Beehive boxes

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by TexasArtist, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2003
    I was just wondering if anyone has ever built their own bee hive boxes? I'd like to have a small bee keeping operation just for our own use. Can I build my own boxes instead of spending on big bucks to have some shipped to me.
  2. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2003
    North Salem, NY
    Yes, this is definitely possible, and I know it is the route that many of us take. The boxes are actually quite easy to make if you use some of the simpler types of joints. I just used some retired horse fencing (broken boards, etc. to make a stack of very cheap honey supers. You can use any type of wood that you would like, as long as it has not been treated with any chemicals. Most people just use pine as it is cheapest. I use whatever happens to be around. I made a few out of old oak boards (very hard to nail). The joint I used was a mitered joint, but as soon as I can get my hands on a table saw, I will start making lap-joints, as they are easier to assemble. If you do use mitered joints, I would recommend making an assembly jig to hold the box together while nailing. Once assembled, they are very sturdy. To make a jig, take any hive body with the same thickness wood you are using, and attach vertical boards to the inside and outside of all four walls of the box. Then you can just slip in all the boards into your "sleeves" and nail it all together. Good luck! Winter is the time that most beekeepers build their hive parts, as this is the downtime for all other aspects of beekeeping. There are also other slow times during the active season that can be used for building and assembly. I would recomment doing all your cutting first, and then all your assembling, as it cuts down significantly on time; kind of like an assembly line. Enjoy!


  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 9, 2003
    As a newbie, I just went through the same thought process as you. In my opinion, you could easily make the boxes; however, the frames are a different story. You only need a few boxes, but you must have 10X as many frames. Plus, once you build the frames, you still need the foundations. I just bought brand new frames with foundations for $1.63 each. The shipping for 10 was another $7. That brings the total average unit cost to get a frame with a foundation delivered to my door to $2.33.

    Boxes are pretty simple. Frames are more intricate. Not only that, but the foundations will still cost you just under a dollar each counting shipping. I can't imagine building frames for around $1.50 each.
  4. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    i have built my own before. i bought the pieces pre cut. it took a long time. It was a good idea iin that i really understood how this stuff went together and how to keep it in good shape.
    Right away, though i found out that due to the mite problem, there are lots of dead hives and beekeepers will sell you or almost give you empty equipment. the stuff sells for way way less than its worth.
  5. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2002
    You will have plenty of hours into assembling bee hives,frames,etc. without building 'em,too. We have too much other farm work to do to build our own! Did get lucky a few years back and found an old guy going out of business who sold us 50 colonies worth of supplies; these had been empty for years but just needed cleaning and painting. DEE