In this section of the Warre Hive Construction Guide we will build the hive box. It forms the living space where the honeybees create their beeswax home. The Warre hive box is fairly easy to build with regular woodworking tools. Let’s begin!
Step 1: Prepare the Parts
To build a Warre hive box we will need to cut the following wood pieces:
- 2 long sides measuring 34cm long by 21cm wide (13 3/8″ long by 8 1/4″ wide)
- 2 short sides measuring 30cm long by 21cm wide (11 13/16″ long by 8 1/4″ wide)
- 8 topbars measuring 32cm long by 2.4cm wide by 1cm thick (12 5/8″ long by 15/16″ wide by 3/8″ thick)
You will also need:
- Nails or screws
- Shorter nails or screws to attach the handles
- Even shorter nails to attach the top bars. Very small nails or pins work best, so you can remove the top bars easily during harvest time.
Top bars are an integral part of the Warre Hive Box. Each hive box needs its own set of top bars. You will need to cut rebates into two sides of the hive box to support the top bars. You can cut the rebates with a router, or you can use a table saw. Following are the instructions for a table saw. Set up your saw so that the fence is 1cm away from the blade.
Set the blade to a depth of 1cm. Take one of the short sides measuring 30cm long by 21cm wide (11 13/16″ long by 8 1/4″ wide) and run it through the saw lengthwise.
Please note that I have removed the table saw protective guard for demonstration purposes. Please do not use your table saw without proper safety precautions. Refer to the information provided by your table saw manufacturer. Thanks!
You should now have a board with a slot cut into it, as shown in the picture below.
Now take the board and stand it upright. Place the previous cut towards the fence and run the board through the table saw.
You should now have a nice rebate cut into the long side of the board. Repeat this process for the other short board measuring 30cm long by 21cm wide (11 13/16″ long by 8 1/4″ wide).
Congratulations on preparing all the hive box parts! Go on to the next page where we will build the hive box.
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Step 2: Build the Hive Box
Take the two short sides and stand them up on your work surface with the rebates towards each other. Be sure you have edges with the rebates in them facing the same way. Lay one of the long sides over the top of the two short sides and fasten them together.
Flip the box assembly over and lay the other long side over the top of the two short sides. Fasten it in place. Congratulations on completing the main hive box assembly! Next we will add the top bars.
Step 3: Attach the Top Bars and Handles
Take the 8 topbars measuring 32cm long by 2.4cm wide by 1cm thick (12 5/8″ long by 15/16″ wide by 3/8″ thick) and lay them on the rebates in the hive box. Fasten them in place.
Place the hive box on its side and attach some handles. You can use scrap pieces of wood for your handles, or you can cut handles measuring 20cm to 25cm long by 5cm to 15cm wide (7 7/8″ to 9 13/16″ long by 1 15/16″ to 5 7/8″ wide). You can style them with rounded edges or leave them plain. Feel free to experiment to find what works for you.
Congratulations! You have completed the Warre Hive Box. In the next section, we will build the Warre Hive Roof.