DIY Beehive Plans to Build
When you start keeping bees, you will need to purchase several types of beekeeping supplies . However, If you enjoy building things and have a passion for bees, you might consider building your own beehives. With basic woodworking skills and good measuring skills, the only thing missing is the best beehive plans.
The honey bee colony is an expert at finding new places to live. Before a honey bee swarm leaves the mother colony, the search for a new home has begun.
While bees do not actively build their own hives, they do tend to select certain types of cavities.
After years of bee research, we have learned much about the types of homes that honey bees prefer. Of course, we still do not know everything about how they make the decision.
General location, height about the ground, size of the entrance and interior dimensions seem to be part of the equation.
In the end, the bees choose a site for the new hive that they feel is the best one available.
When we build and design hives, our goal is to mimic the site that bees are hoping to find.
This is why is it important to make sure your homemade beehive matches the bee preferences not just your own.
DIY Beehive Plans
The decision to build a beehive, requires some serious consideration. There are many different types of hives in use around the world.
It is common to see diagrams of simple log hives. These types of hives are used in many under-developed countries where materials are limited.
While log hives provide a home for a bee colony, they are not well suited for modern beekeeping.
Modern hives are designed to make hive inspections easier. Good beehive plans are built to specific inside measurements.
Wooden ware built to the wrong measurements will still work for the colony.
However, the beekeeper will face a constant battle with the bees building comb in undesirable places.
In many areas, you must have a beehive with removable frames. This is due to the need to check hives for disease.
It is impossible to manage a bee colony unless you can remove and view each frame.
Simple Beehive Plans
If you want to build the most simple beehive possible, most beekeepers would tell you to choose a Top Bar Hive. This hive style was developed in Kenya.
The top bar hive could be constructed with materials that were readily available. New beekeepers did not have to find and purchase special items.
There was no need to order materials or build structures requiring exact measurements.
Modern Top Bar Hive Plans do have instructions for measurements in their design.
One thing to consider, after the hive is built and bees are inside, you have to manage the colony. Management tasks vary a bit with different type of hives.
Do you have someone in your area who is using the same type of hive? If not and you are a beginner, the Top Bar Hive might be a project for next year.
Historically, beekeepers used any natural materials that were available. The luxury of a beekeeping supply story or online ordering was not possible.
Free Plans for a Top Bar Hive
Honey Bee Langstroth Hive Plans
The most readily available DIY beehive plans are for construction of Langstroth Hives. This hive type is the most popular hive in the US.
A Langstroth Hive is considered to be the best choice for new beekeepers. Because it is the most commonly used hive, it is easy to find others who can advise you on hive management.
Langstroth Hives commonly have 10 removable frames inside each box. But Lang Hives with 8 frames per box is gaining popularity.
A langstroth hive usually consists of several stacked boxes. The number of boxes needed depends on the climate and needs of the bee colony.
Free Langstroth Beehive Plans
- Langstroth Beehive Construction – Ontario Bees
- 10 Frame Langstroth Plans – Instructables
- Langstroth Beehive Plans – Beesource
Beehive Plans for Other Hive Styles
Before you rush out to buy materials and build your own DIY beehive, take the time to consider which hive is best for you.
There are many hive plans to consider. Find one that fits your needs and style of keeping bees. Check out several books on building beehives – they are a great reference.
Once you have completed building your hive, be sure to check out these helpful posts.