tongue-and-groove joint, as shown by Fig. 20, is
most suitable, but failing the possession of suit-
able tools wherewith to work such a joint, a
dowelled joint will be the best substitute.
With a gauge set to half the thickness of the
wood, mark a line down the centre of the edge of
one of the pieces, and make holes with a bradawl
on this line 2 in. to 3 in. apart ; and, having cut
the heads off a sufficient number of wire nails, drive
them into the holes with the points projecting
about | in. Offer the edge of the second board,
TIERING BAR-FRAME BEEHIVE. 35
against the nail points, on a level surface, and make
other holes where indicated to receive the points.
Coat the edges with thick paint and drive the
boards together. Cut the two bearers H to shape as
shown by Fig. 21, and, in the sinking cut towards
the front, nail the " floor under entrance " K, allow-
ing it to project (say) 2 in. beyond each bearer.
Next nail on the " main floor " j, allowing it to
project over the " under " floor \ in., and the same
distance over the ends of the bearers. Bevel one
edge of the alighting board L, nail it in place
against the " under " floor, and drive a couple of
Ij-in. brads through the face of the alighting board,
on the skew, into the edge of the "under" floor.
A reference to Fig. 16 will show that the main
floor stops short of the front inner wall of the hive.
Fig. 21. Floor Bearer.
This is to provide a means of ingress and egress
for the bees ; but in order to restrict the entrance
somewhat, and also to afford a firm base upon which
the body-box may stand, a packing block M is fixed
on the " under " floor at each side. Fig. 22 shows
the floor-board with one block in position. Bed
the blocks in paint, nail them through the " under "
floor, and clinch the nails underneath ; chamfer the
front edge of the main floor between the blocks
as shown in Figs. 16 and 22, and the floor-board is
finished ; but before it is put aside it should be
seen that it fits comfortably between the side walls
of the body-box, remembering also to make allow-
ance for the thickness of several coats of paint.
The utility of keeping the front of the body-box,
also the inner walls, \ in. above the bottom edges
of the sides will now be apparent the sides and
36 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS* APPLIANCES.
back drop over the floor-board, breaking the joint,
keeping the body-box in place, and rendering the
provision of plinths unnecessary.
Although making the floor as detailed and illus-
trated entails a little extra work, the result is worth
the pains, as it will be practically an impossibility
for wet to drive in on to the main floor ; rain might
penetrate to the sunk floor, but it could not pass
the barrier raised by the higher back portion, con-
sequently the floor would be always dry. Match-
boarding might be used for the floor, wrought side
Fig. 22. Floor-board.
downwards, but the presence of so many joints
would give the bees a fine opportunity to daub the
floor with propolis.
The lift N scarcely needs description. It is simply
a lidless and bottomless box, in size, internally, J in.
larger each way than the outside measurements of
the body-box, over whicli it is required to telescope.
Make sure that it is quite square, and put half a
dozen 2-in. nails in each joint so that it will stand
a fair amount of rough usage. Fix the fillets K \ in.
from either the top or bottom of the lift to form a
stop upon which it may rest in either position upon
TIERING BAR-FRAME BEEHIVE. 37
the body-box, and also to break joint so as to ex-
clude draughts and small vermin.
To make the roof, nail the gables s to the sides
T, after having bevelled the upper edges of the
latter to correspond with the slope given to the
Fig. 23. Cutting Beehive Roof Gables.
wings. In cutting out the gables there will be a
certain waste of material if one pair only is re-
quired ; but where not less than three pairs are cut
out at one time, they can be cut from an 11-in.
board with very little waste, as shown by Fig. 23,
the shaded portions representing the " waste. ;;
On each side of the centre line of each gable
38 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
draw a line parallel thereto and distant \ in. ; then
temporarily tack on the wings v flush with one
gable, and with a straightedge draw a line across
both gable and wings, as shown by Fig. 24. Then
set a bevel to the lines marked, and plane away
the top edges of the wings as required. This done,
permanently nail the wings in position, allowing
them to project \\ in. over each gable. Cut away
the point of each gable level with the bevelled edges
of the wings, and nail on the cover-board w, first
coating its underside, also each bevel, with thick
paint. Well nail each joint at 3-in. intervals, and
clinch the nails inside, or screw the joints together
from the underside ; and if the roof covering is
made of seasoned material and is kept painted, no
wet will ever find its way inside the hive.
