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Building the Boxs for a Hive


Researching timber for a new hive, the cost of a single board 241 mm X 18mm dressed (235 or 250mm same) is very expensive compared to using 2 or 3 single boards joined. There are a number of quite strong and easy methods of joining the boards and new outside glues excellent.

Western Red Cedar without Tunging or any treatment letting it age gracefully to silver or naphthalene treated pine the timbers being considered.
I see no down sides to using joined boards, except more time in the job. I don’t think the bees will care

Any comment appreciated?


No speako woodworkoh…



Ingles please, enough of this Aussie woodworkoh slangy schtuff… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


P.S. Still love ya, and glad your wife is coming back soon to put you on the straight and narrow in communicating with us “normal” humans!! :imp:


Ah you make me laugh.

241mm X 18mm dressed means it has be planed, removing all the saw cuts and is parallel and square.

Joined boards are just that. 2 or more boards are joined to make one single wider or thicker board


Ah, so joinery and woodworkery are the same thing, and all woodworkers like to be thicker than two short planks/boards? Sorry, a bit overheated this evening, must be the devil in me… :smiling_imp:

Anyhow, to answer your question, lots of people make bee boxes without finger/box joints, just using parallel/square corners. In fact, i think there is a Dummies book (seriously! :smile:) with plans for how to do it. I used to have a copy, but gave it away because it looked too hard for me :wink: :


Not the making,. that’s OK.
But is it OK using say 4 X 60mm wide boards, joined to make one 240mm wide board.:relaxed:


You are really messing with my head… OK, can we talk about a bee box, so I can visualize this? If we are talking about a Langstroth deep, are you saying that you are wondering about using 4 horizontal strips of wood, stacked one above the other and each 60mm high, for each wall? If so, I can’t see a problem at all, as long as you have good structural integrity, and seeing your work, that will not be an issue. The bees certainly won’t care - the inside of a rotted tree is a lot rougher! No insult intended. :smile:

I think @Michael_Bush has quite a lot of carpentry experience, so maybe he will comment. I wouldn’t worry about glue or anything like that, the only issue would be gaps and workmanship - in your case, likely not a problem.


Hi Busso, a lot of my hives were constructed using joined boards, there are no problems at all with joined boards.


But we got there in the end. Thanks Dawn. :wink:

:[quote=“JeffH, post:7, topic:5672”]
no problems at all with joined boards.[/quote]

Thanks Jeff. I could not see a problem, just you only see single board sides.
But gee using narrow boards joined together saves a lot of money. Because the lengths are comparatively small, picking up offcuts is the way to go.


Thank you for your sense of humour and patience! I learned something, I think… :smile:



Glueing narrow boards together to make a wide one works. I make cutting boards n bread board a lot. Just use a quality water proof exterior glue. It clamp together n let dry well for at least 12 hours n often 24 hours if I have time. I also glued pine together for hives. I laminate the narrower boards to get the width I need n cut down to size. Using several boards together helps to prevent warping as well.

this is my laminated bread board. second pix is one of my laminated cutting board. 3rd is my wife’s meat cutting board I laminated for Christmas present.

So go ahead Busso. Often you can glue scraps together too ! Enjoy ! Gerald.



Where I need added strength I use other methods in addition to just gluing.

I use these wood shims called biscuits. I use several of these biscuits on the sliding counter cutting board. I don’t use biscuits when I laminated pieces together for hives. Hope my pix’s help proof laminating works GREAT ! Good luck n enjoy ! Gerald


Thanks for info and pics Gerald



I was thinking some sort of Dowel linkage for strength - in wet weather I would be worried the laminated wood would disintegrate or the glue break down - I suppose are you after an artefact to work , look good, last long or all three.

Be interested how it comes out

@Dawn_SD - stay off the plonk - that messes with the head too LOL


If I did it I would use a biscuit joiner or if you have a finder joiner use that. Don’t just butt to boards next to each other and glue. It won’t hold long term.


I am thinking more tongue and groove or a rebated join. Those biscuits are as good as dowels if you use enough of them and they are a hell of a lot easier to do. The all weather PVC glues are really good.
Might be a while before I get to it though as I have a heap a work around the place which I have be putting off and putting off ,ut have to be done before May when I will be away for some time.
Tomorrow will be full on washing (21 of most items LOL), vacuuming , dusting . .3 weeks of housework in one day. And Wife will be so impressed with my housework. Probably won’t even notice I broke her favourite cup.


Opps!! Admit it and she will forgive you - hide it and repent


Huh??? I am insulted!!! I NEVER drink plonk. Only the good stuff!!!

Just to be clear though, I don’t need plonk to make me ditsy - I can do it all by myself. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I can’t resist having a bit of fun with @busso. He is one of my favorite new beekeepers. He and @skeggley have really shown what it is like to start in this obsessing interest. They have been generous in sharing photos and experience - I love it!


@busso, my understanding from my own research on this same topic, is that wood glues (I use Tightbond II) these days are quite good. And, simply glueing two pieces together will actually produce a board that is more sturdy and stable than if you had used a single piece of wood.

Many tests have shown that glued wood is actually stronger at the glue joint than away from the glue joint. And… the wider a plank of wood, the more problems you have with cupping, unless your lumber is coming from a humongous tree. Edge gluing two boards together in such a way that the grains are opposite of each other is a good way to mitigate cupping.

Of course, all of this hinges on (1) using a good quality glue, (2) using enough glue, (3) making sure you prepared the two surfaces properly before gluing, (4) adequate clamping after gluing. All 4 of those things are pretty easy to do properly if you have clamps and are not stingy about your glue usage.

In summary, I think the biscuit joints are overkill, I think anything other than just gluing the boards together is overkill, and I think 2 boards glued together will be stronger than 1 really wide board.


Thanks Lorne. I agree with what you say.
In hind site probably not a well thought out question. My original concern was how would it affect bees , I mean there must be some reason the commercial makers of boxes only use single board sides. When maybe I was just seeking approval to use scrap offcuts because it is much cheaper.
Whatever my plight I am at ease with it now and when in a position to start will do so and document it.



Yes as a rule I fess up. But timing is everything. Somewhere between the 3rd and 4th G&T or after the 2nd red (glass that is) I usually find best to cleanse the soul . Any earlier that little bit of grog will inflame things and any later there will be a denial of ever been told. :innocent: