There are multiple hives and plans with the same basic name here. Use the search bar at the top left of this page if you do not see exactly what you want and came here by a search engine. Use the "Older Posts" hyperlink at bottom for more hives. For a larger photo, click on the photo. Got Small Hive Beetles? Use the traps in our Build It Yourself section and get the upper hand.

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January 11, 2009

Building a beehive Part 1

So you are thinking about a new hive. There is plenty to consider in this decision. Review this site for some design ideas and plans. You might think it is to hard or expensive to build one, but you would be wrong. You can build a very simple hive or a fancy one. The choice is yours. They can be made from mud, wood, plastic, concrete, straw, sticks, pots, birdhouses, cardboard, pipes, barrels and almost any item or thing you can think of.

The cost of a hive can range from zero to several hundreds of dollars for a single hive. Cost has many times prevented new beekeepers from trying it. See the "Build It Yourself" section for low cost hives.
Ask yourself these questions.
  1. Do I own some tools or will I need to purchase some?
  2. Why do I want bees? Harvest honey, trying to save them, like to watch them, want to sell bees, want to do pollination business, just curious or other reason.
  3. How do I feel about chemicals and bees?
  4. How do I feel about plastic parts?
  5. How much space do I have for the hives?
  6. Where are the hives going to be placed? How many?
  7. Can I build the hive or should I get help or just buy them pre-made?
  8. How much time do I want to spend on building the hives?
  9. What meterials will the hives be made of?
  10. How hot in the summer and how cold in the winter does it get where I plan to place the hives?
  11. After the hives are built, how much "hands on" time do I want to spend caring for them?
  12. Will all my hives be of the same style and size?
  13. Will they be painted, treated wood, on the ground or on a stand?
  14. How much weight can I pick up?
  15. Will I be feeding my bees? If so, how?
  16. How will I move these hives if needed?
  17. Do I need to mow under the hives or nearby?
  18. Which way is South?
  19. Is the bottom of the hive attached or a separate piece?
  20. Where is the entrance to the hive located? Top, middle, bottom, front, back, side?
  21. How is ventilation controlled on my hive design choice?
  22. If I use frames, how will they be supported and spaced in the hive?
  23. Ask some local beekeepers what species of bees they have and if the Small Hive Beetle is in your area.
With those answers we can now narrow down our hive choice. Go to Part 2.