Skip to main content

Langstroths made simple, with free plans on 8 frame and 10 frames.

Begin your beekeeping dreams with your very own Langstroth beehive. How to build a beehive, that’s easy to make (no box joints or complicated cuts) and has a minimum start-up cost. This video will show you techniques to make your own boxes complete with proper sizes. Also covered in the video are detailed examples of building techniques that are easy to learn so you can focus on tending to bees rather than making the beehive. The FREE plans are saved throughout the article along with a write up on how to.
This beehive is designed around the standard Langstroth 8 frame. In the links I also provide plans for a 10 frame beehive, as well as lids and plywood sheet cut lists.
If you wish to review or re-watch the videos here are the links to YouTube where I cut and build them.
Latest video and using the same techniques 5 frame Nuc, to do splits, shaking packages or mating.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhpDs_BdEWM

FOR THE VISUAL, I HAVE VIDEOS:

Here are the two links to videos where I build the beehives.

 
If you missed it the first time, here’s a link to the bottoms and lids of your beehive.

I plan on doing CADs in metric, I’ll post a link once their finished here. In the meantime, I did some quick converting.
3/8″ = 9.5mm
5/8″ = 16mm
3/4″ = 19mm
7/8″ = 22mm
1-1/2″ = 38mm
9-5/8 = 244mm
6-5/8 = 168mm
19-7/8″ = 505mm
12-1/2″ = 317mm
14″ = 355mm
4′ x 8′ = 1219mm x 2438mm
1″x6″ = 25mm x 152mm

BREAKING DOWN THE SHEET GOODS.


I use 3/4 plywood, exterior grade. Approx. cost is $36.00 (2017) this will give me about 5 – 6 deeps and 1 medium with the final cut. What I do is build them 15 boxes at a time. 3 sheets are cut to 9-5/8’s. 2 are turned into lengths of 19-7/8 and 1 is cut to 12-1/2″. This gives me 15 deeps and 3 mediums. The picture below is if you intend on using only one sheet because you're making a single beehive.



I begin by breaking them down on a table saw or with a rip fence on a circular saw. Once the sheets are broken down into 9-5/8s x 8′ long I switch to my miter saw (or cross cut jig) and break them down into lengths of 19-7/8 and 12-1/2″ (12-1/2 will give extra room at the sides but increases the chances the bees will build burr comb during the flow. I use 12-1/2 to help the water and frost escape inside the beehive during a 5 month winter at -30C. If you don’t need to worry about a long winter I recommend using the common 12-1/4″).
Before you change your table saw to a dado blade I recommend sawing 1×6-10 lumber into 2 lengths of 1-1/2″ x 10′ lengths. Save the undersized strip to be cut into a 3/4 x 3/4 x 10′ length to be used for the bottoms and entrance reducers.
The frame rests inside the 12-1/2 can be cut in a number of ways, a circular saw with dado jig. hand saw with careful sawing or a table saw using either a dado blade or multiple cuts. The size is 5/8 deep and 3/8 wide.

Deeps:

Mediums:




ASSEMBLING THE BOXES.


Once the fronts and sizes are cut you can begin assembling. I set up a square on the corner of my workbench using 3/4 plywood strips. The raised 90 degree corner acts like a jig and allows me to use it like a square to butt joint the corners. The 12-1/2 front and back is placed between the two 19-7/8 sides. Use exterior waterproof wood glue on the joints and connect using 2″ – 3″ screws, staples or nails. I use staples and at the top and bottom, I “X” nail the corners to provide strength and resist separation. For added strength, you can “X” nail the entire side.
With the boxes assembled I cut the 1-1/2″ pieces into 14″ lengths, 2 per box, and 2 per lid you plan on making.
Use a combination square or measuring tape to measure 1-1/2″ from the top of the box and use this line to line up the top of the cleat. If you plan on using 2″ lids then mark a line at 2″. Glue and nail the cleats to the 14″ side angling the nail, staple or screw upwards to the top. A nail angled down may pull out and result in dropping the whole box while carrying 80 lbs of honey and frames. I also use this width to help tie the two 19-7/8 pieces to one another.

TIME TO BUILD YOUR LIDS, BOTTOM BOARDS AND HANDLES.


For the bottoms and tops I use 5/8 plywood cut into 14″ x 8′ lengths. (I’ve found 1/2 to be too unstable and tend to warp for the tops, unless their built with telescoping lids). The lengths are then cut to 14″ x 21-5/8″ and used for both the lids and bottoms.
NOTE: If the 10 frame boxes are being used, you will need to cut the tops and bottoms to a width of 16 1/2″



For the tops, glue and nail the two pieces of 1×6 (1-1/2 x 14″) to the sides. This will give your lid 1/8″ wiggle room. I found placing two 2×4 scraps under the plywood and nailing down onto the lid makes the construction easier.



For the bottom board, I cut the 3/4″ x 3/4″ length into (2) 19-7/8″ (1) 12-1/2″ and (1) 12-7/16″ (Cut these last or you may mix them up with your 12-1/2″
Glue and nail the pieces in place as shown in the drawings and video.

