Simple way to secure hive sections during strong winds

We keep having bad storms. A couple days ago we had a “bad” storm, not a “really bad” storm. The wind got up to 19 mph and was gusting at 38 mph. Last fall and last spring we had a few “really bad” storms (tornadoes, hail, flooding, 50+ mph gusts, etc.). No tornadoes hit my property, but, the winds were pretty intense and many trees blew over. The power was out for 3 days and all roads leading into town were flooded.

For this reason, I don’t want to worry about my hive blowing over during one of those storms. I was using a strap, and it was very secure, but, I found it to be a bit of a pain to work with. I wanted something more elegant.

I have been following forum threads about spring clips. I almost bought spring clips, but, I didn’t like the following things about them…

  1. Having to pay for them, versus using something I already had laying around.
  2. Their inflexibility if the distance between boxes increases/decreases (i.e. if you get a thicker/thinner queen excluder, or your feeder board his an odd thickness). I wanted something that could be installed on every box the same way and work regardless of what accessories I decide to use down the road.
  3. Getting the spring clips to work with the beautiful roof that came with the cedar hive looked like it would be a problem.

So… after seeing cam locks, straps, spring clips, and other types of securing devices… I decided to do this…

Because I used wire to tie the screws together, I am able to make the connections very tight without much effort. The wire will likely need to be replaced every year when it breaks, but, it is very easy to add new wire.

Here’s what I did:

The bottom isn’t an issue…

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Thanks for the bee_misc link… lots of interesting things on that page! I like the smoker insert.

I am reading some gardening and bread making books right now. I think I will be buying one of your books next. Do you have a recommendation for someone with my information level? (Meaning: I have already read a bunch of introductory books on bees and I have an interest in understanding the details about why beeks do the things that they do)

I always say my favorite beekeeping book is “all of them”. :slight_smile: I’ve enjoyed all of the ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture editions over the years with a preference for the old ones, like back in the 1920s and 1930s, though the 1940s aren’t bad either. There are now many old books and magazines scanned in on google books and on Cornells “hive and the honey bee” collection. There are quite a few old books on my web site. But one of my all time favorites, not so much about beekeeping as about bees, is “Huber’s New Observations On Bees”.

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I have an idea…patent pending :wink:
Here’s a mock up - not to scale or on the correct side of the hive, but you get the idea.

Bungee cords can be shortened to provide the right amount of tension :slight_smile:

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I understand the thoughts, but I don’t like the elasticity of bungee cords. We used to own a small airplane, which had to be tied down when parked outside. I would rather use chains, thick rope or nylon straps than bungee cords. The amount of damage that can be done to aircraft and hives when they even move or bounce just a little bit, well it can be scary… :scream:

First world problems :wink:

I’d think that anything strong enough to stretch a tight bungee would blow the whole damn hive over. Stand and all.

Another good point. Being a girlie, there is a limit to how much I can stretch a bungee. When I ask myself “how much could I stretch it?” the answer would be “not enough to be sure…” :smile:

That is why some people put anchors into the ground and strap down sideways to those. I will edit if I find an image for you.

Second picture down in this article shows one way of doing it. Others use concrete blocks etc.

With the right bungee, that should work.


  • Bungees are easier to manipulate than wire
  • People tend to like bungee cords (except for @Dawn_SD and airplane enthusiasts :smile:)
  • I got to see your cheesy mockup!


  • I’d worry about the torque applied to the wooden knobs from the bungee that is constantly under tension. That tension would eventually bend the screw (or pull it out) holding the knobs in place. The spring clips and wire don’t have that problem because the tension in those design are minimal or non-existant up until the point when you try to separate the boxes. This worry can probably be mitigated by picking the right sized bungee and using something other than knobs. Might I recommend a dowel rod installed at an angle (see attached pic). Attached the dowel at an angle would make it considerably stronger and durable.
  • Bungee to the face.