The rim of the roof should be \ in. larger each
w T ay inside than the outer dimensions of the lift,
and when the fillets R are tacked on inside, \ in.
up from the bottom edge, the roof is finished.
For the purpose of providing a means of egress
to stray bees which may linger round the hive top
or surplus boxes after manipulations, and also for
use at certain seasons as a super clearer, it is well
to fit each roof with a cone, as shown by Fig. 7,
p. 17. A 1-in. hole should be bored in the front
gable previous to putting the roof together, over
which, after the hive is painted, a brass perforated
cone, which can be purchased for Ijd., is fixed with
brass escutcheon pins or small round-headed screws.
The utility of a porch P D is, with some, a matter
for argument, it being contended that the advan-
tage it affords in sheltering the entrance to the hive
from rain-storms is quite overshadowed by its dis-
advantage at certain times, as, for instance, when
hiving a swarm. As the porch of this hive is de-
tachable, it is not open to any such objection ; a
few turns of a couple of screw-eyes suffice to remove
it from the body-box, and a few more turns will
refix it, either in its original position or upon the
TIERING BAR-FRAME BEEHIVE.
lift when the latter is telescoped over the body-
box at the approach of winter.
Fig. 16 shows the shape of the porch brackets
p B which are to be fixed 2 in. in from the ends of
the back PA after the top edge of the latter has
been bevelled to correspond with the slope of the
tops of the brackets. Nail on the distance fillet
p c | in. from the bottom edge of the back, and,
after bevelling the back edge of the slope so that
the top back edge fits close against the hive front
when the porch is in position, nail it to both the
back and the two brackets, allowing a projection
of \ in. over the back edge of the former. A couple
of l^-in. screw-eyes brass will be preferable with
a washer under the head of each, will provide an
Fig. 24. Beehive Roof Wings.
easy means of securing the porch, and they should
be inserted outside the brackets so as to be easily
got at without disturbing the occupants of the hive.
The entrance-slides P F, with which to contract
the entrance formed in the floor-board, are simply
pieces of wood rectangular in section with the ends
cut square, and having a small screw-eye or round-
headed screw inserted in each as a handle to assist
in drawing it backward and forward in the recess
formed at the back of the porch. When entirely
withdrawn, the slides may be placed in the open
space behind the back of the porch above the dis-
Punch in all nail heads, and give the hive at
least three coats of some light-coloured paint, stop-
ping the nail holes with putty between the first and
second coats. Although the inside of the hive need
40 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS* APPLIANCES.
not be painted, the floor-board should be painted
all over ; and it will considerably add to the wear
of the hive if all joints are thickly coated with paint
before being nailed together.
It is highly important that measurements be
strictly adhered to, especially as regards the in-
ternal dimensions of the body-box, its squareness
being no less essential. Bees actively resent inter-
ference when brace combs have to be torn asunder,
or when propolised surfaces part with a " snap " ;
and although accuracy is not so essential in those
parts of the hive to which the bees are not allowed
access, a properly made and well-fitting hive means
comfortable manipulations and few or no stings.
THE "W.B.C." BEEHIVE.
THE "W.B.C." hive is a bar-fram?, hive designed
by Mr. W. Broughton Carr, and its several parts
are shown in the illustrations accompanying this
chapter. The stand, floor-board, outer case, lift, and
roof are shown in their relative positions by Fig. 25,
but drawn apart to illustrate their construction
better. Fig. 26 shows the interior parts or hive
proper the eke, body-box or brood-chamber, and
a shallow frame-box or super.
The following particulars of the sizes of wood
used in making this hive were published by Mr.
Carr some years since. The floor-board is 1 ft. 8 in.
from front to back, the alighting-board projecting
7 in. as shown. The width of the entrance is 1 ft.
3 1 in. by J in. high, and the full width of the floor-
board is 1 ft. 6j in., as shown in Fig. 25. The wood
of the floor-board is \ in. thick (the joints being
tongued and grooved), and nailed to battens 2j in.
deep by \\ in. wide, cut as shown.
The front and back boards of the outer case are
| in. thick by 1 ft. 6j in. by 8| in. The side pieces
are \ in. thick by 1 ft. 7J in. by 8| in. The inside
measurement of the case when nailed up is 1 ft.
5j in. by 1 ft. 7J in. A plinth \\ in. wide is nailed
round the lower edge of the case, and drops \ in.,
as shown in Fig. 27 ; this figure also shows a rebate
\ in. by \ in. taken out of the strips used for the
plinth, to fit the case over the floor-board.
