DIY beehive

how to make a homemade diy beehive
Danika Perkinson Photo

Oscar Perone, sent us this tutorial about how to built homemade beehives some years ago, to publish it in the spanish web. I reproduce it literally. Enjoy it!

The beehive I propose

It is possible to do beekeeping without knowing anything about it, manufacturing our own material with waste wood and populating our cheap hives with swarms that we will capture for free. The result will be an automatic beehive that will only open to harvest.

Home made beehive by Oscar Perone


The present work was originally made to be published by the newspaper El Campero belonging to the Sustainable Local Development Program of the Ecumenical Center for Popular Education CEDEPO of Florencio Varela, here in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

That is why it is intended to convey what I propose in a medium written on paper, which is not the same as writing for people who know beekeeping or are interested in it, as can you be reading this by this means.

I hope with hope that this article can be a way of reaching people, especially children, women and the elderly, who never imagined that they might be interested in working with bees, but that upon learning how easy it is to have and just open to harvest a hive, and populate it for free with a swarm captured in its surroundings, taking advantage that as in the countryside there is almost no place for them because of the ecological disaster that it suffers, the bees have taken refuge in populated areas, taking advantage the gaps they find in these places, because in the countryside, for lack of trees with sufficient size, they no longer find the ones they need to survive, for nothing there is in progress in many countries an increasingly powerful and novel activity called urban beekeeping .

It can serve the information that I provide below, as a way to interest them in wanting to have a beehive like this for hobby, and then take the opportunity, if they wish, to turn that hobby into the livelihood that so many people need, and does not get.

That is why I beg you if you know someone who can serve or need this information, send it to them; the same if you know any group of help to the people or some means of written or spoken dissemination that would like to use this work for what was created: Help.

Please, help me to help, there is a pdf version of this document and another in .doc at your disposal, in a link at the bottom of this page.

I hope it works. Says so:

The automatic and economical hive

Beekeepers bees are disappearing all over the planet, this is due to treating them in an unnatural way, not respecting the way they build their nests and accommodate their reserves for the winter, robbing them and changing them for artificial foods that make them lose His ancestral good health, health is one of the most powerful of living beings, because they feed on the two foods that in combination, are the most powerful on the planet: honey and pollen.

To help to the extent of my humble possibilities, in the necessary task of trying to save the bees, I do not forget what Albert Einstein said:

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.

Albert Einstein

I propose a technique, a way to have and enjoy hives that follow the design of the bees themselves, with which they return to the natural, because they only open to harvest them, which would allow even vegans to consume honey, because in these hives, Bees are treated with great respect.

I provide this information so that anyone who needs to obtain supplementary tickets, or who wants to dedicate themselves full time to it, can do so, needing only to receive the necessary information, have the commitment, the will to apply what little they should learn, and taking material that is within your reach, and with the use of a simple hammer, handsaw and nails, assemble beehives with which you will capture the wild swarms that are in your environment, as these have taken refuge from the ecological disaster prevailing in the countryside, in the populated areas, not for nothing there is in progress in many countries an increasingly powerful and innovative activity called urban beekeeping, which will make it very easy to populate their hives for free and without any effort, with the best bees that can be obtained in the world; those with the best genetics: those of a swarm.

This hive can be armed with the wood that everyone has on hand, such as pallet wood, or pallets, as they are called:

If you decide to buy wood, it is preferable to buy it without brushing, which will be much cheaper, about 10 centimeters wide, but this is not mandatory or absolutely necessary, any measure of wood you have can adapt to this design, in which the measures are suggestions only.

What should be done is to manufacture our boxes with the internal measurements of the boxes used in beekeeping, so that if we get standard material, which is what it is called, there will be no problems when we put them on top of our manufactured ones , because they will coincide on the inside, which is the important thing, that they do not coincide on the outside does not have any importance at all.

Let’s see a view of the proposed hive:

how to make an automatic beehive

Let’s see the first element with which this hive of natural and economic management forms, because they only open to harvest.

The element that is seen below is the unit box with which the entire hive is formed, the design cannot be simpler and stronger, these mini-rises are made which is what we call them, with wood of about 10 centimeters wide, in the photograph the wood used is 2 centimeters thick, but anyone serves.

medidas colmena casera
mesurements beehive

The mini-hike measures

The indicated measures: 374 millimeters in the narrowest part of the mini-hike and 465 millimeters in the longest part of it, are from the inner edges, that will ensure that we are manufacturing within the apicultural standard in use in most of the countries and that our boxes will coincide on the inside with increases of the purchased ones.

I clarify here that the reason that they are so low, is that they contain little honey, and therefore weigh little, which greatly facilitates the harvest work, and opens the possibility for these hives to be used with benefit by children, women and the elderly, for whom it is intended and dedicated.

To have a hive, 16 mini-hikes must be manufactured.

Let’s now look at the other necessary element:

Parts of the hive: The inclusive grid

This element that replaces the use of paintings in which in a beekeeper’s hive the bees raise their honeycombs, we call it an inclusive grid.

This element will also ensure natural and automatic control (we will not have to intervene at all) of varroa, a parasite that due to mishandling of beekeepers has become a destroyer and kills the colonies it parasites.

The measures with which this element has to be manufactured are in the following photograph:

honeycomb grids

View of the grid included with its carved honeycombs.

