When I started with beekeeping at the beginning of the year, I purchased a set of Warré bee hives from Natural Beekeeping Australia (Tim Malfroy). These are lovely, and made out of 22mm Macrocarpa Cyprus, they’re built to last.
In the quiet winter, it’s a good time to plan for the coming spring. I’m hoping to add a second bee hive to the roof, and so a second set of boxes are required. After some helpful advice from Tim, I decided to make my own.
The first step was to rout a 11mm x 11mm rebate into the sides of the boxes, for the frames to sit into. I borrowed a router off a friend, and even with no prior experience, I had the rebates done in about 30-40mins.
Some careful cutting with my circular saw produced the first set of box sides in the first hour, after a bit of initial stuffing around.
After a quick dash to the nearby Bunnings to get some clamps big enough to hold the box together, I had the first box screwed together.
Repeat three times until a complete set of boxes is created! All that’s left is the base, roof, and quilt box.
The completed set of hive parts is shown in the first picture in this post. From a standing start, and with a lot of on-the-job learning, the whole process took about 2/3 of a day. It will be a lot quicker next time around!
All that’s left to do is to install a Beeltra trap in the bottom and paint the hive. 🙂
- 10.8m of 240×190 radiata pine (6 x 1.8m)
- 6mm marine ply (small amount)
- 15mm ply (small amount)
- recycled hardwood (small amount)
- approx 40 of 8g x 35mm square drive screws
- approx 150 of 8g x 65mm square drive screws
The radiata pine was the only material I was able to easy source locally. So while it’s a bit thinner and less robust than the cyprus used by Tim, it’s still fine (it’s painted to protect it from the elements). The key thing is to ensure the interior dimensions are 308 x 308 mm, so the frames fit.
I used some left-over ply to make the base and lid for the hive.
The total cost of materials was approx $120.
These were the tools I used for the job:
- circular saw
- router (borrowed from a friend, in my case)
- impact driver (electric screwdriver would be fine too)
- 4 clamps
- combination square
- builder’s pencil
- glue for joints
- tape measure
- safety glasses
- ear muffs
This is pretty much a set of standard tools for the typical DIY’er. Using a circular saw for accurate work is a hassle, but possible. It would be much easier with a good-sized mitre saw, or bench saw.
To end on a very geeky note, making your own hives as a new beekeeper feels like a young jedi making their first lightsabre 😉