whole hive is probably toast!