Winter is typically the time when beekeepers get their wooden ware together for the coming spring. Whether it’s painting your existing supply or buying/building new boxes, now is the time to do so.
I currently have six beehives that I use to supply my family and friends with honey. Each hive consists of two deeps containing 20 frames with foundation, two Illinois supers also containing 20 frames with foundation, one bottom board and one top. This year I have decided to increase my number of beehives and need to produce the wooden boxes to do so.
Commercially available hive bodies have finger or box joints holding the four sides together. I have build a few sets using this joinery, but doing so with a table saw is really a pain. I have toured a few commercial bee yards and noticed a hodgepodge of joinery styles in varying conditions .
One very simple joint I have found on hives in this area is the rabbet joint;Easily cut on a table saw with a dado blade. I also like that unlike the box joint, a rabbet joint only requires machining on two of the four parts of a hive body. I typically glue and nail the boxes with galvanized spiral 8d nails. Admittedly, the box joint is a much stronger method, but for my purposes the rabbet works just fine.