Beehives have to be painted, because they’re left outside all year round, in all kinds of weather. Most often, beekeepers use an aluminium-based silver paint whose brand name in France is Thermopeint. It is a thermal insulator, which plays a role in keeping the inside of the hive at a stable temperature both in winter and summer. It also protects the fragile wooden hive (and its occupants) against dampness, and acts as a fungicide. But Thermopeint is not the only solution. Recently, ecologically-minded beekeepers have start to replace the silver paint with a method that uses linseed oil.
A few days ago [display], I spoke of the work of young beekeepers who’ve installed their hives at Gamone. They've painted their hives with mixtures of linseed oil and ochre (for the reds, yellows and browns) or commercial pigments (for the greens and blues). The results, as you can see here, are truly beautiful.