Sunday, April 1, 2012

Beehives Decorated!

Yesterday we gathered a small crowd of the young and the less-young to put the finishing touches on our beehives, aesthetically speaking. Unfortunately the weather was on the chilly and gray side but the activity in the garage was colorful. The Other Mark started out with an explanation of the parts of a beehive and why we wanted to decorate the fronts—to help the bees know which ones are their homes.


He then modeled his new bee suit for the amusement of the gathered artists.

Then we all got to the task of painting. We used stencils to make the job a little easier and faster. They worked really well.

One of the artists had had a unit on honeybees in school and knew about the dreaded varroa mites.



The Other Mark even enlisted another artist to decorate his new bee suit.


Once we had enough boxes done to get us started for the season we moved inside to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies and talk bees. The kids were really interested in all aspects of honeybees and beekeeping so we’re hoping to include them in hiving our first packages and in future apiary visits.


The bees will have to be completely insane to swarm and leave these hives!


For now the rest of the boxes are back in our basement where I’ll work at adding decorations over the coming weeks. After I posted the plain painted beehives a friend of mine shared a link to some Slovenian beehive folk art. Check it out. They’re charming.


Have you decorated your beehives? I’d enjoy seeing them if you have. Looking around the Internet, some people have really had fun with making their bees’ homes unique.

7 Responses:

Anita said...


The hives look amazing! How many new packages are you getting? Your bees are lucky girls living near your beautiful gardens in style.


Shady Character said...

Thanks, Anita. We've got two packages coming. They'll actually be placed on someone's rural property with access to all manner of prairies, gardens and woodland edges so I expect them to get right to work!

Mil said...

Unfortunately, I haven't decorated my hives. I only paint the corners a la my teacher, Serge Labesque.

Love the decorated hives and glad you got the kiddies involved!

Alyssa said...

Wow, probably the most beautiful beehive anywhere! You are going to have very happy bees if they get as much TLC as you've put in to their hive. Thanks so much for posting the link to Slovenian folk art!!! I am of Slovenian descent. I have a bench that belonged to my Slovenian grandfather and I've been wanting to paint it in a decorative manner. I loved the article and it gave me inspiration for my project! A very unexpected pleasant surprise.

Shady Character said...

Thanks, Alyssa! Be sure and post pictures of your bench when you get it painted. Funny all the little ways things are connected, isn't it!

Anonymous said...

Love your hives !
Did you use acrylics for the decorating, and did you put a sealer on ?
Thinking of painting mine too.

Shady Character said...

We just used regular artist's acrylic paints but didn't put anything over them. I hope they hold up over time.