How to Build a Bee Hive Box

Here's a bee hive box that's easy to build and practical to keep. In this type of bee hive box, known as a top bar bee hive, the bees build their own combs that hang down from the top bars. Keep in mind that the main function of top bar bee hive boxes is to help protect the bees living within [source: Chandler].

Here's what you'll need:


  • Ordinary lumber
  • Woodworking tools
  • A strip of beeswax or ½ inch (1.3 centimeters) of wax foundation

Here's how to build a top bar bee hive box:

  1. Construct an open box out of lumber, with the bottom and ends straight, and the two sides sloping inward at the bottom. The hive body is V-shaped to keep bees from attaching the comb to the hive-body walls, which would prevent you from lifting the bar out of the hive [source: mbbeekeeping]. The top-bar design is a single, long box with the frames hanging parallel to each other. Keep in mind that the hive box has to be long enough to accommodate bars for the combs. The longer the box, the more bars will fit in.
  2. Make a removable top for the box.
  3. Make bars long enough to fit across the top of the bee hive box widthwise [source: Caldeira].
  4. Place the bars 1 3/8 inches (3.5 centimeters) or just slightly further apart [source: Caldeira] so the bees have enough room to make the combs.
  5. Add a line of beeswax or a ½ inch (1.3 centimeter) strip of wax foundation along the bottom of each bar [source: Caldeira].

You've just made your first bee hive box!

You'll extract the honey by cutting off the comb. Be sure to leave a ½ inch (1.3 centimeters) of comb in place. The bees will use this when restarting a new comb.