Langstroth hives, developed by Lorenzo L. Langstroth in the mid-1800s, revolutionized beekeeping by introducing a hive design that could be easily managed and expanded. These hives are the standard in modern beekeeping due to their efficiency and ease of use. In this guide, we’ll delve into the dimensions and plans for an 8-frame Langstroth hive.
Langstroth Hive Frame Dimensions
Before you start building your 8-frame Langstroth hive, it’s essential to understand the dimensions of the hive components. Here are the key measurements for Langstroth hive frames:
- Hive Box Dimensions: Each box (also known as a super) in an 8-frame Langstroth hive measures approximately 14 inches (35.56 cm) in width, 19 7/8 inches (50.48 cm) in length, and 9 5/8 inches (24.45 cm) in height.
- Frame Dimensions: Langstroth frames inside these boxes are designed to fit snugly. Each frame measures approximately 13 3/4 inches (34.93 cm) in width and 17 5/8 inches (44.77 cm) in length. The depth of the frame is typically 9 1/8 inches (23.18 cm).
- Frame Rest Dimensions: Inside the hive box, there are frame rests (also known as rabbets) that support the frames. These rests are about 3/8 inch (0.95 cm) wide and deep. They’re essential for maintaining proper bee space between frames.
- Frame Spacing: The frames should be spaced evenly within the hive box, with a bee space of about 3/8 inch (0.95 cm) between frames. This spacing allows bees to move freely between frames without building excess comb or impeding hive management.
- Top Bars: The top bar of each frame is approximately 17 inches (43.18 cm) long, and it usually includes a handhold or gripping area. This length allows beekeepers to lift the frames easily during inspections.
- Frame Width: The width of each frame side is roughly 1 3/8 inches (3.49 cm). This measurement ensures that the frames can be spaced evenly within the hive box.
Building an 8-Frame Langstroth Hive: Step-by-Step Plans
Now that you’re familiar with the dimensions, here are step-by-step plans for constructing an 8-frame Langstroth hive:
Materials You’ll Need:
- Wooden Boards: You’ll need wooden boards for constructing the hive bodies (boxes), frames, and other components. Cedar or pine are commonly used for beehives.
- Saw: A saw will be required to cut the wooden boards to the specified dimensions.
- Measuring Tape: To ensure precise cuts and alignments, use a measuring tape.
- Wood Screws: You’ll need wood screws to join the hive components securely.
- Nails: Nails are used to fasten frames together.
- Wood Glue: Wood glue provides extra strength to joints.
- Hive Foundation: You can choose between wax foundation sheets or plastic foundation frames. These provide a base for bees to build their comb.
- Carpenter’s Square: This tool will help ensure that your hive components are square and aligned correctly.
- Drill: A drill with appropriate bits will be used for making holes and pilot holes for screws.
- Paint or Wood Stain: While not necessary, painting or staining the hive can help protect it from the elements and prolong its life.
8 Frame Langstroth Hive Plans Table
Creating an 8-frame Langstroth hive requires careful planning and precise measurements to ensure your beekeeping endeavors are successful. Below is a table outlining the key components and their dimensions for constructing an 8-frame Langstroth hive.
|Hive Component||Dimensions (inches)|
|Hive Box (Super)||Width: 14″ (35.56 cm)|
|Length: 19 7/8″ (50.48 cm)|
|Height: 9 5/8″ (24.45 cm)|
|Frame||Width: 13 3/4″ (34.93 cm)|
|Length: 17 5/8″ (44.77 cm)|
|Depth: 9 1/8″ (23.18 cm)|
|Frame Rest (Rabbet)||Width: 3/8″ (0.95 cm)|
|Depth: 3/8″ (0.95 cm)|
|Frame Spacing||Bee space: Approximately 3/8″ (0.95 cm)|
|Top Bar||Length: 17″ (43.18 cm)|
|Frame Side Width||1 3/8″ (3.49 cm)|
|Bottom Board||Dimensions: As required for ventilation|
|Hive Cover (Telescoping Top)||Dimensions: As required for protection|
These dimensions are essential for creating a functional and bee-friendly Langstroth hive. When constructing your hive, make precise cuts, ensure proper alignment, and securely fasten all components to provide a healthy and productive environment for your bee colony.
8 Step Process to follow
Step 1: Cutting the Wood
Begin by cutting your wooden boards to the specified dimensions for the hive boxes, frames, and other components. You’ll need boards for the hive bodies, frames, top bars, and bottom boards.
Step 2: Assembling the Hive Boxes
- Take four boards for each hive box and assemble them into a rectangular shape. Ensure that the corners are square, and use wood glue and screws to secure the joints.
- Attach the frame rests (rabbets) inside each box, ensuring they are level and correctly spaced. These rests will hold the frames in place.
- Add handles or grips to the sides of the hive boxes for easier lifting and transportation.
Step 3: Building Frames
- Construct the frames by attaching the top bars to the frame sides. Ensure that they are securely fastened with screws and that the dimensions match those mentioned earlier.
- Install a foundation sheet or frame in each frame to provide a base for the bees to build their comb. You can use wax foundation sheets or plastic frames for this purpose.
Step 4: Bottom Board and Cover
- Create a bottom board for the hive, ensuring proper ventilation and drainage.
- Design a cover for the hive to protect it from the elements. Many beekeepers use telescoping covers for this purpose.
Step 5: Hive Inspection
Before introducing bees to the hive, inspect it thoroughly to make sure all components are correctly assembled and aligned. Ensure that the frames fit snugly within the hive box.
Step 6: Painting or Staining (Optional)
While optional, painting or staining the hive can help protect it from weathering and increase its longevity. Be sure to use non-toxic paint or wood stain that won’t harm the bees.
Step 7: Introducing Bees
Once your hive is ready, it’s time to introduce your bee colony. This process typically involves transferring frames of brood and honeycomb from an existing hive or installing a package of bees.
Step 8: Regular Maintenance
To keep your bee colony healthy and productive, perform regular hive inspections, manage pests and diseases, and ensure that the hive remains in good condition.
By following these plans and dimensions, you can construct an 8-frame Langstroth hive for your beekeeping endeavors. Remember that beekeeping requires knowledge and care, so continue learning about bee behavior and hive management to support your colony’s success.