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How Do I Assemble My Beehive?

Man In Red Shirt Holding A Bottle Of Wood Glue In Right Hand And Short Side Of A Brood Box In Left. Applying Glue To Joints

Galena Farms sells 3 different brands of beehives - Hoover Hives wax coated beehives, Busy Bees 'N' More Amish made beehives, and NuBee affordable beehives. Regardless of which one you choose, they are all 3 Langstroth style hives.

Langstroth style hives generally contain the same parts and are assembled in the same way.

To your benefit, most of the parts come preassembled like the Telescoping Top Cover, Inner Cover, and Bottom Board. The only parts that come unassembled are the Frames, Foundations, and Bee Boxes.

In the following video, Chris will show you how to assemble these parts, explain how the hive goes together, and tell you what each part of the hive is for. He is assembling a Busy Bees 'N' More hive, but you should get the general idea of how it all goes together by watching it. If you have a Hoover Hives or NuBee Hive, we'll explain how the dovetails fit together further below.

How to Assemble Dovetail Joints

Dovetail joints are one of the best features that NuBee and Hoover Hives have to offer. Joints like these give your hive extra strength and are what keep your bee boxes perfectly square. With dovetail joints, you really don't even need glue, nails, or screws, but even still we do recommend using them.

If you're not sure what dovetail joints are, here is an image to get us all on the same page.

Notice the triangular cut outs on the joints (circled in red). This kind of joint interlocks with each other and creates a very stable and square corner of your bee box.

An additional benefit to these kind of joints is that they only go together in one way. Check out how below.




As you can see in the image with a green check mark, a little hammering with a rubber mallet would have the joints' grooves slip right into each other like a glove. In contrast, in the image with the red x, if you were to hammer these together, the corners of the dovetails would chip off - it does not fit together like this.

Now that we know what dovetail joints are, they're importance, and how they fit together, let's talk about where you should hammer so that you don't break the boards. Notice we're using a rubber mallet. This is because a rubber mallet disperses the force of the hammer into a larger area and has less impact so it doesn't break the board.

If you'd like to use wood glue to give your joints extra strength, now is the time to put glue on the sides of the joints that are going to end up touching each other.

Next, if you look at the image below you'll see that you'll lay the long board on a table or the ground with the handle facing down. Then take the short board and line up the grooves. Once the grooves are lined up, you cans start hammering on the spots that the green arrows are pointing to. You'll want to alternate between the two points that you're hitting so that the board doesn't go in crooked.


You want your joints to go in evenly so do a couple hits on one point and then a couple hits on the other point until the board is flush together. Here's an image of a flush board.


Once you have your first two boards together, you'll then hammer in the other short side board into the same long board with the rubber mallet. Please don't forget to alternate between the two hammering points.



You're almost done! Next you'll lay the final long board on top of the partial bee box that you've constructed and alternate hammering at the two points shown in the picture below.



As the last step before nailing. You'll finish up by using your rubber mallet on the final two points on the other side of the long board till you have a flush joint.


Nailing Together Your Dovetail Joints

In the picture below, we point out where you'll want to predrill your holes and hammer your nails to give your bee box an extra layer of strength.

We suggest predrilling your holes so that the wood won't split. When dealing with any piece of wood, the ends might split, but predrilling your holes helps prevent this from happening. Even if your wood does split though, it's probably still going to be just fine.

If your hive came with nails, you'll want to use the larger of the two types of nails to assemble the bee boxes. We suggest using a 7/64" drill bit to drill into the the dovetail joints. Below is an image that points out the areas that you'll want to predrill and nail.

How to Put the Frames Together

For more information on this, you can watch the video above. Just skip ahead to minute marker 12:19 to 15:00.

Different Bottom Boards

The bottom boards that come with the Busy Bees 'N' More hives are a little different than the ones that come with Hoover Hives and Nubee. To see how Busy Bees 'N' More's Screened bottom boards work you can refer to the video at minute marker 1:36 - 2:20.

For Nubee and Hoover Hives, they use solid bottom boards that sit at the bottom of your hive.

Helpful Hints to Avoid Splitting the Wood

Splitting happens. It's usually not a big deal though because once it's assembled, the crack is so tight that air or water can't get in. Also the bees will likely fill it with propolis or burr comb.

To help avoid splitting though, we suggest that you predrill your holes. To do so, we'd say use a drill bit that is a hair smaller than the nails you're using. For the 2D 1" nails, we'd use a 5/64" drill bit. For the 4D 1.5" nails, we'd use a 7/64" drill bit. If you are using a nail gun/brad nailer, we'd suggest using 18 gauge nails at a 2" length for the bee boxes and a 1" length for the frames.

Two other ways to avoid splitting is to take the nail and pound the point of the nail to make it a little more dull. You can also coat the nail with petroleum jelly to allow it to slide in without splitting.

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