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Building a bee hive

I was chatting with a friend last night who has been asked to build a bee hive. This person wants a hive to accommodate bees which she is saving for posterity rather than for their honey harvest.   Neither I nor my friend know one end of a bee from the other, so can any of you lovely bee people point us in the right direction of a suitable plan?

These are probably the most comprehensive sets of free to download bee hive and bee related equipment plans on the Internet;

Before July is out, I will be building a Kenyan top bar bee hive from reclaimed pallet timbers. I was lucky enough to download a set of free plans from the web-site before it went dead.

If you would like to send me a pm with your email address, I can send you a copy of these plans in PDF format.

Thank you Gareth.

Hi everyone, been reading your interesting forum for a while, only just got round to

Like Sue and friend my thoughts have been turning to "hosting bees" - in our garden various flowering shrubs used to be a 'hive of activity' but for the past 2 years things seem to have been quiet on the 'buzz' scale.
That is a long-winded way of saying that I am not (yet) a bee keeper, but I have been looking round the interwebby - -

You may find this interesting >
and on its right navigation to other horizontal top-bar-hive designs

It seems to me, with my limited knowledge, that the various tbh designs are more suited to a "let the bees do their own thing" rather than the more intensive honey producing traditional British beehive (framed) designs.

Another design can be found part way down this rather long blog (as well as lots of other interesting info)>
He seems to have been much in favour, initially, of the Kenyan sloping side variants but is now experimenting, for simplicity of construction, with square Tanzanian types.

The names may at first seem confusing but they are all just boxes with more or less complicated structures inside for the bees to make their combs on !
Warre tbh can be Googled as well but these vertical box structures need more lifting and swapping round of layers, so more suited to younger beekeepers with strong backs!


thanks Ptarmagan! I have forwarded the links on.  Gareth's sent me some plans so we shall get to work soon (when I say "we" I just like to encourage rather than be too hands-on).

Last night I was talking to a couple of local beekeepers from the Norfolk BBKA that I know and we got around to the step-by-step Kenyan top bar hive project that I will be undertaking in a couple of weeks time.

It was a very interesting discussion and Dartington style hives came up in the conversation. My two beekeeping associates  informed me that for the newbie apiarist the Dartington type hives are the much better option. This is because the design incorporates similar removable frames to the Langstroth and WBC hives that Kenyan type does not. In the end, I have agreed to shelve the Kenyan style hive and have been asked to do the Dartington, and because of my engineering and woodworking skills, to standardise the measurements and to produce a set of plans and easy to follow instructions. I am currently up to my my eyeballs refurbishing our kitchen, but will embark up this project as soon as the kitchen has been completed.

A quick google around has thrown up this article on bee hive types, and it is worth downloading and saving in the PDF form for further reading.

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