Big Weekend

One of my favorite songs by Tom Petty is from his Highway Companion album. It’s called Big Weekend and years ago I might have desired a weekend like the one described in the song. I’m a little more dedicated to practical matters these days and a BIG WEEKEND is one that I get a lot accomplished.

I need a BIG WEEKEND; Kick up the dust
I need a BIG WEEKEND; If you don’t run you RUST!

Last weekend was a BIG WEEKEND around here. For the last two months I have been preparing for the coming season. Everything has been assembled now it’s time for the horrible job of painting. Painting is a facet of beekeeping I don’t particularly like. It’s right up there with frame building. The fact that I dislike both of these procedures increases my desire to do a good job when I am working on these tasks. If done correctly both frame building and painting lead to years of product use without the need for maintenance. Doing things right the first time is efficient especially when you dislike the task.  By getting this stuff out of the way I can focus on the fun part of beekeeping, CATCHING SWARMS!

This was my first opportunity to use the Wagner paint sprayer. It was a process improvement and made a much more efficient use of time. Particularly when it comes to painting handholds. I also noticed that even though the sprayer did take some time to clean up I believe that it was totally offset by how much more quickly I was able to apply product. The method I used was to apply the primer with the sprayer then used a roller to even everything out.

Last weekend was just the primer session. Everything was coated with a high quality oil based exterior primer.  I’m gonna need at least TWO more big weekends.  Two coats of paint will be applied to everything that is white in these pictures. The painting will be (as always) 100% acrylic latex exterior.  This combination has served me well over the years.  I have a lot of equipment that was painted 7 years ago that is still in service and has NOT needed a touch-up coat.

Are your traps built?
Is your painting done?
What method do you use for paint application?

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2 Responses to Big Weekend

  1. Chris Hux says:

    Hey Jason, I feel your pain. I hate painting, too. I used your plans for the new plywood swarm traps to build 14 more traps to add to the arsenal. Built 5 more deep boxes, 30 mediums, around 5 more deep nucs, and 30 medium nucs. 20 bottom boards and 30 tops. And a dozen or so nuc tops and bottoms. All this to even out with equipment I had left over from last year, to be ready for growth this year. Looking to hit 50 production hives and 25 nucs to overwinter this year. At 30 hives right now.

    I painted last weekend. Bought a Wagner airless sprayer with easytilt for around $100. Money well spent. I sprayed a single coat of Kilz primer. By the time I finished coating everything in the yard on that warm sunny day, I was able to go back and start painting. I get the 5 gallon bucket latex of barn and fence paint from Lowes. It’s the cheapest I have found, and it works great. I tinted the white with a bit of the red barn and fence paint, to come up with a pinkish pastel color. One coat on the stacks of boxes. Two coats on the tops and bottoms, especially the edges where plywood is exposed. (I build migratory tops) I also went back later and painted the top and bottom edges of each super with one coat of paint, using a brush.

    I got covered in paint from head to foot, due to wind. Clean up of equipment was not fun. All in all, the sprayer was much faster than the rollers and brushes used in previous years. I am pleased with the results.

    I live outside Washington, NC. (Eastern NC) A friend I helped get started with bees last year, caught a swarm the size of a basketball two days ago. It has begun. I will be hanging traps next week. Happy trapping to you. Thanks for sharing your adventures on the web.

    • Jason says:

      This is my first year using a Wagner. I don’t like the cleanup afterwards, but the time saved applying paint makes it worth it. It seems like the paint goes a lot farther than using a pan and roller. Several weeks ago I had a friend help during priming. It was a huge time saver. He followed behind with the brush in the handholds and then with the roller. Once I figured out about how much paint to apply to each box the job was completed very quickly.

      Getting anxious to start trapping. Been seeing reports from the Carolinas and a couple from Georgia. The winter was not that harsh here so I am anticipating a lot of activity this year out of the ferals.

      Good luck to you and thanks for commenting.

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