Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Knock-Down Frame Assembly

Now that the hive box is done it's time to start on the frames.

For each frame there are 4 pieces: top, bottom, and two identical sides. Start with one side and the top. Apply glue to the surfaces that will touch.

Now just hammer in the nail. Go slow and make sure it's straight and try to make direct hits with the hammer so that the nail doesn't bend. I sometimes use the hive box to support the opposite end or sometimes I put the other side on with the glue just to support the top while I tack in the nail.

Next glue it up (if you haven't yet) and nail the other side. It should look like this.

Flip it over and glue the bottom bar and the bottom of the side bars.

Press it in place...

..and nail it in.

Voila! One down, nine to go.

The next step is to put in your starter strips so the bees have something to attach the comb to. Kirk explains how to do that in the first episode of Backwards Beekeepers TV: How to make starter strips. If you are wondering why we don't use foundation read Russell's post about it.

Oh yeah, things don't always go perfectly. Sometimes the nails bend or pop out the side a strange angles. When this happens (and it will) don't stress out, just try to pry it back up straight and hammer it in a gain, or pull it completely and use a new nail.

This only works about 30% of the time though so when it goes badly a second time, cut your losses.

When that happens hammer it flat, hope that some of it grabbed on the other side and/or that the glue will do it's job and move on to the next nail.

Happy Beekeeping!


  1. Eric,
    Nice directions. Will you show assembly of top and bottom boards? Those had me briefly stymied when I built my hive (had to draw a picture of the assembled ones at LA Honey). Also, will you send these two posts to Russell so they can go on the BB blog site?

  2. Thanks Sue. Sure, That's a great idea, Maybe I'll go get another top and bottom board and put those together to complete the instructions. I'll post these to the Backwards Beekeeper blog too.

  3. Thanks for this post! Will be helpful the next time I put one together, which may be soon!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.