beekeeping equipment how to

A quick way to paint supers and ekes

If you’ve got a lot of bee boxes to paint, you can make it easier by stringing them on a board suspended between two saw horses, chairs, or whatever is handy. The job goes fast because you can stand in one place and just roll the supers around the board as you paint. You can do all four outside surfaces at once, and drips don’t matter if you’re outside. On a clear day the paint dries quickly so you don’t have to keep those impatient bees waiting.


A quick way to paint bee furniture.


  • Hi, Rusty. I am just finishing up building my deeps for two new hives and 16 new medium supers. I made them myself from Poplar. I am looking for a way to treat the wood without painting it…I have seen the Eco wood treatment on the Kelley website a couple times and when I drove up to their place in Clarkson last week I picked up a couple pouches of it to try out (REALLY nice people, by the way).

    According to them (they had a couple sets of hives they had put together and treated with Eco rather than paint and let weather for a couple months) it works great, no real fumes, goes on easy, and you never have to retreat…ever.

    I haven’t used it yet, and was just wondering if you had ever used it before…they seemed pretty impressed with it.


    • Joel,

      I haven’t used it but I have heard good things about it. Many people treat the wood rather than painting it and I have no issue with that whatsoever. Many people just use linseed oil and that seems to work well too.

  • I know you don’t paint the inside of the hive bodies or the solid bottom board but what about the tops and bottoms of the hive bodies and supers? Will that cause them to stick together even when the paint is dry? Also, can I paint the exposed area of the landing board part of a hive stand? Thanks!

    • Justin,

      You can paint or not paint whatever makes you happy. Some people paint everything, some paint nothing, and the bees don’t care. Keeping the paint out of the inside is a good thing because paint is made of nasty stuff that contains fungicides. Your boxes will stick together whether you paint them or not because the bees will seal them together with propolis. For more on painting the tops and bottoms see “More on painting bee hives.”

  • Hi there, just getting into beekeeping and need to know a good waterproof sealant that is bee friendly. We live in Texas so the weather is severe here.

    • Katy,

      Most paints and sealants are not bee friendly, which is one reason you apply them only to the outside of your hives. Any product designed for outdoor use should work; just make sure it is completely dry and aired out before you place bees inside.

  • Hello!

    What are “ekes”. How is it pronounced? Does it begin with a long “E”, as in “eked out a living”?

    Thank you.

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