Have you ever realised just how much more colour people add to their own homes in foreign countries? Outside of the ‘West’ you’ll find houses in all the colours of the rainbow but the greyer the weather, the more dull both building and clothing colours seem to be. It’s the same for beehives and up until last year I’d only seen them painted in white or in neutral colours.
Then a friend shared a photo of rows of colourful beehives that she’d spotted on a trip to Poland and I saw them adorned in pink, blue, yellow, and bright green! I decided then that I’d eventually follow suit transform my hives into a row of little Mexican houses, a splash of colour tucked away in the grey-green gorse.
As of today I have my first brightly coloured hive – painted with two coats Periwinkle Blue exterior paint. Truthfully I chose the blue for one main reason – it was free! I picked up the can at the local recycle centre last year and have been waiting to use it in a project. I have to point out though that bees are also apparently attracted to the colour blue too. Or at least that’s what I was taught in my beginners beekeeping course.
It also hasn’t escaped me that the hive is the same colour as my VW Camper, Daisy Blue!
The hives I use are Nationals which are the most commonly used in the United Kingdom. I currently have two spare in my garage so painted one of them up in the blue leaving the other for a different colour. I also had the stand from the white hive that I brought home after my last visit to that colony. It’s old and battered and had a landing stage that is too big really. I made the stand by myself back in 2012.
To revamp it I literally cut off the old landing board with a jigsaw and mounted a small piece of pallet wood on the front for a more simple landing pad. A little diy work and a lick of paint can do wonders in giving a piece of rubbish new life.
The plan is that I’ll take the blue hive up to Laxey tomorrow and prepare my Onchan hive to be moved early on Sunday morning. That means a bright and early start to that day! I’ll be tying the hive up in one piece with the honeybees inside and transporting them in my car for the twenty minute drive in to Laxey. It’s a stressful thing to move a hive and you can bet I’ll be driving with my bee suit zipped up and tucked in. More on how that goes in my next beekeeping post and video.
I’m really looking forward to having a bright and vibrant apiary and am even considering planting some flowers around the hives as well. Who says that beehives can’t be as pretty as other parts of the home and garden?