What's New

  • Hive Products Stubs I added some stub-pages for hive products, harvesting and uses. Not much there, yet. Mostly I did this to make the site generally more useful to beekeepers and to ...
    Posted Jun 3, 2016, 11:36 AM by Charles Reynolds
  • Flow added A new page on the Flow hive and frames has been added to the About the Hives section.No, I am not dead and have not abandoned the project. However ...
    Posted Jun 3, 2016, 9:20 AM by Charles Reynolds
  • Oscar Perone Sadly, it seems Oscar Perone has taken down his website and associated information on his hive system.Fortunately, I was bright enough to save a copy of his hive construction ...
    Posted Nov 29, 2012, 12:24 PM by Charles Reynolds
  • Link sharing - Beekeeping in Japan Just some more beeporn, but this is good beeporn. Youtube user Mituro36 has a channel on traditional beekeeping in Japan. This is his "how to build the hive" series of ...
    Posted Nov 26, 2012, 2:09 AM by Charles Reynolds
  • Time to Build Something [finally!]First, I'd very much like to thank those who have kindly donated funds. You have been extremely generous and it's well past time I rewarded that generosity ...
    Posted May 15, 2012, 11:08 AM by Charles Reynolds
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 25. View more »
I have recently decided to embark on a quest to build at least one of each type of honeybee hive commonly used around the world today. I have spent the last few months looking up plans and dimensions of various hive designs. Many of these plans are in foreign languages, and sometimes in foreign measurements. By foreign measurements, I do NOT necesarily mean Metric. Much thanks to Google for their unit converter and language translation service.

So far, I have measurements for the following bee hives:
  • Langstroth - Designed by American Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth, acclaimed for the "discovery" of bee-space - that mysterious amount of space which bees will neither fill with propolis or comb. This is the most widely used hive design in the world.
  • Dadant - Designed by American (emigrated from France) Charles Dadant and most commonly found across Europe, northern Asia and parts of South America. It is a close second for "world's most popular hive".
  • WBC - Designed by Englishman William Braughton Carr. This hive type is almost exclusively found in UK and only then in the apiaries of hobbyists who mostly use it because its sloping sides beautify their gardens.
  • British Standard National - Essentially designed by committee and refined over several decades, this is the "standard" hive in use in UK and has little following elsewhere in the world.
  • Smith - Designed by Scotsman Willie Smith. This is, essentially, a smaller and simplified UK National. Use is almost exclusive to UK; most frequent in Scotland.
  • Layens - Designed by French botonist Georges de Layens. This has great popularity in France and Spain.
  • Warré - Designed by French monk Émile Warré. This hive has some following in France and gaining popularity amongst experimenters in UK and the Americas (both North and South).
  • Voirnot - Designed by French monk Jean-Babtiste Voirnot. This hive is popular in parts of Spain and France. However, this popularity has dwindled in favor of the Dadant and Layens hives.
  • Adansonian - Design by Belgian professor Roch Domergo. This is another not-popular hive, but it is distinctive in two ways: 1- It is designed specifically to house the smaller African honeybee (Apis Mellifera Africanus) and, 2- It is the most recently designed hive on this list, having been concieved in 1980.
  • Newton - I have no idea who designed this hive, presumably a man named Newton. This, also, is not a popular hive type. It's distinction is having been designed specifically for the Asian Hive Bee (Apis Cerana). It is notably smaller than the other hives, as befits a bee colony with populations notably lower than the European honey bee.
  • Skep - Since I live in a place where it is permitted to keep bees in this type of hive, I will build one. These are virtually extinct in North America (legal issues), but can still be found in Africa, southern Asia, South America, the Indian subcontinent and, rarely, in Europe.
  • Zander - Commonly found in Germany. It's a vertical, sectioned, framed hive. Still looking for some history on this one.
  • Segeberger - Found mostly in a limited area around Segeberg, Germany. This is a vertical, framed hive.
  • Bienenkiste (bee-box) - An old German horizontal beehive finding new interest among hobbyists. It is worked either from below or the rear of the hive, dependant upon the goals of a given intrusion.
  • Kerkhof - Designed by Canadian Herman Kerkhof, this is basically a double-hive consisting of two colonies in Langstroth nucleus boxes with a shared honey storage area. There is a complex ventilation system throughout. It has recently come back into commercial production - with modifications - by a New York beekeeper, under the moniker "H3".
  • Hinterbehandlungsbeute (rear-access hive) - This German contraption is an odd combination of horizontal and vertical hive. The framed combs are arranged as a vertical orientation, yet the beekeeper accesses the interior of the hive from the horizontal aspect. It also appears that I will need a cabinet-maker's precision to construct this; intimidating!
  • Golz/Bremer - This framed, horizontal, two-chamber hive hails from Germany. The original design, by Wolfgang Golz, has the combs oriented perpendicular to the entrance ("cold-way"). John Edwald Bremer's primary modifications are to reorient the frames parallel to the entrance ("warm-way") and change the frame size.
  • Quinby - This American beehive is extremely similar to the book-hive used by Huber to make his famous - and still often referenced - observations. Essentially, it's a series of frames lashed together with end-boards to enclose the whole mess. How he ever managed to achieve any profitability with these as a commercial beekeeper, I'm not sure I'll ever understand, even after reading his book!
... and more! I'll add to the list as I build them. As of 23 July 2009, I now have nearly 30 hive designs to build, not counting variations. If I build them at my planned rate of three per year, that's ten year's worth of winter work.

Each multi-section hive will be constructed of a minimum of four boxes and fully stocked with bars or frames, as appropriate. The final constructions - those I don't put into use in my apiary, anyway - will be put up for sale on Ebay so I can retain space for the building of others. Proceeds will be used to pay the expenses incurred in the construction of the hives.

Complete drawings and construction plans will be made available, of course. I am yet undecided whether to charge for these plans but, at this point, it is likely that I will ask some small pittance for my hours of research and layout work. Links will be provided for the freely available plans from which I work, however.