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Hive construction

For constructing a Langstroth eight frame hive. Any variation from the standard inside measurements will result in incorrect bee spaces, which can mean squashed bees and difficulties with hive manipulation.

Langstroth eight-frame full-depth super:

Outside length 508mm (20in); width 352mm (137/8in)
Inside length 464mm (181/4in); width 308mm (121/8in)
Depth 241mm (91/2in)

The endboards of all hives should either be dove tailed or rebated16mm (7/8in) down and 11mm (7/16in) into the wood.

Hive bodies are usually obtainable in flat (some assembly required) from suppliers of beekeeping goods. Hives bodies should be both glued and nailed together.

Hive preservation

Most beekeepers have their own methods of preserving woodware, whether it be, painting, wax dipping, or a combination of both. These treatments protect against decay and make the timber water repellent.


If apairy registration numbers are to be branded on boxes, lids and bases, do this before any painting! Put alot of thought into the colour of the paint. I found the most useful bit of information to be "paint the inside a darker colour, so as to not reflect light around the inside of the hive. - Then the outside whatever colour you like.." this makes alot of sense.

Wax dipping

A small number of apairist are preserving their hive materials with a hot wax dip. It has been suggested by those who use it that, done properly, wax dipping is an efficient way of sterilising hive components with an unknown disease history.

beekeeping - frame construction - glossary

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