Ever Wondered How Frames Are Made?
Jayden built his first beehive frame the other day.
It was a very exciting experience! It did require some serious work and focusing, though.
Here is how it works:
- First, you have to order the frame parts. This is how ours looked after we unpacked them:
- The frame parts come disassembled, and you have to be able to identify them, so you can put them together in the right order. Don’t worry, they are not hard to figure out. Just have a look at the pictures below:
This forms the top of the frame. It is stronger, as it needs to support the weight of the whole frame.
The end bars are making the sides of the frame.
The bottom bar sits on the opposite side of the top bar, closing the rectangle.
- Next, you need to figure out how these parts go together. This is how we did it:
- You need 8 nails to assemble the frame into one solid piece. The nails come with the frame parts. This is how Jayden did it:
Some beekeepers who assemble a lot of frames use special tools, such as staplers or brad nailers, to save time. These tools cost money, and since we only needed frames for one hive, we did just fine with an old fashioned hammer.
Also, some people use glue, in addition to nails, to make the frames even more sturdy. We decided not to use glue this time.
- After you finish assembling the frames, you place them into a hive body, just like this:
We bought the hive body at the same time we did the frames, and it is really easy to put it together.
If you counted, we had nine frames ready in this hive body. We needed just one more frame to fill it up!
- Most hives start with just one body, usually called a brood chamber. As the number of bees increase, you need to add additional hive bodies, also called supers. A full beehive can have two, three or even more supers. Here is our hive, with three supers:
- On top of the supers, you need to place an inner cover, to provide some insulation for the bees, and a top cover. Also, the supers sit on a so-called bottom board, which provide protection for the bottom of the lowest super, as well as an entrance for the bees to go in and out of the beehive.
All we need now are some bees to drop in the hive, with a good laying queen, and we’ll be good to go! Well, not quite. We still need to do a few things, such as wiring the frames, and maybe adding some wax foundation to the frames. But that is a story for another day.