|Project by CueballRosendaul||posted 06-13-2014 05:19 PM||1891 views||12 times favorited||11 comments|
I haven’t seen a honeybee on my property for two years now, and being a man of action, I decided I needed to do my part and help the bees. After looking at the price of boxes from apiary supply houses, I decided to build my own hives. I’d like to have a top-bar hive, but the gentleman who is selling the bees to me urged me to use a traditional Langstroth hive because his bees have lived in vertical boxes for hundreds of generations and they might not understand what to do in a top-bar and may just fly away.
Off to the internet to google some plan ideas and get the dimensions and returned to the shop with a printout from page 10 of Beekeeping Basics, a free e book . These diagrams are the best dimensions and easiest to read that I could find. The one minor issue with the plans was that the dimensions for the width appeared to be an outside dimension, but were actually an inside dimension, so my boxes ended up being 9 frame boxes instead of 10 because they’re 1.5” too narrow on that dimension. I’m buying the frames to go in them, so I didn’t make those, but the boxes, bottom board, stand, and roof were made with the box joint jig and almost all scrap pine pieces. I did have to buy one 1×12 for the deep hive body box. I’ll be building a few more boxes later this summer as the hive (hopefully) grows in population.
The bodies are simply a four sided box with a rabbet on two ends for the frames to rest on. The bottom board is built into the short stand and has a slide out bottom (for inspecting their trash and cleaning purposes) and it has a place for a screen above the slide out. In the hottest days of summer, I can remove the board and just leave the screened bottom open to keep them cool.
The entrance cleat is a nifty little device, simply ¾” square rod that fits in the opening. During busy times, it can be removed, but in winter it can be rotated to reveal a smaller opening. This smaller opening is easier for them to defend if the hive is getting robbed by other bees also.
The roof is heavily painted 1/2’’ plywood with a 2” overhang all around. The joint is glued and caulked, but I’m planning to coat it with sheet metal before the winter comes to prevent any leaks.
I’m planning to start a blog series here on this project because it will involve many more smaller projects as I work my way up to two full hives.
-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.