Choosing the Best Beehive Plan to Build
Part of the Building Beehives For Dummies Cheat Sheet
When you have a lot of beehive-building plans to choose from, how do you decide which is best for your needs? Aside from aesthetics, several factors should influence your decision. One relates to your woodworking skills, and others relate to the reasons that you’re beekeeping.
Experienced woodworkers can jump in and tackle any hive they like. However, new woodworkers may want to get their feet wet by starting with some very easy builds, such as a Kenya top bar hive or a nuc or observation hive with store-bought frames.
If (like many people) you’re into beekeeping for the honey, most hives will do well for you (with a Langstroth hive likely producing the mother lode of honey). Honey harvesters should make a beeline to any of these build plans:
Kenya top bar hive
British National hive
Where there are bees, there is pollination. So if optimizing the bounty and yield of your garden is what’s important to you, consider any hive you want, but remember, the bigger the colony of bees, the better the pollination. In this case, size definitely does matter.
You may want to sell the hives you build. The most sellable ones are those generally unavailable from conventional beekeeping supply stores. That means you can build any hive and make it more desirable through the use of special materials, unique hardware, or fancy finishes.
The Kenya top bar hive and the Warré hive are becoming increasingly popular among backyard beekeepers. These hives aren’t offered by major beekeeping supply shops and therefore can be quite marketable to those seeking them.
If your primary interest is to study bees or make beekeeping presentations at schools and events, the building plan for you is an observation hive.