The construction of the porch, which is nailed
to the front of the case, will be best understood
from Fig. 25. The roof of the porch is 4j in. wide,
and on the under-side of the lower edge a groove
42 BEEHIVES AND EE KEEPERS' APPLIANCE^
Fig. 25. Parts of "W.B.C." Beehive.
THE "W.B.C." BEEHIVE.
is cut to turn rainwater off. The entrance can be
closed by slides of |-in. wood, 10 in. long by li in.
wide, rebated along the top edge to slip under the
rebated edge of the guide-piece above the entrance.
The lift, which rests on the outer case, is of
Fig. 26. Inside of "W.B.C." Beehive.
exactly the same construction as the case, but is
only 6j in. deep.
The roof just slips over the lift or outer case.
The front and back pieces are 1 ft. 7 j in. long, 3^ in.
deep at the ends and 5| in. at the centre, to form
the ridge, and are of |-in. stuff. The sides are of
44 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS* APPLIANCES.
f-in. stuff, 1 ft. 8j in. by 3| in. The lower inner
edge of the side pieces is rebated f in. by | in., so
that the roof may rest on the edge of the case
The body-box or brood chamber (Fig. 26) is con-
structed to hold ten standard frames, and is 1 ft.
2j in. by 1 ft. 3 in., inside measurement. The front
and back pieces are f in. thick, 15j in. long, and
Sj in. wide, and fit in grooves in the side pieces
1 in. from their ends. The side pieces are 1 ft. 5 in.
by 9 in., and \ in. thick. From the top corners of
Fig. 27. Plinth,
Fig. 28. Section of Top Edge of
Front and Back of Body-box.
the side pieces a piece is nicked out to receive
strips of wood 1 ft. 4 in. by If in. by \ in., which
extend from side to side at the back and front.
These strips enclose the top of the bar-frame ends,
keeping them in position. A slip 1 ft. 3 in. long
and | in. by f in. square is nailed between the
strips and the front and back pieces of the box.
A strip of zinc, on which the frame ends rest, is
nailed on the top edge of the front and back pieces.
Fig. 28 is a section across the top front and the
back edge of the body-box. The dotted lines show
a corner of a frame resting on the zinc strip.
The shallow frame-box or super, which fits over
THE "IV.Zt.C." BEEHIVE.
the body-box, is, except that it is 6 in. deep,
exactly the same as the body-box. The bar-frames
to fit are 5^ in. deep.
The eke, for winter use only, is 3 in. deep, and
goes below the body-box. The four cleats nailed
to its top edge, shown in Fig. 26, are to keep it in
position under the body-box. The eke is not essen-
tial, but is used to raise the body-box to give
bottom ventilation when wintering the bees. It
can also be placed below the shallow frame-box
to bring it to the size of the body-box.
The stand for the hive is simple in construction,
the only difficult part being in marking out the
Fig. 29. Marking Out Legs of Stand.
wood for the legs, which are splayed outwards in
the direction of the diagonals of the frame, to which
they are fixed. The splay of the legs depends on
the depth and thickness of the wood of the frame ;
and in order that the outside faces of the legs
should meet the bottom edge of the frame corners
exactly, the cross section of the legs must have
the form of a trapezium.
Figs. 29 and 30 show how to find the correct
angles to which to set a bevel for marking out
the shoulders of the legs. From a point A (Fig. 29),
draw two lines A B and A c at right angles to each
other, making them equal or proportional to the
thickness of the wood of the stand frame that ia
46 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS^ APPLIANCES.
j in. Join B c, and from the point c draw the line
C D at right angles to B c, making c D equal or
proportional to the depth of the frame that is
Fig. 30. Marking Out Legs of Stand.
2| in. Then join B D, and on the line B c take from
the point c a distance c E equal to A c and join E D.
With B as centre and A B as radius describe a circle,
and with D as centre and D E as radius describe the
arc E F cutting the circle at the point F. * Join B F,
and produce D B in the direction G, then the angle
F B a is the angle for the bevel. With the sizes
given this angle is about 106.
The angle for the outside faces of the leg is
Fig. 31. Cutting Shoulders of Legs of Stand.
found as in Fig. 30. Draw two straight lines A B
and A c at right angles to each other, making them
equal to twice the thickness of the wood of the
THE "W.B.C." BEEHIVE.
frame that is \\ in. Complete the square A B D c,
and draw the diagonals. Set off from the point of
intersection E a distance E F equal to the perpen-
dicular CH (Fig. 29), and join OF and F B. The
angle c F B, about 95 Q , is the angle to which two
adjacent faces of the wood from which the legs
Fig. 32. Fig. 38.
