Making Beehives

  • In time for the next permaculture meeting, I would like to build a few beehives and document the process. I am starting with the designs I downloaded from the open source beehives.

    Colorado Top Bar.jpg

    Those designed are made for a 4x8 sheet of plywood, so I would have to change the layout a bit to make it fit on two 4x4 pieces. (Our router can cut up to 5x5). That is not a problem.


    I did not know, but @Jason-Bijl pointed out to me that most plywood has formaldehyde in it. According to the open source beehive manual, this is an issue.
    I checked homedepote and windsor plywood today and neither have any formaldehyde free plywood. Does anyone know where around Kamloops I might be able to find formaldehyde free plywood?

    I will be making Colorado Top Bar model first, as soon as I get my hands on some suitable material.

  • Linux

    Looks like home depot carries formaldehyde free, but closest is Vancouver Island or Prince George. Maybe they can order it in for you?–d-3.1000719963.html

    Learning and working on learning more!


  • Holder

    I picked up a board yesterday, its sitting up in the wood shop ~$60, I could use a rundown on the how to load the file… Are we able to get linux CNC?

  • @Jason-Bijl where did you get the plywood from? And when do you want to cut it? I will be at the space tomorrow most of the day. (From 8am to 2pm and then from 4pm to 6pm)

  • Looks like somebody is getting ahead of me with the beehive making :smile: :

    Who posted this ad?

    It is totally cool with me and I would be happy to help you complete any orders you get. I just think it is a little premature to set the price. We should first build one and see how much labour it will take then set the price accordingly.

  • Holder

    @arasbm Lol you found that one huh!? I’m fairly confident that the price is reasonable, as I was comparing with the prices for similar hives on ebay. If the margins are too tight I can always modify the ad.

    I’ll be able to come in tomorrow evening, I was concerned that the cut lines are laid out on a 4x8 area in the file from opensource hives… and our cutting area is only 5x5. Do we need to modify the original to make it work?

    BTW, I don’t intend to monopolize the building of these hives, the one I make is for a friend… if we do get any interest from this ad, the information will be posted on the forum and will be open to anyone that wants to fill the order.

  • Do we need to modify the original to make it work?

    Yes we need to split the parts into two different nested jobs. I was thinking we should also take a couple of simple square cuts out and do those by hand on table saw + trim router. Perhaps @Bradley-Maker will be around tomorrow and he can give us some tips.

    BTW, I don’t intend to monopolize the building of these hives

    I dont see any reason why you shouldn’t! If I get a few orders and build them, I would charge money and would keep the money. If people are willing to pay, that would mean it is a useful service. I see no problem doing a few trial runs at the space. If this or anything else similar turn out to be a needed service for our local community, then we can look at finding another space to do production runs so that we don’t abuse makerspace.

    Let me know what time you think you will be at the space tomorrow. Looking forward to making some beehive! :bee: :smile:

  • @hdsheena I called home depote and asked if they could order the purebond stuff for me. Apparantly they had this product in stock while I was there, they just did not know it was formaldehyde free. So I will pick up a 4x8 sheet of 3/4in “purebond” maple next time I drive by there.

  • Hi All- I just spoke to Joanne- The bee keeper that is coming to do a presentation at our next Permaculture meeting. She is interested in this and will be bring tools and equipment as a demo!

  • Founder

    When cutting a full sheet of ply, it is much easier to make a jig and cut it in place with a skill saw. I can show how its done.

    I helped @Jacob-S get one set up for the wind tunnel with my cordless, so he knows the basic process. It is simple.

    I donated a good Milwaukee skill saw that I’d like to set up for this purpose. Saws are delicate, and my cordless is my livelihood.

    I think I can swing by today, and I can either show somebody how to do it, or if nobody is there, I’ll make it and label it and put it with the saw for anybody to use.

  • Holder


  • I made two warre hives a few years ago.



    The bars were somewhat complicated.


    Also a few mason bee hives.

  • @Lawrence very cool, thanks for sharing! How are the bees doing so far?

  • One hive has collapsed, the other seems to be doing well. I am happy to elaborate in person if you want but it is a lot of typing…


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