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Tung Oil or Paint


My first cedar beehive will be arriving in a few days. I have several months to prep before I get my bees for next spring. I did order 3 bottles of Tung Oil. Probably way more than I need. but I can use it for other projects. What do you really recommend to protect the hive from the weather ? Can Tung Oil be reapplied if you have bees in the hive let’s say a few years after applying it? Can western cedar be painted? What is the best option from your experience? If I like the quality of your bee hives when they arrive next week. I plan on ordering one more to start two hives next spring.


Tung Oil is definitely our preferred way to treat the hives: the odor is fairly neutral, it highlights the natural beauty of the cedar without obscuring it, and it’s non-toxic. We usually aim for one coat a year, but that said many of our hives have been in continuous use for close to a decade without any treatment and they’re going strong.

Applying tung oil to a working hive is possible because you only need to treat the outside of the hive. Simply apply to the exterior surfaces and do your best to dodge the bees as they come and go!

Paint is also definitely an option (some customers have turned their hives into amazing works of art!) We recommend keeping it as non-toxic as possible with your paint choice, and if it has a strong odor I would recommend letting it air out before you put in your bees.

If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-325-2221
-Tom, customer service