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How to Build a Honey Bee Box

By Lesley Graybeal ; Updated March 16, 2018
Building a beehive creates a safe living environment for your bees.

Building a honey bee box is a relatively simple carpentry project, but does require the use of some standard woodworking equipment and tools. Having a bee hive on your property can be an interesting and rewarding way to harvest honey and observe the lives of bees, and building your own bee box reduces the cost of raising bees. Once you build your bee box, you will need to order special beekeeping supplies, such as bees to introduce to the box and frames onto which the bees will build their honeycomb.

Measure two rectangular pieces of 1" board to 9 ¾" high and 20" long for the sides of your bee box, and mark the dimensions with a pencil.

Measure two rectangular pieces of 1" board to 9 ¾" high and 15" long for the ends of your bee box, and mark the dimensions with a pencil.

Use a circular saw to cut out the four sides of the honey bee box, and to cut a ridge that is 3/8" wide and ¾" deep on the top and bottom edges of the box ends to rest the frames of your bee hive.

Nail the two sides to the two ends, placing one nail at each corner of the box.

Measure and cut two strips of 1" board 17" long and 2" wide, and nail the strips along the outside top edge of the ends of the box to secure the sides of the honey bee box in place.

Measure and cut two pieces of plywood 16½" wide and 21½" long for the top and bottom of the bee box.

Measure and cut two pieces of 2" x 4" board 16½" long, and nail them to the short edges of the bottom plank, one along each edge, to raise the honey bee box up off the ground.

Measure and cut four strips of 1" wood to add as riser boards to the bottom edge of the box before installing the plywood—two 20" strips, one 15" strip and one 7" strip, all 1" wide.

Turn the box over and nail the strips of wood to the bottom, nailing the 7" strip to one of the ends, leaving a hole for the bees to enter the bee hive.

Nail the plywood bottom to the bee box.

Measure and cut two strips of 1" wood 16 1/2" long and 1" wide, and nail to each side of the short ends of the lid to serve as handles for picking up the lid.

Set the lid on top of the box with the flat side of the plywood down, flush with the top of the box.

Sand the entire box and lid, and paint the outside surfaces of the bee box white.

Order and assemble frames to fill the box and get started on your honey bee hive.


Things You Will Need

  • 1" thick untreated wood boards
  • Plywood
  • 2" x 4" wood board
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper
  • White paint
  • Wide paintbrush

About the Author


Lesley Graybeal has been writing articles for internet content since 2006. Her work can be found on a range of hobby and business resource web publications, including Trails.com and Business.com, as well as several academic journals. Lesley earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Georgia, and is currently completing her dissertation in Social Foundations of Education.