Is it safe to coat bee houses with polyurethane or paint?

Asked January 15, 2020, 10:47 AM EST

Question is for Julia Brokaw or Rufus Isaacs who wrote - Building and Managing Bee Hotels for Wild Bees, or other expert on wild bees Is it safe to coat bee houses with polyurethane or paint? This is specific to the frame and back which holds the nesting tubes, or the sides of a block with drilled nesting holes, NOT the area or the nesting holes or tubes themselves. I would like to protect the pine wood I have used from rotting due to exposure to weather. I want to apply artwork to my bee houses, but I want to make sure that this is ok for the health of bees.

Michigan

1 Response

Yes, it is fine to paint or varnish the outside of the boxes. The bees really won't touch that part of the box and once the paint or varnish dry there will be little risk to the bees.