Building Plans for Bee Boxes

Any one have some they can share!
Simple is better!!

There are a few online:

I found its much cheaper and less time consuming to buy flat packed langstroth boxes and screw them together myself. Most can be purchased for less than $20.


I totally agree with Rodderick’s last statement. I’m an accomplished woodworker with a full shop of tools. I got on a bug a while back where I decided to build my own bodies. By the time I built the jigs and purchased the raw materials, I realized there was no way I could compete. Considering that some just like to DIY, there is a simple pleasure to be had in doing your own construction. Eventually what you may find, though, is that this takes away from other responsibilities. Especially, as you find you are in need of additional equipment.


I’m a total beekeeping novice but I’ve been a passionate builder/ renovator for many years. Looking forward to designing and building my own hive so I will be checking out Rodderick’s links. Thanks heaps. We have a serious problem with termites here is Mullumbimby so I’m keen to use treated pine in the base. I know I will need to keep this sort of stuff well away from the bees. Im thinking of hoop pine for the main structure but I’m not at all sure what preservative would be best. Copper napthoate?

My wooden hives are made of cyprus dipped in hot paraffin. Hives tend to rot from the inside out because of the high humidity. I personally would not feel comfortable having any paint or wood preservative inside of the hive. My hive stands are steel angle iron or concrete blocks.

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Beat me to it, @pbrutz!, due to the read only state.

I understand you have a problem with termites, so other than protection from investigating animals, why is it imperative you use wood for your hive stand. It’s my understanding that termites will attack wooden structures from ground contact. Using concrete piers or pads is an obvious over-kill, especially when you find you’ll want to move the hive location, if only a few feet. Why not use concrete building blocks? They can be easily leveled, or releveled, as the case may be.

You are correct in assuming treated wood should not be used in hive components. I have used treated lumber extensively for support, but I much prefer weathered materials. Freshly treated materials should not be used. Copper formulations are particularly toxic to honeybees.

In the event you are adamant about wood construction, I would suggest cypress, or perhaps, cedar. I’m unaware of a pine product that would be suitable.

As Michael Bush says, all things work if you let them.

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Just a question?
And what about the plastic wood they have for building decks and hand rail, picnick tables and the such?

I’ve used plastic/wood decking to build a deck at a friends place. Personally I wouldn’t use it for a bee hive as it had quite a smell, guessing there are some interesting glues in there to hold it all together.

But there are plastic beehives out there which use food grade plastics, apparently they last a long time and are very tough. We had considered them for the flow hive, but there are mixed opinions on plastic and i feel not using plastic where we don’t have to is a good thing.

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I have used copper napthenate and then painted the hive inside and out with water based paint, it was a bit of overkill but the bees didn’t care. If the bees don’t like it then they will cover with propolis anyway. My advice is to make your hives over winter to allow at least a month for the napthenate to cure. This treatment should see the hive outlast you.

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Thanks for all the advice folks. I’ve looked at both copper napthanate and hot paraffin for the preservative and I’m inclined to go for the copper napthanate. Applying the hot paraffin treatment would be a long way from my comfort zone and the copper based fungicide appears to be very effective. Sealing it all in with plastic paint seems to be the go.

I have a number of cypress boards to use for the base frame. Old cypress is as splintery as all get out but its light and is structurally sound in the right sections. Steel would be a bit heavy for what I want to do. When I get started, I’ll post pics of the progress.

Thanks again for all the support. I’ve applied to join the Facebook Mullumbimby bee group but I haven’t heard back from them yet. (Added 23.5.15: I’ve been in the Facebook “Mullumbimbees” for a few days now. It’s a great group and thanks for accepting me.)

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The copper napthenate arrived today. I bought a 4L can through the local hardware store. It’s not anywhere near as concentrated as the stuff from apiarist suppliers, 2% as compared to 20%.

Some of the cypress pine I’m recycling is in good order considering it spent 30 years as weatherboards on the side of my house. I should have enough to build most of the hives with it. I’m recycling some solid 12mm ply for some parts of the supers and some hoop pine for the top.

The best advice seems to be to use concrete and steel to keep hives off the ground. Half Besser blocks should be up to the job. I’ve a few of them I can recycle too.

The steel I will be using is simply 4X150mm 12mm bolts attached to the underside of the frame. Together with the Besser blocks they should get the hive about 400mm off the ground. I’m thinking of standing the bolts in little tins of sump oil the keep ants at bay. Some of the hives pictured in the internet have these sorts of ant interceptors.


Are there any plans on the forum for bee boxes for flow frames?

I’ve seen the how to modify a langstroth to suit the flow frames but not how to build them from scratch.

BeeSource is a great site, however the dimensions are mostly imperial so you may need to convert to metric.

Yeah there are lots of general plans around but I want something specific for the flow frames. There are so many variations. I wouldn’t want to build a bunch of boxes only to find that they are not compatible.

Any box is compatible as long as you follow the Flow modification steps, and it is a standard internal dimension to hold the correct number of frames. The steps to modify the box are detailed on the main website, and there are several links to it in different threads on here if you use the search function it should turn up a few different results

I am considering building my own hive soon, I am considering building a langstroth long hive. I am not concerned about the weight because I am a hobbyist and I won’t be moving the hive regularly, hence the idea for a long frame.
I work with timber regularly and I have loads of spotted gum I could make it out of, does anyone have any idea about how spotted gum would go with a hive, it is a naturally durable timber.
Also if anyone knows of any long hive plans in mm I would appreciate it.
I would also love to know people’s thoughts on a long hive.

I’m building a Langstroth long hive as well in between other jobs. Mine is more of a composite hive because it will have small, 6 frame supers on top to take the Honeyflow units. I figure I will be able to lift off 6 frame supers and the long hive underneath won’t be going anywhere.

I don’t have any plans, but any plans for a Langstroth box will do, just make the width as long as you want the hive and leave the other dimension the same. I would go for whatever comes out even with your available lumber that is little over a meter.

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