Put your carpentry skills to work and build your own beehive! You’ll save yourself more than a few bucks, and give your bees a healthy home.
The fall and winter months are a great time to tackle homestead projects that you would like to have done by next spring – such as getting ready to add bees to your homestead lineup.
Beehives can be expensive if you buy them pre-made, but they are surprisingly easy to make – at a fraction of the cost you would pay for a pre-built hive. If you have basic carpentry skills and tools, this project shouldn’t cost more than about $60 in materials (saving you at least half the cost of a manufactured hive), and can be done in a weekend.
The list of supplies below are what you will need to build a beehive’s base, inner and outer covers, and 5 “supers” for collecting honey. You will likely want to add a coat of primer and exterior paint to help your beehive hold up to the elements – but make sure to paint ONLY the outer surfaces, and be certain you are using a VOC-free paint, as bees are very sensitive to chemicals.
Here is what you will need – and be sure to check out the link below for full instructions on building your hive:
Tools and Materials
- One 4′ × 2′ sheet of ¾”-thick plywood
- One 2′ × 2′ sheet of ¼”-thick plywood
- Four 8′-long pine 1×12s (¾” × 11¼”)
- Tape measure
- Table saw*
- Chop saw*
- Power drill with ³⁄₃₂ and ⁵⁄₃₂” bits
- 1 lb. 2″ 6D galvanized nails
- 1 lb. 1¼” hardened trim nails
- Waterproof wood glue
- 40 #12 × 1¼” Phillipshead wood screws
- Fifty 6¼” hive frames with wax foundation (from a beekeeping supplier such as dadant.com)
- 10-frame entrance reducer (from a beekeeping supplier such as dadant.com)