The Beehive Workshop

I have been a bit busy this past seven days producing spare hives and hive parts that should take care of swarm management and perhaps possible expansion if a new apiary location presents itself. I started the process last year after acquiring a large amount of salvaged timber from a job I worked on. The timber is pine and some of it about 150 years old. It required a reasonable amount of work to get it ready for machining such as de-nailing, cutting to length, plaining and jointing to form the brood boxes.  Also as the salvaged timber was not the perfect size and lengths it resulted in a good number of off cuts that went towards keeping me warm through the worst of the winter, nothing goes to waste.


Ok so what I have made from this wonderful timber is-

10 floors

12 brood boxes

15 supers

4 flat roves

2 gabled roves


370 top bars and bottom bars

190 brood side bars

120 super sidebars

As for the framed there’s a slight discrepancy as I have more top bars over side bars and ideally you want double the amount of side bars to top bars. You can look at this two ways. First it is much easier to machine side bars and requires smaller lengths of timber, very handy if you like to make your frames from salvaged timber so you machine as many top bars as you can and then later catch up with more side bars when needed. Or I got a bit carried away and miss calculated.


Either way miss calculated or cleaver strategy along with the frames I already have and ready to assemble, not forgetting  old frames ready to clean, sterilise and reuse after recovering othe old wax I should have plenty of frames to keep going for a good few years. I am going to post about the sequences I go through to produce my foundationless  frames very soon.

It’s not all been from salvaged timber as I have had to invest in mesh for the floors and still need to get some aluminium sheet for the rooves along with a couple of sheets of ply to make crown boards and finish the roves. I also have frames to make for wire queen excluders and they are fore another day.

The whole week has reminded me of the two and a half years where I turned my joinery and fine woodwork business into a full time hive manufacturer, The Beehive Workshop.  It was a very nice time and loved meeting all the customers who bought hives from me. It was extremely hard work and very hard to keep myself competitive with the big boys. Time moved on and I closed my big workshop three years ago now so I could reduce all my expensive living costs and seek a much more relaxed simpler way of life and know it was the right thing to do. So just happy to make my own hives these days and make my beekeeping as self sufficient as possible.


ps managed to squeeze in three eating and a serving spoon along with a small coffee scoop

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12 Responses to The Beehive Workshop

  1. hencorner says:

    Looks great Thomas, you have been a busy bee…!

    • Thanks Sara its been great fun although a bit cramped in my small little workshop but all set for the year ahead, emergencies and panic situations hopefully taken care of, fingers crossed. Perhaps its time for Brentford early warning swarm bait hive to go up on the wall, the days are getting longer the bees busier and will be expanding fast in the next few weeks.
      ps you know where to come if you are stuck for a box or two.

      • hencorner says:

        I’ve done a shook swarm on both my colonies, so hopefully that will keep them busy for a while! Then I plan to split & requeen my biggest colony…
        Doing this early should help with both swarm management & honey production, but you never know with bees!

  2. Emily Scott says:

    Great job reusing all that timber Tom, glad it was put to good use.

    Miss your beehive business but am glad life is easier for you now. Wish I’d bought more hives from you when I had the chance!

    • Thanks Emily, always like it when I see your nuc and wonder one day I may bump into another branded The Beehive Workshop hive one day.

      • Emily Scott says:

        Did you see the email about the allotment break ins? Bit worried about the nuc now.

      • That’s bad Emily and unfortunately not new on allotments. The allotment site and the site where I used to have my allotment and first starting beekeeping some nine years ago is always having break ins. They are looking for metal and tools to sell there is a good chance the hives may cause interest 9metal roof) but seldom. I once found a roof dislodged once and think the person got the fright of their life and ran. This is why I always strap the hives down and recommend you do the same. I can let you have a ratchet strap if this helps. Also when I fitted the stands I buried them into the ground so along with strap they should be reasonably vandal proof, fingers crossed. As for the nuc you can take it away or hide it in the bushes, if you want I can store it for you. Hoping to inspect this Sunday.

  3. Great job. It will be interesting to see how you make the queen excluder frames as i have a pile to do.

  4. Emily Scott says:

    Thanks Tom, that’s really kind of you. Will go along at the weekend and see how I go with getting it off!

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