10 FRAME BROOD BOXES AND MEDIUMS.


For those of you who wish to use the 10 fame beehive, here are the plans for the boxes.

Deep 10 Frame:

Medium 10 Frame:





I have designed these plans to provide the greatest number of boxes in the least amount of time for the least amount of cost. They will suffice until you have grown large enough to buy manufactured boxes or improved your woodworking skills to the level of box joints and pine woodenware. Using exterior grade plywood with exterior latex paint or latex deck stain the boxes will last you for at least five years. If you're in a dry climate then they will last even longer, plenty of time to improve your woodworking skill, financial situation or perhaps find a great deal on used woodenware.
If you liked this build or know someone who wants to try beekeeping but doesn’t know where to begin, share the video or comment below. Good luck everyone with your beekeeping.
Happy Beekeeping and remember to have fun, its a great little hobby.
Jason Kish.




Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  2. Very nice info,will be build some soon. Do standard size frames work or do you need to also make them? Also,have you made a cut sheet for 10 frame hives? Thank you so much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Chris, I didn't make up a cut list on the 10 frame just the box's. I'll do up some when I get to the top bar hive and update this at the same time. As for the frame size they are the standard Langstroth frame. 19" x 1-1/16 x 9-1/8 or medium at 6-1/4. I designed these boxes to fit the same ID as commercial langstroths. The outside sizes is tough to go by, because different companies use different material,3/4" 7/8" even 1" or they rabbit the edge vs box joint etc.

      Delete
  3. Do you make there boxes and sell them like India

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no this was just for personal use to build up a breeder yard, (40 hives w/4 deeps each) Once I filled a yard I was planning on switching to commercial made pine boxes for honey production and expansion. Plus it takes extra paper work to make and sell boxes legally, which wasn't something I was interested in.

      Delete
  4. any possibility to make some nucs as a video as well and i was wondering would wood screws provide the necessary strength or will nails do? I have no experience with wood working as of yet and would like to keep my initial cost low but where i can gain skill and improve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a 5 frame nuc video on the way. Yes wood screws will have alot of strength, I used nails and staples for speed/production reasons.

      Delete
  5. Do you make screened bottoms and if so will you add them to this page or on youtube?

    ReplyDelete
  6. How many of each box type do you need to have a complete hive? In other words, what are the components to the hive, and how is the whole thing put together after the parts are completed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am curious if you have a design for a hive that will aid bees in producing propolis. I am looking at doing a project for the local forest preserve to replace their langstroths with ones with rough cut lumber to improve popolis development. Let me know what you think of this and if it is helpful the bees. I got the idea from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG9OKz0jsUY

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow excellent instructions. I a beginner bee keeper and love wood work. Im currently building using your instructions Hopefully it turns out great. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for your tutorial, its encourage me to start building.
    When looking a your layout remind me that sometime ago found this page that I will like to share with you.
    https://cutlistoptimizer.com/
    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for all informative instructions. Because i am from a metric country, i really go nuts first, but get used to it:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Do you find these are strong enough without finger joints?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to be easy on things. I know others are very hard on tools and equipment. I once saw a contractor lift his circular saw up into into jacked up truck straight arm pointed up and drop it into the box without a thought. I then noticed A drill I sold him 1 month earlier look like it was 5 years old. I'm not like that guy lol, so if your also not like him these boxes hold up. As a test I once threw it up in the air at a 45 degree angle and launched it across the field with no cracks or breaks.

      But keep in mind these boxes are only a stop gap on the way to pine manufactured boxes.

      Delete
  12. HOW MANY MEDIUMS AND DEEPS DO YOU GET OUT A SHEET OF THE 10 FRAME BEE HIVE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't do much 10 frame as I focused on 8's for myself. But if I remember right its 4 deeps and 1.5 mediums for 10 frame. but 8 Frames it was 5.5 and 1.5

      Delete
  13. Thank you for showing how to do the build with simple tools. I love making things on my own, but I dont have anywhere to put a table saw. God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  14. hello sir, i will like to contact you please shoot me an email dolo07@aol.com thank you kindly

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Knifemaking workshop on a budget in 2021

HOW TO SETUP YOUR KNIFE MAKING WORKSHOP ON A BUDGET in 2021 If you want to start knife making you need a work place and a handful of tools. That’s it, its very simple to begin, but we don’t always know where to go once we’ve started. I’ll give you a road map to help avoid the costly tools that you wont use so your adventure in knife making is more enjoyable and cost less. Knife making on a budget. There are four levels I’m going to write about. In the first set I’m going to cover both forged equipment and stock removal. Location often determines which route you go, for myself, I’ve done both. LEVEL ONE: KNOWLEDGE. This is what I would call education, and there are a few ways to gain this. THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS. Get right into it, start hammering or grinding out blanks and don’t stop until you have a knife. Which isn’t always the best and now days with social media, YouTube and the many books in print its not worth spending your time going in circles. Its goo

How to make an easy 5 frame honey bee nuc with sizes