Beehives don't have to be plain old white

Our garden bees, photographed yesterday evening:


As you may have noticed, in painting our hives we've eschewed the standard hive whitewash in favor of pleasing pastels.

But we've got nothing on the hive art produced by other beekeepers on the web. Below the fold is a selection of my favorites:

More like this

What am I doing this summer? Good question. I'm teaching Integrative Biology 496: Introduction to Beekeeping. If you are a University of Illinois student and would like to learn about the biology of Apis mellifera and how to manage a small apiary for honey or just for fun, please consider this 8-…
Today's bug news carries sensational reports of a study claiming new evidence linking cell phone use and the dreaded Colony Collapse Disorder. London, England (CNN) -- A new study has suggested that cell phone radiation may be contributing to declines in bee populations in some areas of the…
It is early autumn, so an old man's thoughts turn to his bees. Sadly neglected again, I wonder what they are up to? Have they produced a good honey harvest or - more likely given the rather unfortunate summer here - have they just survived? Happily I have some Apistan all saved up, and its,…
So I've spent a lot of the last few months reading beekeeping books - all the ones you'd think plus a few others. I've spent a lot of time talking to various local beekeepers as well. There's an old saying "one Jew, three opinions" - well, let's just say that my major observation has been that…

I gotta show this to my wife the aspiring beekeeper!

By Squiddhartha (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

This got me wondering whether there would be any benefit to painting the landing trays in a UV-only paint or something, similar to the patterns flowers have evolved. Maybe not as flashy for us, but I bet you could sell it to people that it'll stop CCD because the bees can find their way home better! lol

I wonder if different colored hives have different benefits? Like white hives would help keep the colony cool in summer, but black hives can absorb heat in winter?

The German says, literally:

Everything has an end,
only sausage has two.

Anyone have an idea why this odd saying was used to decorate a bee box?

By James C. Trager (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

JasonC: I personally recommend tailoring the color to your climate. I'm pretty far north (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), and from experience, white hives just don't thrive well because they start flying later in the spring and wake up late in the day during the summer. They also are pretty slow to draw out wax on new combs.

Darker colors do better (I paint all my hives "Hunter Green", a nice dark shade). They fly more, draw wax faster, and are noticeably more populous once the summer gets into its swing. Further south, dark hives may very well tend to overheat on hot days, but up here they are just the thing.

@James C. Trager:

This german saying is widespread and more or less "pub-wisdom" - everythings going to an end, with the exception of sausages. Whoever made this hive probably had the "old rural southern village feeling" in the back of his head - see the half timbered build, the conservative roof and the bavarian watch. I wouldnt think it is connected to bees in any specific ways. Although, dont Americans sometimes combine sausage and honey...?

Artistic hives, love them. Gotta post my hubby's . They're so neat

By myrtle richards (not verified) on 06 Nov 2011 #permalink