How to make a beehive

dave kilvington
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Project Overview

A box of Australian stingless bees is a wonderful addition to any garden. Not only will you be helping to protect the species, they’ll also help to pollinate the plants in your garden. We can show you how to build a beehive box that’s fit for a queen! Continue to step-by-step instructions
How to hold a hammer
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How to hold a hammer

If you want to hammer nails more efficiently, hold your hammer down towards the end of the handle. You will find it gives you a better transfer of power and the hammer ends up doing much more of the work.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Measure, mark and cut the timber
2 Measure and mark the entrance to the hive
3 Drill a hole for the entrance
4 Make the bottom of the box
5 Make the top of the beehive
6 Measure, mark and cut the PVC pipe
7 Measure and drill the holes in the pipe
8 Paint the beehive
9 Measure and mark for the PVC pipe
10 Drill a hole and attach the pipe
11 Hammer in the star picket
12 Secure the hive in place
13 Wait for the bees
  • Step 1. Measure, mark and cut the timber

    Cut the 185mm x 19mm timber into the following lengths:
    • 280mm x 1 (top of the box)
    • 295mm x 1 (bottom of the box)

    Cut the 90mm x 19mm timber into the following lengths:
    • 280mm x 4 (for the sides)
    • 150mm x 4 (for the ends)

  • Step 2. Measure and mark the entrance to the hive

    Take the piece of timber that will be the front of the bottom box. Find the centre of the piece of timber and draw a line 13mm from the bottom of the timber and mark the spot.
  • Step 3. Drill a hole for the entrance

    Clamp the timber to the workbench. Use the 13mm spade bit to drill a hole in the timber for the entrance to the beehive.
  • Step 4. Make the bottom of the box

    Take the 150mm x 90mm end panel with the entrance hole and a 280mm x 90mm side panel, glue and nail them together. Now, glue and nail another 150mm end panel to the end of the other 280mm side panel. Nail and glue the two L-shaped pieces of timber together. Place this rectangular-shaped frame on top of the 295mm piece of timber so that one of the edges is flush with the end of the wood. Glue and nail this frame to the bottom of the beehive.
  • Step 5. Make the top of the beehive

    Repeat previous steps to make the frame for the top of the beehive. Nail and glue the rectangular frame to the 280mm piece of timber, this is the top of the beehive.
  • Step 6. Measure, mark and cut the PVC pipe

    Measure and mark the PVC pipe to a length of 400mm. Clamp the PVC pipe to the workbench and cut it to length.
  • Step 7. Measure and drill the holes in the pipe

    Take your length of 65mm PVC pipe, we cut ours to a length of 400mm. From one end of the PVC pipe, measure and mark holes at 130mm and 180mm. Clamp the PVC to the workbench. At the 130mm mark, use a drill bit that matches your coach bolt to drill a hole completely through the pipe. At the 180mm mark, drill a 13mm access hole with your spade bit in the face of the pipe only. This is so you can attach the pipe to the beehive with a screw.
  • Step 8. Paint the beehive

    Using a good quality weather resistant paint like Dulux Weathershield will help protect the dressed timber from the elements. Painting it white will attract bees to the hive. You might need to apply two coats of paint.
  • Step 9. Measure and mark for the PVC pipe

    Lay the bottom of the box on its side so that they’re next to each other. Find the centre of the side of box and draw a vertical line to mark it.
  • Step 10. Drill a hole and attach the pipe

    Hold the pipe in place, so that one end is flush with the top of the box. Drill a 5/16” hole through the beehive, in line with the hole in the PVC pipe. Attach the pipe to the box with your coach bolt and nut. Finish by attaching the pipe through the second hole with a 25mm screw.
  • Step 11. Hammer in the star picket

    Use a mash hammer to hammer the star picket into the ground where you want to place your beehive.
  • Step 12. Secure the hive in place

    Place the PVC pipe on the star picket. Place the top half of the beehive on top of the bottom half, wrap the tie-down strap around the beehive and tighten it to secure the two halves.
  • Step 13. Wait for the bees

    Now sit back and wait for the bees to arrive and help pollinate your garden.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • 2m pull tie-down strap
  • Cordless screwdriver with an extended tip and magnetised Phillips head
  • Drill bits
  • 13mm spade bit
  • Drop saw
  • External PVA wood glue
  • Hacksaw
  • Mash hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Nail gun
  • Pencil
  • Set square

Materials

  • 185mm x 19mm pine
  • 90mm x 19mm pine
  • 65mm piece of PVC pipe
  • 45mm nails
  • 8g 25mm screws
  • 3.5” x 0.25” zinc coach bolt with nut
  • Star picket
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