February Musings

Whew…  Getting through Winter here in Maryland.  The groundhog stuckhappy hive his head out of the burrow and scurried back in for another six weeks. So what are some of the things that I know now that I hadn’t considered …

  1. The pine that BrushyMountain and Mann Lake use for their hive woodenware it not the same as the clear pine that you buy at Home Depot or Lowes.
  2. Trying to paint woodwork in an unheated garage in January is probably not a good idea.
  3. Crylon Spray paint on unprimed wood is like pissing into the wind.

Differences in pine density

The pine that BrushyMountain and Mann Lake use for their hive woodenware it not the same as the clear pine that you buy at Home Depot or Lowes.  The brood boxes that I made from lumber from the big box stores weigh noticeably more than the boxes that I bought from the bee suppliers.  This difference got me to look a bit more closely at the wood and wonder about if the denser pine will survive better in the wild.  Time will tell and I will have to observe this over time.

I mostly wanted to build a few brood boxes (8 frame deeps) just for the practical experience and to get a little feeling for how hive boxes look and feel.  I’m planning to use them as bait hives this season so I’m not overly concerned that they are heavier than the ones I bought.  I won’t be stacking and un-sacking these on a periodic bases.

Painting hive woodenware

biggeroninside Trying to paint woodwork in an unheated garage in January is probably not a good idea (at least in Maryland).  Both the primer and the paint (exterior latex) that I am using recommends that temperatures be above 60 degrees when painting.  I think that the best temperatures that I got in January were in the upper 40 degree range.

I did some painting where I set up an area inside in the dining room and waited for somewhat warm days outside.  With the wood and the paint nicely warmed in the house, I would grab a box and my paint (and dash outside to apply the coating.  I would then immediately drag my work back into the dining room to dry.  This approach worked much better as to ease of applying the primer/paint both in terms of ease of application and coverage.

Spray paint sucks as a primer

In an attempt to get paint onto a couple of last minute items of woodenware, I thought I would try to use Crylon spray paint.  It had worked (sort-of) for decorating other items that I had already primed and painted with exterior latex paint.  This was probably a bad idea.  The paint just sucked into the wood and does not seem like a good layer of protection.  Weather permitting, I think I’m going to end up sanding these pieces down and properly priming them before trying to put any paint on them again.

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