The rods that are in the previous photograph, must have in their lower part, a groove just in the center of the rod, which can be manufactured using some cutting element, such as a gouge:

Making grid with groove

In the photograph that follows, you can see how this task is done:

making hive with groove

In this slot you will put, if achieved, pure beeswax melting it, as can be seen in the following photographs:

using beeswax

The following is an overview of the inclusion grid with the wax melted in the slots:

Vista general de las ranuras con su cera derretida
Using beeswax to make automatic beehives

These beeswax lines, will serve the swarm that enters its hive, as a guide to lift their honeycombs, but if they did not, attracted without any doubt by the immense hollow that is provided, they will lift their honeycombs anyway. The best way they think is convenient, which is always the best, they are the ones that know beekeeping.

We must try to get the necessary wax with a trusted beekeeper who sells it to us, since the one bought in the beekeeping shops does not work, if it does not get it, do not make the groove, leave the rod without it.

Let’s see a diagram with the details of the rod and its groove with wax:

Vista de la varilla de la rejilla incluidora con la cera derretida
diagram with the details of the rod and its groove with wax

The rods that the bees will use to lift honeycombs to their liking, are made of the same material of the mini-risers and have a width of 24 millimeters, separated from each other by spaces of 10 millimeters, and having, from center to center of each 34 mm future honeycomb which is the distance used between centers of each honeycomb and honeycomb, the bees in their natural hollows, as can be seen in the following photograph:

 Detalle de la rejilla incluidora
inclusive grid and rod details

To save you accounts, I offer the measures to which the centers of each honeycomb container rod will go. These measurements are from the inside edge of the hike:

  • 1 = 17 mm = 0,669291″
  • 2 = 51 mm = 2,00787″
  • 3 = 85 mm = 3,34646″
  • 4 = 119 mm = 4,68504″
  • 5 = 153 mm = 6,02362″
  • 6 = 187 mm = 7,3622″
  • 7 = 221 mm = 8,70079″
  • 8 = 255 mm = 10,0394″
  • 9 = 289 mm = 11,378″
  • 10 = 323 mm = 12,7165″
  • 11 = 357 mm = 14,0551″

To have a hive we must manufacture six inclusive grilles.

Let’s see a view of the necessary elements to assemble our economic hive of automatic handling:

economic hive

Let’s see now how we manufacture the floor of our hive:

Bee hive floor detail

As you can see, to make the floor, we will limit ourselves to placing boards covering the bottom of a mini-hike, to which, previously, we will have cut, as observed, a groove one centimeter high and five centimeters long , which will serve to enter and leave the bees to your liking.

I note that the first board nailed to the bottom, should protrude to the side of the hive entrance, so that the bees can land comfortably when they return home.

The hive assembly

Let’s see now, in detail, how we assemble our hive:

We will choose a place where our hive is safe from the strongest winds in the area and the strongest suns, if possible.

I recommend that it is out of sight of the neighbors if it is going to be placed in a populated area, it is prudent to avoid possible inconveniences.

Another thing that we must be careful is to put it on a base that holds a lot of weight, because it weighs terribly when it is full.

The base should not be too high to enable harvesting, and should be so that the sides of the hive step on it, so everything will be stronger.

We put on the chosen base, the mini-rise that contains the nailed floor, and on it, five more, on which it was above, we place the first inclusion grid, we will choose the strongest we have, because this will support the weight of the nest of breeding.

After assembling our nest, with the material set so far, we will place two more mini-rises, and an inclusive grid on top of this pair.

These two mini-rises and their inclusive grid, are left so that the bees keep reserves for them, IT MUST NEVER BE HARVESTED, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Remember that it is very important:

From this inclusive grid down to the floor, it is the area of the bees, sacred area if you want to ensure that this hive retains its extraordinary condition of not needing anyone to intervene.

From here up, you will put two mini-rises and an inclusive grid, always in pairs and in this way, until you complete approximately one meter with sixty of stacked material, that is, counting from the floor, to the last inclusive grid.

To get your hive to have a roof, simply key boards to the top rack, so cover everything, do not worry about the slots that may be left, you will learn that there is no one to take care of your house better than bees.

From now on you will enjoy the benefits of owning an automatic beehive that does not need a beekeeper because you drive alone and should only open it to harvest it:

To achieve this, you can simply separate the elements using a thin wire with sufficient strength and putting a piece of broomstick on each tip to serve as a handle, it will introduce it into the slots between each mini-lift and its companion and do it pass as a handsaw, swinging between the hands, until the whole separates.

For the bees to withdraw, use smoke, cut the honeycombs using a knife, and remove the bees that were in them, using a hen or goose feather, whatever you get.

The pieces of honeycomb, wrapped in sheets of plastic or cellophane, the best material you get for this and are ready to sell.

Enforce your merchandise by making your customer understand that there is nothing better than honey in its original packaging, which ensures maximum hygiene and guarantees quality, as this package is inimitable.

If you want to harvest fluid honey, grind the pieces of honeycombs you have, put them in a well-covered container and after a short time you will have the wax separated from the honey.

To grind the pieces of honeycomb you can use a meat grinder or any similar, if you do not get any of this, squeeze the honeycombs in your hands.

At this point you will be wondering: and where do I get the bees?

Don’t worry, they come alone! And they are of the best quality in the world!


Don’t believe me


I remain at your disposal for any questions you may have.

Signed: Oscar Perone

You can contact me, if you wish, by writing to my private email

Videos on how to make other types of hive

To complete the article I leave them here.

And a second video

And here a little experiment to make when you finish your project. Start a beehive into a glass jar, childs love it.

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