Figs. 32 and 33. Cross Sections of Stand Legs
are to be cut should be dressed before the shoulders
are marked on them. Fig. 31 shows the marking
out of the shoulder end upon the wood. Fig. 32
is a cross section, and Fig. 33 a section after cut-
ting along the lines A B and B c (Fig. 30).
FURNISHING AND STOCKING A BEEHIVE.
BEING in possession of a hive, the bee keeper must
turn his thoughts towards the furnishing of it
suitably for the habitation of the bees. True, if
given the empty hive, the bees will themselves pro-
ceed to furnish it, but most probably in a style
quite at variance with the ideas of modern bee
In a bar-frame or movable-comb hive, it is of
great importance that each comb should be built
7 v l"
Fig. 34. B.B.K.A. Standard Frame.
quite straight in its frame, and that each frame
should be truly square and in fit condition for being
lifted from the hive without tearing asunder any
attachment either to another comb or to the hive
walls ; and this condition can be secured only by
correct initial management. It is an old truism
that " bees do nothing invariably ;; ; but as a
general rule, if they are properly started in the way
they should go, they will not make any serious
departure from it.
FURNISHING AND STOCKING A BEEHIVE. 49
In furnishing a beehive, the first requisite is a
set of frames, each of which will eventually contain
a comb. The " standard " frame of the British
Bee Keepers' Association is illustrated by Fig. 34,
and described on p. 10, and if the measurements
there given are adhered to, the pattern of the
Fig. 35. Broad-shouldered
g. 36. Abbot's Broad-
frames does not much matter ; it will vary accord-
ing to the method employed of spacing the frames
in the hive. Bees in a natural state build their
combs from Ij in. to l\ in. apart centre to centre,
and the spacing usually adopted in placing frames
is 1-Jy in. centre to centre, ten frames occupying a
width of 14j in.
Frames may be roughly divided into two classes :
t;o BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
broad-shouldered, which are self-spacing ; and
shoulderless, which require some mechanical con-
trivance to ensure correct spacing. The latter is
the class most commonly employed, although a
considerable number of apiarists still hold to the
broad-shouldered frame, sometimes called the
Figs. 37 and 38. Plain Frames with "W.B.C."
Ends, Ordinary and Narrow Spacing.
" Abbot " frame. Figs. 35 and 36 illustrate in plan
different forms of broad-shouldered frames, Fig. 36
being the " Abbot " pattern ; and Fig. 37 illus-
trates, also in plan, a shoulderless frame fitted
with "W.B.C." metal ends. Fig. 38 illustrates a
variation in the working of the "W.B.C." end
which w r ill be referred to later.
FURNISHING AND STOCKING A BEEHIVE. 51
A plain, shoulderless frame, such as has been
previously referred to as the B.B.K.A. " standard"
frame, consists merely of the separate pieces of
wood sawn or planed to the correct dimensions and
squarely nailed together, and for this purpose as
a time saver a frame block is a convenience upon
which the separate pieces composing the frame are
laid and held in position whilst they are nailed.
Ten such frames (Fig. 39) are required for the hive
shown by Figs. 1 and 2, pp. 12 and 13. It is very
important that they should be of standard size,
with the top bar A 1 ft. 5 in. by in. by f in., the
length over the uprights 1 ft. 2 in., and the depth
Fig. 39. Wired Bar Frame.
over all 8| in. The bottom and side bars vary in
thickness with different manufacturers, but J in.
for the uprights and T 3 g in. for the bottom bar,
especially where the foundation is fixed by wiring,
are to be preferred.
Materials for the bar frames, ready for nailing
together, can be obtained from dealers, who also
supply blocks for keeping the frames square while
being nailed, but many bee keepers put the
frames together without the blocks.
In working for extracted honey, shallow frames
are now generally used. These have 1-ft. 5-in. top
bars, and are 1 ft. 2 in. over the uprights, but the
total depth is reduced to 5j in.
52 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
However, the shoulderless frames in most
general use are those of the American pattern, the
joints in which are shown by Fig. 40 ; all these
joints are accurately cut by machinery, and a frame
block is not necessary for making them up. Frames
cost so little that it does not pay to make them,
except in quantity, and then only when a circular
Fig. 41. Securing Side
Bars of Frame to Top
Fig. 40. American Jointed Frame.
saw is available, and material that would otherwise
be wasted can be used up.
