A National Hive Plan (well, an annotated photo really)

If you want a real hive plan, go to Thorne's site, they will sell you one for 1, which isn't much. But if you want to make one NOW not later, well...

This is only the super box. Which is what you're most likely to want to make anyway.

I took a photo, measured the super (not the photo) and then annotated the photo. Note that measurements are in mm, except where it looked like the natural dimension was inches... I'm sure you'll enjoy that!

  1. Its square, of course: 460 mm. And 146 mm high.
  2. The side timber is 18 mm: this is a standard. Western Red Cedar, naturally! You could use pine I suppose: I did when I made one. It won't last quite so long I suppose. Perhaps if you paint/oil it.
  3. Thick lines are mostly dimension lines. I've outlined some of the edges in thin yellow.
  4. Just to be inconsistent, the inset drawing in the top left, showing the assembly of the side bars, has the dimension lines thin.
  5. Note that the bottom bar has a sloping top, to shed rain I suppose.
  6. I put in a window, for me to peer in and the bees to peer out. Its fun! But not as useful as it might be.
  7. The side assembly is in 3 bits:
    1. (a) a plank 3/4' thick, and 1' lower than the super height. Its inset into a groove in the side timber: I've tried to outline this as the back corner. The inset is 3 or 5 mm. Ish.
    2. (b) A top bar 1' thick, 44 mm high, joined at the end to fit the side timber. The top (above the joint) is 1/2' thick.
    3. (c) A bottom bar, like the top, except sloping.
  8. Stick lots of nails in it when you've assembled it. Even if it fits snugly now, it won't after a few winters.
  9. Some dimensions should be exact (height x width x width for one, if you want it to fit on top of your other hives...) but some aren't crucial (the 15 and 17 mm sizes of the joints, for example).

So: there you go. Let me know if this helps. Or not. wmc@bas.ac.uk (W. M. Connolley).