Horizontal Hives for Layens Frames


I am not a woodworker nor do I play one on TV!

If you are a woodworker, feel free to send modifications to my plans and I'll take them for a test drive.

What follows below is my first attempt to build a horizontal hive to hold 25 of the Layens-sized frames I've already built.  Directions to build those are also on the starhouse-observatory.org web site.

25 frames means that I can "share" one horizontal hive between the 2 colonies of bees that I now have.  12 frames per side, with a single solid frame as a divider between the two colonies.  It's unlikely that either colony will completely fill their side of the hive over their first year here.

This hive is built using 2 x 4's, butt joints, glue, long drywall type screws, 3/8" CDX plywood, Ultramat insulation, time and luck.


Materials List

 7 8' 2 x 4's for the hive body, top, bottom and the legs

2 sheets 3/8" 4' x 8' CDX plywood for the interior and exterior walls, top and bottom

4" Philllips Head Screws

Drill bit for pilot holes

2.5" Phillips Head Screws

UltraMat Cotton insulation

Titebond III wood glue


Cut 4 pieces of 2x4 38.25" long (these are the long pieces of the tops and bottoms)

Cut 4 pieces of 2x4 22.25" long (these are the short pieces of the tops and bottoms)

Put a little glue on the ends of 2 of the long boards

Using pipe clamps clamp these 2 pieces with 2 of the short pieces together like this.

Drill pilot holes through the 22.25" stock into the 38.25" stock.  My standard bit wasn't long enought to go all the way through the 22.25" piece but that's okay.

Run a 4" screw down the pilot hole and sink it in as far as your dill can muster!

Repeat for the bottom.

Cut 4 17" 2x4s for the vertical sides of the hive, glue, clamp and screw in place so you end up with this:


Make the interior hive body walls by cutting 2 19" x 14.75" and 2 38" x 19" pieces of the 3/8" CDX plywood, glue and screw them into the inside of the box like this:

Now cut the exterior hive walls--2 pieces 22.25"w by 20" tall, and 2 pieces 45.5" wide by 20" tall so they look like this: