Decorate your beehives in the most bee friendly colours
16 Sep 2020
If you struggle to find the keyhole on your front door when your sensor light is broken, spare a thought for the humble honeybee that has to figure out which hive is theirs when they all look identical.
In the honey making business, beekeepers try to keep the population of their hives consistent in number for optimal production. But after a long day out collecting pollen, it’s easy for a bee to lose their ‘front door’ and go home to the wrong hive.
It might sound odd, but if a beekeeper paints their beehives different colours, returning bees will be more likely to enter the correct one. That’s because bees see a much higher colour spectrum than we mere mortals. They can even see ultra-violet light which is invisible to humans; as it filters through the clouds, they use it to guide them back to earth safely. If every hive is painted a different colour, a bee can discern between the shades and figure out which is theirs.
Some beekeepers paint their hives in different shades of the same colour. Others prefer a multi-coloured effect that both differentiates their hives and brightens up their apiary or backyard, It’s said though that bees don’t like reds, browns or blacks; instead go for blues like Resene Endeavour, pinks such as Resene Cupid, yellows in a hue like Resene Bardot and greens such as Resene Amulet.
Painting beehives doesn’t require a lot of work. In fact, just a couple of Resene testpots is the perfect amount of paint for two coats of contrasting colours on one hive. If you’ve got lots of hives to do-over, pop some Resene paint in a bucket, paint one box then add another colour to the bucket to create a different shade. Paint another hive, add another colour, add repeat until you’ve painted the lot.
Worried about the effect of paint on your bees and their honey? Resene Environmental Choice approvedpaints have been used on beehives for many years. Whether you’re a beekeeper by trade or simply have a hive or two at the bottom of your garden, it’s easy to lend a helping hand to your honeybees to help them find their way home.
Choose your favourite beehive friendly colours in Resene Environmental Choice approved testpot paints at your Resene ColorShop or shop online.
And for more bee friendly ideas, see www.nzgardener.co.nz.