Basic Layens Bee Frame

Prototype Layens Frame, V2

The frame shown below was okayed by Dr Leo with two suggested changes: the comb line be made from wider material  and the monofilament be strung so there are 4 horizontal strings instead of this single cross.  Bee space (inside frame dimensions) is 12" W x 14" H.

The materials list and written directions reflect those changes and V2 of the prototype frame will be photographed Real Soon Now.

The advantage to this frame design is that there is no advanced carpentry skills required to make fancy joints.  I used an inexpensive ($200 10" Ryobi table saw purchased 3/2015 from Home Depot) to make all of the cuts but if you don't have or want a table saw you can instead buy 1 x lumber and just cross cut with a hand or circular saw to avoid ripping.

I already had an pneumatic nailer that I bought for assembling Langstroth hives but you can also use drywall screws to screw pieces together.

Send questions and comments, please!  My own goal is to come up with a single frame design that will work with both swarm traps and horizontal hives that are built to Layens' sizing.

Photo of .V2


8' 2 x 4 (enough for several frames)

30+ lb monofilament fishing line

6" x 3/4" x 1/16" "Woodsies" brand Jumbo Craft Sticks  available from Joann's


  1. Cut a 15.25" section from a standard 2 x 4, then rip it into 4 pieces 1.5" wide for the top and side bars. Set one aside for the next frame.
  2. Cut a 12.25" section from a standard 2 x 4, then rip it into 4 pieces 1.5" wide and set two aside.
  3. Rip one of the 12.25" x 1.5" bars in half for bottom bars for two frames and set one aside.
  4. Using a thin kerf (plywood blade) rip a channel down the remaining 12.25" x 1.5" bars for the comb line


  1. Center one 12.25" bar with the ripped comb line channel under the 15.25" top bar, glue and clamp or staple together
  2. Glue and clamp or staple a 15.25" x 1.5" bar on the side of the bar above.
  3. Glue and clamp or staple a 12.25" x .75" bar on the bottom between the side bars.
  4. Drill 4 holes roughly equidistant 1/8" holes in each side bar for the monofilament
  5. Lace and tie the monofilament in place horizontally across the center of the bee space. (Better directions forthcoming!)
  6. Cut to size and glue Jumbo Craft sticks into the ripped comb line  channel and paint with a light coating of melted beeswax.

Assembly line style directions will also be forthcoming so blade changes are minimized!

Let me know what you think!

Jeff Ross