How to Build a Bee Hive Base

A healthy beehive starts with a healthy base, which must be strong enough to support the entire hive. A man-made beehive consists of a stack of boxes filled with frames called supers. The base must be able to hold up to five supers stacked on top of each other. The base requires short legs to raise the hive off the ground and to prevent rot. Do not use pressure-treated or chemically-treated wood. The chemical used to preserve wood may cause illness in the bees, or may leach into the honey.

Measure the base of your super. Add two inches to the length of the super. This is the measurement of your base. The 2-inch extension gives the bees a place to land before they enter the hive.

Check the plywood sheet to make sure it is straight. Place the carpenter square against one corner of the plywood. If the wood doesn't match the carpenter square exactly, trim the board to create a 90 degree corner. This becomes your reference corner for the rest of the project.

Measure the base of your hive, including the 2-inch extension. Use the carpenter square to ensure that all four corners are square.

Cut the base using a circular saw. The fence of the saw holds the board in place during cutting. Move the fence to cut the base to the proper length and width.

Cut three pieces of 2-by-4 inch lumber the width of the base. These pieces support the base and prevent contact between the base and the ground

Spread wood glue on the 4-inch side of the wood, the entire length of each support.

Place the wooden base on top of the glue on all three supports. Place one support under either end of the base and the third one in the centre. Make sure the supports line up with the edges of the base.

Hammer four nails through the base and into each support.

Paint the base white to match the supers and attract bees.


Keep your super handy to check the measurements before cutting your base.


Always use caution when cutting on a table saw.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 1-inch thick plywood sheet, 4-by-6 feet
  • Carpenter square
  • 2-by-4 inch lumber, 8 feet
  • Table saw
  • Wood glue
  • 2 inch nails, 12
  • White latex paint
  • Paint brush
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About the Author

Based in Nashville, Shellie Braeuner has been writing articles since 1986 on topics including child rearing, entertainment, politics and home improvement. Her work has appeared in "The Tennessean" and "Borderlines" as well as a book from Simon & Schuster. Braeuner holds a Master of Education in developmental counseling from Vanderbilt University.