Now that we have the site for the apiary completed, it’s time to build the actual hive. As you may remember (if you have read our blog), Santahooked us up with a complete hive kit from Mann Lake Ltd. The kit came nicely boxed with everything we needed to construct the hive (a bottom board, a hive body, an inner cover a telescoping cover, nails for assembly, and 10 frames with rite cell foundation). Now to get our build on. The instructions were crystal clear and I even saved them for future reference.
My wonderful wife Cynthia, helped build the hive. We spread out and inventoried all of the pieces and then got to work (that’s a thing for me when I’m building something from a kit, I have to make sure it’s all there…Cynthia is the opposite in that regard, that’s why we make such a great team). She’s an excellent supervisor!It is important to note that everything having to do with bee hive construction should be square. If not, the frames won’t hang properly in the hive bodies. If the frames don’t hang properly then the bee space won’t be correct and there is a possibility you will have issues. To make sure our hive body was square, we clamped each side to the framing square before we glued and nailed the ends. We used the included nails and Gorilla Glue to attach all of the pieces togather. Another important thing that we had to remember when we built the hive was to check the tops and bottoms. We made sure the the long pieces were top up by making sure the cut out portion (for the frame rests) on the interior were facing each other, and we made sure the ends had the handles facing out and up.
Frame construction was was pretty easy and straightforward. We used the “snap-in” type frames with a groove at the top and the bottom. It was important to make sure the frames were square as well so we used our framing square before gluing and nailing every joint. Our plastic foundation is pretty rigid and was a little hard to flex to snap in. After figuring out that it should have gone into the bottom groove first and then flexed into the top groove, putting the frames together went quickly. If you notice at the bottom of each frame there is a little triangle of foundation that was popped out. The foundation ends were scored so the triangle could be popped out easily. I understand that this is a communication channel for the bees and while it doesn’t have to be popped out we figured we’d do it to make it easier on them. It took the better part of the afternoon, but we now have a completed hive.