These observations as to the home-making of
frames apply with still greater force to broad-
shouldered frames. Fig. 40 clearly shows how the
parts of the frame fit together. Lay the top bar
en the bench or table, force the tenons of the side
bars into the mortises cut in the top bar, drive on
FURNISHING AND STOCKING A BEEHIVE, 53
the bottom bar, and after seeing that the side bars
are square with each other, drive a fine wire nail
through the tenon of the side bar into the top bar ;
one at each end on opposite sides will suffice (see
Abbot's broad-shouldered frames are also made
Fijr. 42. Wax Sheet
Fixed in Frame.
Fig. 43. Frame Wired to
with mortise and tenon joints, but the mortises
are cut centrally in the top bar.
To induce the bees to build combs in the bar
frames instead of across them, it is necessary to
use sheets of foundation wax, which are impressed
with the bases of the comb cells. For the brood
chamber these run about six or seven sheets to the
pound, but thinner foundations are used in the
sections, and by some in the shallow bar frames.
54 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
Some bee keepers use just a narrow strip of founda-
tion fixed to the top bar of the frames, but it is
far better and cheaper in the end to use a full sheet
for each frame. When it is desired that the comb
shall be wholly or in greater part built of cells
" worker " size, it is advisable to use sheets of
foundation large enough to fill almost entirely each
Several methods of fixing foundations in frames
are employed, the most common and the most ob-
jectionable plan being to insert the sheet of wax
in a saw kerf cut in the centre of the top bar, as
shown in Figs. 39 and 40. Reference was made to
the weakness of the Association " standard " top
Fig. 44. Block for Wiring Frame.
bar (| in.) ; to put a saw kerf through it weakens it
still further, and the cavity thus formed affords a
hiding place for the larvae of the wax moth an
insect which proves very destructive when it once
gets possession of a comb. Fig. 42 represents a
much preferable plan adopted by Abbot Bros. Two
parallel grooves are cut on the underside of the
top bar, the foundation F being placed in the nar-
rower one ; the wedge w is then driven tightly into
the broader groove, by which means the wax sheet
is very firmly secured.
When a solid top bar is employed, the sheet of
wax may be fixed by running molten wax along at
the junction of wood and foundation, and if this
is done on each side of the sheet, and the wax is
FURNISHING AND STOCKING A BEEHIVE. 55
of the proper heat, a good joint will result. But
a much more satisfactory plan of fixing full-sized
sheets of foundation is to wire them as explained
A trellis of wire is secured to the frame, and
these wires are heated and embedded into the wax
itself so that the foundation cannot give way in
the hive an accident that no other method is proof
against. Each apiarist usually has his own method
of wiring frames ; but that illustrated by Fig. 43 is
general. Before making-up the frames, run a
gauge mark down the centre of each top and bottom
bar ; then upon this gauge line, and at distances
marked on Fig. 43, bore holes through with a fine
Fig. '45. Gauge-board.
bradawl ; also drive in a J-in. tack between one end
pair of holes in the bottom of each bottom bar.
After the frames are made up, thread some No. 30
tinned iron wire through the holes in rotation by
the figures and in the direction indicated by the
arrows, commencing at No. 1 and finishing at No. 8.
Now fix the free end of the wire from hole No. 8
by giving it a twist or two round the tack at T, then,
working backward, tighten the loop between 7 and
6, then between 5 and 4, 3 and 2, and finally pass
the wire two or three times round the tack T, ham-
mer the tack home, and cut off the surplus wire.
If properly done, the wires, when touched, should
emit a dull musical note, and neither top nor
bottom bars should be strained out of parallelism.
56 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
Another method of wiring a frame is as follows :
Prepare a block (Fig. 44) that will just fit loosely
inside the frame (Fig. 44 is drawn to agree with
Fig. 39). This may be about f in. thick, and should
have four lines marked on it as shown. This block
is dropped into the frame, and the positions where
the lines intersect marked on the top and bottom
bars. Holes are bored with a fine bradawl through
Fig. 46. Woiblet Spur Embedder.
the top and bottom bars where marked in Fig. 39
at B, c, D, etc., those in the top bar being bored on
the slant to miss the groove for the foundation. A
length of wire is then taken from the reel, and a
small loop B twisted at one end, and the opposite
end passed up through the hole B, down through
c and D, up through E and F, down through G and H,