How to Build a Bee Hive

Written by carrie terry
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How to Build a Bee Hive
This is how the finished "body" should look.

If you love honey, there's a chance that you'll want to harvest your own. This means building and maintaining a beehive. Keeping live animals always requires responsibility. Do plenty of research on bees and their needs and challenges before you bring them into your life.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Circular saw
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • 1x12 or 1x10 inch timber (two sheets of approximately 25x45 inches)
  • 1/2 inch plywood (two sheets of approximately 18x25 inches)
  • 2x4 inch (one)
  • 2x1 (one)
  • Sharpie pen

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  1. 1

    Cut the timber into four pieces for the sides (two) and ends (two). Wood for the sides should be cut in pieces of 9 3/4 inches by 20 inches. Wood for the ends should be cut in pieces of 9 3/4 inches by 15 inches. Label these pieces with the pen for ease of construction.

  2. 2

    Cut the frame rest on one side of one of the end pieces, using the circular saw. This cut should be 3/8 inch wide by three-quarters inch deep. This will give the end piece a notched appearance. Cut the cleats--two pieces of 2x1 the length of the end pieces.

  3. 3

    Nail side and end pieces together. Nail the cleats to the front, outside edges of the end pieces. The notched end of the end piece should be at the top of the box, with the notch at the front end, facing down into the box. You have now constructed your hive body.

    How to Build a Bee Hive
    This is how the finished "body" should look.
  4. 4

    Cut plywood for the top and bottom pieces--16 1/2 inches by 21 1/2 inches. Cut the 2x4 to two 16 1/2-inch lengths for the legs of the hive. Cut riser boards 3/8 inch thick by the dimensions of the existing front edges on the body of the hive from some of the scrap wood.

  5. 5

    Nail the legs to the bottom piece of plywood. Nail riser boards to the top edges of the side and end pieces (beehive body). On the top end piece, use a riser board only half the length of the box, to create an entrance.

    How to Build a Bee Hive
    The beehive with the risers added should look like this.
  6. 6

    Nail the plywood bottom onto the body of the hive with the legs facing out.

  7. 7

    Cut two 16 5/8-inch lengths of wood and nail them to the short sides of the plywood top. These will be the handles on the lid of your box and will be for lifting the lid off the box. The body is now ready for frames and bees, which should be purchased.

    How to Build a Bee Hive

Tips and warnings

  • Paint all the wood to make it last.
  • Plywood can be replaced with galvanised metal sheeting or aluminium.
  • Using power tools and dealing with bees can be dangerous. Always wear the appropriate protective gear.

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