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To be clear… the dowel rod would NOT be screwed into the hive. Instead, a dowel rod sized hole would be drilled about 10 degrees off from perpendicular to the plane of the hive. Then, jam the dowel rod into the hold and cut flush from the inside of the box (or precut before installing if you don’t have a flush cut saw). EDIT: And glue it in place (no need for nails, the glue will be plenty strong enough).

Another pro! A big one!

If the tension on the bungee is high enough, you would be able to just leave the bungee on the two bottom pegs and never remove it (you were probably already envisioning it this way). Then, just grab it in the middle and pull it up and over the middle peg. LOVE IT!

Modified design (see pic):

  • Contains the simplicity of a screw based implementation.
  • Allows the use of a bulk reel of bungee cord.

In case the drawing is not clear: The two lower wood blocks are held in place by 4 screws (4 black circles). A bungee sized hole would be present to allow you to slide the bungee through and tie it into a knot. The to middle piece of wood has 3 screws and would have a lip on it to keep the bungee secure. In hind sight the screw placement should not be in a line, to help offset torque stresses.

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Meanwhile rocking the hive, or tipping it all over your husband as you try to manhandle the bungees. Sorry, I am never going to fall in love with bungees! :smile:

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Yeah, good point. It would be hard to have enough tension to keep the hives snugly together and not so much tension that you have to worry about the hive tipping while one side is under tension and the other is not. You could improve the situation by have the top box bungee to the bottom (instead of the bottom up), that way, the downward force you are applying is pushing everything into the ground. If you pulled both bungees down at the same time, there would be zero risk of moving the boxes.

correct. bungee is taught and straight between bottom knobs. The tension comes from extending it upwards.

Sounds like a class at my local gym - “One, two, three… Stretch… Together now… Bit more… Bit more!!! C’mon, put some muscle into it!!!” [sound effects - PING, SNAP, CRACK, face whipped by a bungee]

Maybe I should see a psychologist. I may have a pathological fear of bungees… :blush:

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@Bobby_Thanepohn, as the original idea man, I give you permission to use all of my modification ideas and make millions of dollars. Enjoy the fame and fortune :smile:. Besides, I’m already planning on making billions on my ant moat.


I heard about 40% of all permanant eye injuries in Australia are caused by bungees.the straps, not the jumpers.:laughing:
Just saying.


Why not just use some 6 mm, (1/4 inch), wooden dowels, say 3 or 4 placed on the tops of the long sides of each box. Empty holes on the undersides of all boxes would then rest over the dowels protruding 1/2 way out of the lower boxes. A short stubby sharp pencil placed in the upper box’s “dowel cover” holes, ( necessarily a less snug fit than the top edge holes of the lower boxes holding the dowels, to be glued in tightly with wood glue), would be an easy way to get the lower dowel receiving holes pre-marked for drilling out. Perhaps the right sized nail or center punch would work even better to get the drill holes pre-started. You would need a drill guide to assure perpendicular drilling of the top and especially the bottom holes. Drilling the top holes should be a quick thing, as they are slightly larger, the bottoms taking just a bit longer as they need to be precisely perpendicular. The boxes will not slide apart. Next take a long threaded rod and secure it to the cover at the corners with a wing nut or bolt. Depending on your cover, you might need a cleat on the side for attachment. The other end of the rod would be secured to cleats on the sides of the bottom board, or to the stand or piece of plywood beneath the bottom board. My hive cover,( from Bee Thinking ), already has a pre-drilled hole at each corner of the lowest shingle on each side. I will just enlarge these holes to accept the rods before winter and I will be good to go, as I have already screwed my bottom board and lower brood chamber together. A less elegant but quicker and functional idea would be to use a couple of door hinges attached to and protruding upwards from the top corners of the lower boxes, but this would prevent box rotations. The hinges could be easily removed in the spring, as long as you are careful not to enlarge the screw holes too much with repeated re-attachments. My humble 2 cents worth. I have a single new hive. Thanks for reading.