So you want to build your own beehives? Building your own equipment can be very enjoyable and rewarding. But before you start, one needs to ask the question “Why build your own equipment?” If your answer is to save money, you should reconsider. Unless you already have all the woodworking tools, a lot of free time and access to cheap lumber, you can buy ready-to-assemble equipment almost as cheap as you can build it yourself. This is especially true if you have to buy your lumber at one of the big box stores.
On the other hand, if you are like me and enjoy woodworking and just insist on “doing it myself,” it is a way to extend your beekeeping hobby into the winter months. If you are an aspiring woodworker, the techniques you learn while making your equipment will help with other woodworking projects. I build most of my equipment and already have the necessary tools. If I ignore the cost of tools and don’t count my time, I save only enough money to build every fifth one free. That’s not a huge payback if all you’re interested in is saving money.
So, if you still insist on building your own stuff, there are lots and lots of resources on the internet showing you how to do it. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll just post links to some of my favorite resources.
Bee Source – A great source of plans for all sorts of beekeeping equipment
Bushkill Farms – plans for beekeeping-related equipment
In The Beekeepers Workshop – plans and videos for all sorts of stuff (this is one of my favorites)