Beehive Plans for Hive Construction

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If you have a desire to build your own hive, you need some good beehive plans. With basic woodworking know how and good measuring skills, you can construct a hive that your honey bees will enjoy. There are several types of hives to consider with the most common being the Langstroth hive. But, you can decide which one best fits your style of beekeeping.

Homemade beehive made using hive plans for bottom image.

DIY Beehive Plans to Build Yourself

Every beekeeper has a desire to have the very best bee hive for their colony. If you are someone who enjoys building things, you may wish to build your beehive instead of purchasing one.

Honestly, you will likely find that it is not less expensive to build a hive rather than purchase one. Unless, you have access to wood at a reduced cost.

But, many folks enjoy the task of constructing wooden hives and like the idea of providing a special handmade item to use in their beekeeping.

Done right it can be a very rewarding feeling to install your bees in your own creation.

Bee Boxes that Bees Prefer

In the wild, bees will chose the space that is available. But even then, they are comparing several different types of sites and choosing the best one.

From studies we know that a swarm of bees tends to look for certain specifications in regards to interior space, size of the entrance and height from the ground etc.

When setting up swarm traps we use these same concepts in hope of catching some free bees. A swarm will sometimes surprise us with the choices they make.

Yet, providing what we “think” they need increases our chances of success a bit. In hive design and construction, the beekeeper must also give some thought to what bees want.

If they are not happy with the home you provide, the bees may leave the hive! This is called absconding and no beekeeper wants to experience bee loss in this manner.

When we build and design hives, our goal is to mimic the site that bees are hoping to find. The proper interior size, tight fitting parts that do not let in rain, small entrances easy to guard etc.

This is why is it important to make sure your homemade beehive matches the bees’ preferences not just your own.

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Bees on comb in a natural planned hive.

Homemade Hive Plans

As you consider starting to build your beehive, one of the first decisions is which type you want.

There are several different types of hives in use around the world. While bees can and do survive in many different structures, some are more fitted to modern beekeeping than others.

It is common to see diagrams of simple log hives hanging in trees. They are not the best choice for most beekeepers that you or I would meet.

However, they are used in many under-developed countries where materials are limited.

Keep Modern Beekeeping Practices In Mind

Modern hives are designed to make hive inspections easier. Being able to remove the frames of honeycomb during hive inspections is vital.

Based on years of experience, good hive building plans will have the correct measurements for each part. Of course, mass produced boxes will have some variations. Perhaps you can do better.

When you are selecting a bee hive blueprint, double check the inside measurements. The outside of the hive doesn’t really matter as much as the inside. This is the space your bees build their comb to fit.

Strive to stay inside the industry standard, you may want to other pieces of beekeeping equipment to fit.

A top feeder or additional beekeeping super boxes all work much easier when all of your equipment is standard.

Homemade beehive with correct blueprint measurements image.

If you choose a bee hive plan that calls for using wood of a certain thickness and you use different lumber – you must adjustment the measurements.

Does it really matter? It will to you. Wooden ware built to the wrong measurements will still work for the bees.

However, the beekeeper will face a constant battle with the bees building comb in undesirable places.

The colony will fill any open space with extra honeycomb or “burr comb”. This makes hive inspections difficult if not impossible.

Langstroth Bee Hive Blue Prints

The most readily available DIY beehive plans are for construction of Langstroth Hives. This hive type is the most popular hive in the US.

It is (often called a Lang) and 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 are gaining popularity.

A Langstroth hive usually consists of several stacked boxes. The number of boxes needed depends on the climate and needs of the colony.

Free Lang Beehive Plans

Langstroth Hive blueprints are fairly easy to follow. The most difficult task is cutting the shelf for the frames to sit.

Be sure to double check those inside measurements. Some beekeepers are enjoying horizontal hives that are similar to the original stacked version.

Homemade top bar hive built using hive plans.

Building Plans for Top Bar Hives

Ask about one of the simplest beehives to construct, most beekeepers would tell you to choose a Top Bar Hive.

This style was developed in Kenya. It was easy to construct with materials that were readily available.

Historically, beekeepers used any natural materials that were available. The luxury of a beekeeping supply story or online ordering was not possible.

There was no need to order materials or build structures requiring exact measurements. However, modern Top Bar Hive Plans do have instructions for measurements in their design.

Keep in mind that hive construction is only the first step. Once the 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.

Free Plans for a Top Bar Hive

Here are some free plans for building top bar hives. Some are more detailed than others – find one that fits your needs.

Plans for Other Hive Styles

Of course there are other types of hive that beekeepers enjoy or like to experiment with. Some require the same management as the standard and others are specialized.

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Expert Advice Regarding Hive Plans

Before you rush out to buy materials and build your own beehive, take the time to consider which hive is best for you.

You may have the skill to make a perfect home for your bees-in the most unique style. But, will it fit your goals – whether you are interested in honey production or bee pollination?

Find one that fits your needs and style of keeping bees. Check out several books on building beehives – they are a great reference.

After you have completed building your hive, it is time to consider how to paint a beehive. And then, finding the best place to put your hive.