If anybody is looking for some inspiration for a home built hive this winter, I thought I would share a photo of one I built. Just an idea I'm passing along here, I’m not sayin’ it's perfect!
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I built this one out of 1x8x8’ and 2x8x8’ lumber I got from HD. The 1x8 boards make up the sides and the 2x8 boards for the ends. Using 2x8’s for the ends has some advantages and disadvantage.
First the good news.
Using 2” stock for the ends gives you plenty of wood on the ends to dado out frames rests. I’m not good with a router and was too lazy to get out the dado blades, so I cut the groves for the frame rests with my normal table saw blade (ie feed it thru twice). After that was done I simple butt jointed (glued and screwed) the sides to the thick 2” ends and called it done. Using 2” stock (from the 2x8s) makes for a strong butt joint. Add the glue and screws and it easily holds my weight.
Now the bad news.
The down side of this simple strong approach is weight. Using 2” stock on the ends adds a little weight (probably 2lbs, I haven’t measured for sure). However the bees might like the extra insulation of the thicker wood! (Probably about R2 vs R1 of ¾” wood).
For the hand holds, I used pieces from a 2x4, painted them, and then screwed them on from inside the hive. That was a little more effort, but it doesn’t chew into the R value of the end board. I went with a slanted roof for looks and for some dead air space. A slated roof also helps keep the weather off whatever material you’re using. I put cleats on my roofs to prevent my patio stones from scuffing up my nice paint job.
If anybody wants the dimensions of this thing I can probably go out and measure it, I don’t have the numbers by my computer.
Last but not least. You HAVE to get the colors right :-D