In Denver, two beehives are legal, and this year I’m at bee-max. Hive #2 went in earlier this year, and as with hive #1 (Queen Maggie’s colony), part of the whole scene is the painting of the hive.
Last year, when my (fabulous) nieces came out to Colorado from the D.C. area for their Spring Break, I had hive #1 all ready for decorative painting. We’d painted the base coat (purple) before their arrival, as well as the big smiling face on the front of the hive.
Why a big smiling face on front of the hive: Because in summer, when it gets really hot (and it gets really hot here – -it’s 100 degrees as I write this in late July of 2012), bees do this thing called “bearding.” They glob onto the front of the hive, near the entrance, in big chains. So I wanted Maggie’s beard bees to have a face to frame.
When the girls got here, we got tons of colors and paintbrushes ready, and set up on the patio for an afternoon of hive-painting. Big fun!
Julie, who is quite the natural artist, took one full side; Claire and I (also enormously gifted, but in different ways 😉 took the other side. We used stencils; Julie freehanded. Here’s some photos of the hive #1 painting:
So, when I decided to max out the apiary this year, with hive #2, of course I enlisted the support of Julie and Claire. We opted for a bright yellow base coat for hive #2.
Claire took the front of the hive this year, and Julie did the side that faces the “beecam.”
I did a gorgeous freehand illustration of a psychedelic bee, but, it faces the north fence so, alas, will not be seen except maybe during hive inspections. Here’s my bee rendering:
(From left: Julie, Doug, me, Claire…)
And here is Claire’s gorgeous illustration of a flowering Spring tree with its own beehive: