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Brood frame construction - tools

Hi y’all,
Newbee here.
Just putting my frames together and after reading and hearing some horror stories about frames falling apart when inspecting the hive, I’d like some advice from the beeks amongst you.

I’ve seen this at Bunnings, and was wondering if the staple size would be okay for putting my frames together? The largest size for this gun is 10mm.

Also, what size staple do you suggest I use?

Thank you in advance for all/any advice and opinions given.

Cordless staple gun

Don’t buy that stapler.

You need to use Narrow Crown Staples at least 25mm long, I use 28mm I think.

And use exterior grade PVA glue in your frame lugs top and bottom.

Watch your fingers.


Yep what Stevo said.
Commonly called a brad nailer.

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I think crown stapler makes sense when one needs to put together hundreds of frames in reasonable time. For 1-2 hives PVA + nails work very well. Just put nails at an angle to each other.


Thank you so much. Very much appreciated.

Hi there Deb, if you are not running a commercial apiary with 100s of hives, you really don’t have to buy any brad nailers or staplers at all. It’s a waste of money if you don’t need it for something else.

Today’s PVA glues are a fair bit stronger than the flour and water glue my grand dad used to make. I use Gorilla PVA Glue and its bond is actually stronger than the wood itself. You almost need the nails only to hold the frame together until the glue sets. They will not be falling apart because you didn’t use some fancy gizmo to embed the brads.

Do as ABB said. I just put together 50 frames and it was a piece of cake with just a hammer and said glue. I like to drive a nail sideways at the top bar, and I use 1.2mm nails. Save your money and buy a good bee keeping book instead.

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Once you use a stapler and jig you’ll never go back, it’s about 10 times faster.

Plus if you get a big enough stapler/nailer you can do boxes, lids and bases too.

My Ryobi was only $70.

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Assemble using a PVA glue like Selley’s Aquadhere, a nail thru the top bar vertically and one horizontally into the shoulder and turning the frame upside down just one vertically thru the bottom bar on each side and I use flat head nails 25mm long by 1.5mm if I’m only doing a few frames. But often I will make up to 100 frames at a time and use my compressor and stapler to do them faster. The staple I use are 16mm long, 18 gauge and 5.7 wide called a narrow crown staple. I have not had a fail so far.
If your not sure about the strength of the joint your local bee group would be a great source of advice.
Beware of misinformation: brads are not staples and the joint won’t be as strong.

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Well, it is only $70 when you already have a compressor. Which is dangerous piece of equipment requiring maintenance and periodical replacement. Just recently we were reviewing a case where exploded receiver of household grade compressor put a guy off work for 3 months.

That’s why you use two brads in place of one staple.

Do you mean the compressor cracked on a weld or a hole corroded on the bottom of the receiver wall because the water was not drained off so it rusted out? Was the guy hit by flying shrapnel?

Any equipment needs checking and has a used by date, my compressor is over 12 years old and in that time I have gone thru 4 staplers with the ‘O’ rings failing but nothing dramatic.

Yes. Internal corrosion was put as a reason. Receiver split and shrapnel hit the guy.

I agree, equipment needs checking. But how many people test their compressors at home? I mean proper periodic hydrostatic tests?

Anyway, even with new compressor I would rather keep it behind something sturdy. I also switch to airless tools where I can this days.

Thanks for explaining what happened @ABB, that is unusual as once the compressed air finds a hole to escape from the the pressure has been lost and the compressor can’t keep up with the loss of air. Amazing how many have an air compressor and don’t see the water drain tap in the bottom of the receiver. Ignorance is bliss — for a while.

If there is a hole in receiver and compressor cannot build up pressure it is not a problem. Problem happens when receiver is already pressurised and develops a hole. Same effect as punctured air balloon. It bursts.
I found a picture on internet looking similar to what happened to the receiver mentioned above.


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