Can You Paint a Beehive With Bees in It?

Painted beehives are a popular trend in beekeeping, especially among urban beekeepers who want to protect their hives from predators. However, you may have wondered if it’s safe to paint a beehive with bees inside it.

Contrary to popular belief, it is completely safe to paint a beehive with bees in it. The bees are not harmed by the paint, and they will continue to work as usual.

In this article, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of painting your beehive as well as what kind of paint works best for this task.

It is safe to paint a bee-filled beehive?

Can you paint a beehive with bees in it? It is safe to paint a bee-filled beehive as long as you are careful. Beekeepers should always ensure that their hives are kept at least 30 feet away from the house and out of direct sunlight, which can cause overheating and even death for the bees.

The more important question: why would anyone want to paint a beehive with bees in it? Painting a hive creates an opportunity for us humans to get up close and personal with our favorite pollinators. This may sound crazy, but some studies show that when exposed to art—and we’re talking about non-intrusive art like paintings on walls or landscapes hanging on canvases—bees become more relaxed (so do humans).

What should you not paint a beehive with?

When it comes to painting a beehive, the only thing you should not do is use oil-based paint. Oil-based paint can make the wax in your hive become sticky and soft. This can cause your bees to suffocate because they cannot make their own homes out of the wax anymore.

If you are going to try and buy some new paint for your hives, we recommend that you stay away from latex paints as well. Latex paints contain harmful chemicals that can harm bees between applications if they are exposed to them over time through residue left behind when applying the paint.

Spray painting is also not recommended because many people use spray cans which contain toxic chemicals such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These could kill off any bees that might still be alive inside after application by coating them with poison without even needing direct contact with their bodies!

Finally, high gloss or semi-gloss finishes will cause problems because they reflect light differently than flat finishes do; this may affect how much heat rises from inside eventually causing damage due excess heat build up around each hive entrance hole where sunlight shines directly through into each compartmentalized room inside which contains several different types of honeycomb stacked on top one another vertically.

What kind of paint is safe for beehives?

When it comes to the paint type, it depends. Most paints are made up of solids and liquids, with a solvent that helps the two mix together. The most common solvents are water or oil-based chemicals like alcohol, but there are other options as well. Some chemicals can be very harmful to bees if they come in contact with the hive or its occupants; others must be kept away from your hive at all costs because they’ll seriously harm or even kill your bees!

When purchasing paint for your honeybees’ home, pay attention to the fine print on the label and look for words like “100% organic” (meaning no harmful chemicals), “low VOCs” (volatile organic compounds), “low toxicity,” etc., which mean it’s safe both for you and your bees!

Does it matter what color you paint a beehive?

The color of your beehive will have an effect on the bees, but it’s not as drastic as you might think.

Bees are attracted to light colors like white and yellow. They’re also drawn to darker shades like black and red because they resemble flowers in bloom. However, bees are not attracted to blue or green hives—they simply don’t respond to those shades at all.

There is one caveat here: If you paint your beehive in a dark color (like black), then it’ll look really small from far away and could make it seem like the hive is abandoned—which can actually cause problems for both the hive itself and its inhabitants! So if you want to paint over an old wooden box with fresh new colors, stick with lighter ones instead!

Is it better to paint or stain a beehive?

Depending on the type of wood and your aesthetic preferences, you may want to paint or stain your beehive. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

If you’re painting a beehive with bees in it, consider the following:

  • Paint is easier to apply than stain because it’s less messy. A brush can be used for detailed work, but it’s simple enough for even an inexperienced painter to apply without making a mess (as long as they use appropriate safety precautions).
  • Stain tends to have more color options than paint; however, some people prefer the “natural” look of unpainted wood over stained wood. If this is true for you, then stain might not be for you no matter how many colors are available at your local hardware store!
  • Make sure to read the instructions on your paint or stain can. Some sealers are recommended for use on wood, while others are not. If you’re unsure about whether or not a particular product is appropriate for your beehive, ask an expert at your local hardware store or home improvement center.

What should you do before painting a beehive?

Before you get started, make sure you’ve done the following:

  • Removed the bees from their hive and placed them in a safe location.
  • Removed all of the honey from inside the hive. Make sure to leave your bees with enough food until they can return home. (A few days without food shouldn’t kill them.)
  • Made sure that there is somewhere warm and dry for your bees to live while they are waiting for their new paint job. This could be an empty hive or even just a cardboard box that has been lined with insulation material such as straw or hay.


That’s all you need to know about painting a beehive! It’s a pretty simple process, but you should definitely take the proper precautions. If you’re not sure if it’s safe to paint your hive, just reach out to your local beekeeper association or even Google around for any other tips they might have. Good luck with your project!