Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How To: Paint A Happy Little Bee Hive

We decided to start out on our beekeeping journey with two hives for two reasons.
1) Two hives won't be too much to manage during this first year of learning as we go.


2) Having a second hive is good for comparison purposes. It gives you a gauge for how strong a hive is and helps you see red flags before they are too serious to deal with.

We also decided to have "his and hers" hives. We'll let you be the judge as to whose is whose once they are out in the field side by side.

When I saw the adorably painted hives that were being auctioned off at bee school, I knew that I wanted to turn my hive into a craft project. I really *LOVE* being crafty and really don't do it enough these days. In preparation for painting, I scoured the Internet for inspiration and to answer the questions I had like, "What KIND of paint is best?"

There were a decent amount of artistically adorned hives out there.

But none of the websiters talked about the process of painting them. I did finally find out that any latex exterior paint will work just fine as the base coat and that a lot of folks just buy the cheap mis-tints at Lowes or Hime Depot. I am no artist, though, so I had no prior knowledge of all the different kinds of paints available out there.

Once I had my vision, and we had purchased our latex exterior paint, we headed to Michael's in hopes to have my questions answered. I knew that we needed some sort of outdoor mural paint.  I had discovered and used acrylic craft paint for all of our Homemade Christmas gifts so that is where I headed first and...JACKPOT!

OUTDOOR acrylic craft paint...
So along with my newly discovered outdoor acrylic paint and a package of assorted paintbrushes that I purchased at Hobby Lobby for our Homemade Christmas, I got to work.

The paint was relatively easy to work with and the brushes I had worked out okay. I did wish I had a brush with super short, stiff bristles for outlining and getting more of a controlled, thin line but I managed! Here are some pictures of the process:

I used a lighter green for most of the grass.
Then I sponge painted a little bit of dark green for depth and texture.
I used a thin brush for the individual blades of grass.
I also found an angled brush to be helpful for the flower petals.
(though the one pictured is the thin one from the grass...)
All four sides completed!
It is such a happy little hive! Even if I don't go all out to decorate every hive we get, my first one will always be special.

{inspiration hive}

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