It’s May and soon I will be needing equipment for my hives. This year I’m assembling my own tops and bottoms. The dimensions listed below will be for 8 frame hives. I’m building bottom boards with scrap plywood I get for free. Of course, you could do this with any lumber you salvage or buy. I make my own tops and bottoms because of the cost. Its for that same reason that I buy hive bodies instead of making them. I make these bottoms for about $3.00 all in, including electricity, glue, staples, and lumber.
I make my bottom boards the same outside dimensions of the box. I used to make them 1/2″ larger so the box would have more room to sit, but I’ve realized this larger size just gives water a place to collect and sit. So, recently I changed to 14″ wide x 20″ Long.
I prefer 1/2″ spacing between the box and bottom board. I would advise you not to go much more than this because the bees may build comb in the open space. For my side spacers, I cut them 1/2″ Thick, 1″ wide.
I start with plywood or lumber and cut to 14″ x 20″.
Cut List & Tools
- (1) 14″ x 20″ piece of plywood or lumber, any thickness.
- (2) 1/2″ x 1″ x 20″ side spacers
- (1) 1/2″ x 1″ x 14″ back spacer
- For front spacer, you can either leave it completely open, or leave it small. More on this below.
You’ll need the following as well;
- Stapler, or screwdriver will work
I use 1″ staples on my bottom boards. I like Senco fasteners, no jams, no bent heads, and no problems. I’ll leave a link below for where to find them.
Building Bottom Boards
Now that you have all of the pieces cut, start by gluing the side spacers.
Spread your glue evenly to get good bonding.
I love these little glue brushes, no more sticky fingers. These are made by Bench Dog and make gluing a breeze. After you use them and the glue dries, it just peels off because the brush is silicone. I’ll leave a link for that below if you like it.
Staple both sides
Next, glue and staple the back spacer.
This is where you get to decide what size entrance you want. Some people like them wide open, others prefer to keep them small. I prefer to keep them small. I make my entrances about 3-4″ wide. If you would like, for added versatility, you can leave the entrance totally open, and cut entrance reducers.
I use the scraps from extra cuts to make the front entrance. My entrances range from 2″-4″.
That’s all, from start to finish. Now you just need to start building bottom boards built for yourself! I’ll include some links below for where to find the products I used.
Senco 1″ Staples
Titebond III Glue
Bench Dog Silicon Brush