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Cathedral Hive New


Well winter is officially here, another few inches of snow this weekend, so I’m stuck hoping the bees survive, and spending my bee energy working on equipment, and trying other fun ideas. I’ve nearly completed a Cathedral hive, just for the fun of building it, and it looks very good so far.

For my design, I modified the frames slightly from the original top bar cathedral design, to be complete frames similar to a lang. Should make inspections quite simple. The main bar of the frames is also the same length as a lang, so I could put half frames into a lang to use to start the hive out with, unless a swarm happens to come my way this spring.

The case is made from solid 2" thick rough sawn cedar. The extra thickness should provide some insulation for overwintering.

Making the frame parts wasn’t noticeably more difficult then regular langstroth frames, but coming up with an assembly jig proved challenging. I settled on a simple layout on plywood, that allows me to glue up one frame at a time very precisely.

Still need to make a couple of follower boards, finish assembling frames, and make a stand/mount then it is ready for spring.

Cheers, Simon


Lovely job.
Have you made it twin walled for insulation?


Interesting frames.
In the top they look like they are butt flush together, unlike the bottom and Lang frames which have the cut out at the bottom portion of the frame end.
I guess those holes in the “middle” bar allow the movement of bees between frames.
Nice job.


well now! wow- you don’t waste any time do you??

what was that- like two weeks ago I posted that link? It looks as if that hive will become a monster? A lot of bee real estate in there.

A monster swarm would be the ideal way to get that beast started- and I am sure any self respecting swarm scout that found that hive would be report back to the swarm: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!


No, I went with full 2" thick cedar instead, as that alone should give adequate insulation, but still allow it to breath well.


Yes the top of the frames are all full width, so they act sort of like a top bar in that they keep the bees contained making for quiet inspections. The cut outs are only on the bottom half of the frames.

The bee “super highways” were an addition after seeing the cathedral top bars on the backyardhive.com site. Be interesting to see if they are used.


The total volume of the hive is equivalent to 32 deep frames. Around here 20 full deeps are considered the requirement for overwintering, allowing me another 12 to play with.