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 to review the best beehive plans.
Beehive Plans are Made By the Bees Too
While bees do not actively build their own hives, they do have a plan. A honey bee colony knows exactly what they desire when choosing a home.
Before a bee swarm leaves the mother colony, scout bees have been checking out new nest sites.
The various new sites are evaluated using criteria that we only understand in part. 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 what that bees are hoping to find.
Types of Beehive Plans Worldwide
For the new beekeeper wishing to build a beehive, there are many different types of hives in use around the world. Some of them are simple log hives.
These homes for bees do not require any special woodworking tools. But other types of beehives do require good beehive plans. Failure to build the hive with instructions results in improper size and spacing.
Wooden ware built to the wrong measurements will still work for the colony. However, the bees will fill any strange space with extra honeycomb or “burr comb”. This makes hive inspections difficult if not impossible.
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.
How to Build the Most Simple Beehive
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
- Free Top Bar Plan from Author of The Barefoot Beekeeper
- Build A Top Bar Beehive – Hobby Farms
- DIY Top Bar Hive – Remove & Replace Home Projects
Building the Most Common Beehive
The most readily available beehive plans are for construction of Langstroth Hives. This hive type is the most popular hive in the US.
A Langstroth Hive is considered by many to be the best choice for first year beekeepers. You will find many different beehive plans to aid you in construction.
Not every set of hive plans has the correct dimensions to allow the use of commercial equipment. Check closely before cutting and assembly.
Langstroth Hives commonly have 10 frames per box. But the use of Lang Hives with 8 frames is gaining popularity. When searching for hive building instructions, take note of which size you are building.
Free Langstroth Beehive Plans
- Langstroth Beehive Construction – Ontario Bees
- 10 Frame Langstroth Plans – Instructables
- Langstroth Beehive Plans – Beesource
Beehive Plans for Other Hive Styles
- Warre Hive – Buzz about Bees
- The Barrel Beehive Plan – Instructables
- The Long Lang Hive – Natural Beekeeping
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.
Once you have completed building your hive, be sure to check out these helpful posts.