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Due to the warm winter, our initial package of bees came much earlier than anticipated. As a result we had to place the bees in the hive body with only a primer coat of paint. My kids were hoping to be able to paint and embellish the hives. Now that the bees are well established, we're wondering if we can still paint the hive bodies. We have a couple of extra hive bodies so the thought was to simply paint those and then during an inspection just transfer frame by frame from the old hive into the newly painted one.

Does anyone foresee any problems with this? Will the bees be too disrupted, do they "scent" the hive bodies and will this be a problem then if suddenly their walls "change" on them? Is there a particular time of year that would be better? Any input at all would be appreciated.
 

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Did that when branding my boxes. No problem, just keep frames in the same order.
 

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billy b~
"Does anyone foresee any problems with this? Will the bees be too disrupted, do they "scent" the hive bodies and will this be a problem then if suddenly their walls "change" on them? Is there a particular time of year that would be better?"

as marbees said keep the frames in the exact same order, however, because you are new to keeping bees, a problem might be losing, injuring or killing your queen, or any other part of murphy's law might apply. everytime a hive is opened, it is disruptive to the hive, and is a setback. so you have to ask yourself is painting a box worth losing the queen and unnecessarily disrupting the hive? you can also paint it while it is on. :grin:
 

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You can realistically paint them in place, paint back and sides, then just lift up the box when dry, and rotate it and have the front at the back to paint it.

I have done this and no issues at all, I only painted the sides about 3/4 of the way and waited to finish them when I rotated it.

As for original question , sure, easy to do if careful with the brood frames. Pull a few sides frames first giving yourself plenty space in the middle and separate them well before lifting out so you don't roll the queen.
 

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One reason to prefer painting the boxes when they are empty is the consideration that, when painted in situ, the paint tends to "glue" the boxes together. This can be a minor consideration, but can make real trouble and even lead to the damaging of the edges in contact when the hive is next opened.
Because of this, I would prefer Marbee's suggestion but make sure to observe Zulu's precautions.
 

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When you carry their old box away dont be too quick to take off your gear! You might be a hundred yards away but some bees with hard feelings will likely still be following.:shock:
 
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