Plans of the small horizontal hive.
The following video illustrates how to assemble the hive. Detailed construction plans are available below.
### Important: This information/advice is for GENERAL GUIDANCE ONLY.
You are free to use this information to build this hive for personal purpose.
If you decide to build the hive, you do it entirely at your own risk.
Read the full disclaimer of liability first. ###
Please note: Dimensions are expressed in mm.
The author of this website used 25 mm thick untreated boards of Douglas fir to build four prototype hives.
Keep in mind that you have to adjust external dimensions if you use thicker or thinner boards.
Figure: Exploded view of the hive design (klick to enlarge).
(1) The fixed-comb hive body
Dimensions of the fixed-comb hive body are identical to a standard 300 x 300 x 210 mm Warré element. So you may want to build it from scratch, or to order a Warré element from your beekeeping supply.
Figure: A standard Warré element set upright (klick to enlarge).
(2) The Huber leaf hive frames:
You will need build two frames: One frame will be used to harvest honey, the other will be integrated into the backside of the hive. I used 38 mm large wooden slats, cut precisely with a circular saw. An easier and saver option may be to look for 35 to 38 mm large wooden slats in your local DIY market. Slats are assembled to obtain 300 x 300 mm frames (dimensions identical to the fixed-comb hive body).
Figure: A Huber leaf hive frame (klick to enlarge).
(3) The front and back side of the hive:
To close the hive, fit wooden boards to the exterior dimensions of the front/back side of the hive (i.e. 350 mm in square). Fitted boards are attached on one side of the fixed-comb hive body (this will be the front side of the hive) and on one of both Huber leaf hive frames (the back side of the hive).
Figure: Front and back side are covered (accentuated by color, klick to enlarge).
(4) The hive entrance:
The circular hive entrance is 25 mm in diameter and placed on the floor board level, more precisely in the lower left corner of the hive front.
To drill the whole, I recommend the use of a 25mm spade bit (quite affordable and effective), mounted on a drilling machine.
Install a circular hive entrance reducer providing different sized entrance holes (optional).
Figure: Circular hive entrance in the lower left corner of the hive front (click to enlarge).
(5) The wax starter strips foundations
Bees are guided by 190 mm long and 20 mm large wax starter strips. They may be easily cut from wax foundations available from beekeeping supplies. Take care to space starter strips accurately. Desired center-to-center distance of combs in the fixed-comb hive body is 35 mm (see below), spacing for honey storage in the two Huber leaf hive frames is 38 mm (not illustrated).
Figure: Position of wax starter strips under the roof of the ficked-comb hive body (click to enlarge).
(6) The locking mechanism
To (dis)assemble hive components easily and safely, I opted for commercially available fasteners ("fixed-elements"). The system consists of screws and flexible steel wire, that usually serves to attach hive floor and main body.
Figure: Screw positions illustrated on the right side of the hive (klick to enlarge).
(7) The queen excluder
A commercial Warré queen excluder (350 mmx 350 mm, without wooden frame) is fine. Otherwise adjust a Dadant/Langstroth plastic queen excluder by cutting it with secateurs to fit these dimensions.
(8) The hive roof
I use a commercial Warré hive metal roof.
(9) The hive roof insulation (since october 2018)
To counter the risk of condensation over the wintering cluser and comb collapse in the hot summer, I use an insulating foam mat (Apifoam, 2cm thick, » = 0.038 W/mK) under the metal roof all-the-year. It is also intended to attenuate the noise of raindrops on the metal roof.
Free step-by-step tutorials to build the hive.
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