How to Assemble A Bee Hive Box or Super – A Beginner Beekeeper’s Guide

How to assemble a bee hive box or super.

by Anita Deeley at

Assembling a bee hive box is a breeze if you are handy.  It’s even simple for those of us (like me) who are somewhat “tool challenged”.  This post will describe how to put together a super or hive box so you can try it at home.  If you would like to learn more about parts of a hive please read The Unassembled Beehive or Parts of a Beehive and watch this short video How to Set up a Beehive.

How to Assemble A Bee Hive Box or Super

1. You need these tools to begin – A razor blade, a hammer, a carpenter’s square and four clamps.

2. Lay out the four pieces of your hive box and the 7D nails needed to assemble it.

3. Inspect the pieces of the hive box.  If any corners are too sharp or have extra wood hanging off or splinters, trim them off using a razor blade.

4. Your hive box should have pre-drilled nail holes.  There are nail holes on each finger of the pre-cut joint.  The deep super shown has 5 fingers on each side of every piece (a total of 10 fingers per piece).

The pre-drilled nail holes on each finger joint.

If your box does not have pre-drilled holes it would be better to drill a hole where the nail should go before continuing further.  While it’s not necessary, doing so will prevent the nail from being misaligned when hammering the box together.

5. Dry fit all the pieces together to make a box. Be sure they fit together tightly and the handles are on the outside of the box.

6. Now apply one clamp on each side of the hive box toward the top. This will hold the box in place for nailing.   Although you could nail the box together without the clamps, I would not recommend it.  The clamps allow you to nail the box together easier by holding the pieces in place as you nail them.  Without the clamps, the force you put on the nail when you drive it into the frame will cause the other unsecured joints to fall apart.

Install all four clamps.

7. While securing the four clamps, check if the box is square using the carpenter’s square.  Adjust the clamps and box as needed to get it into alignment.

Check that the box is square, adjusting the clamps as needed.

8. Now you can start nailing the box together.  Pick a top corner and hammer in one nail.

The first nail goes in the top corner.

9. Nail a second nail into the same corner of the box on the adjacent side.  Check if the box is square as you go along.  You don’t need to check after every nail but check often to keep the box aligned.  It is much easier to adjust the box as you go along than have to remove nails and start over.

The second nail goes in the same corner on the adjacent side.

10. Move to the next corner and hammer in one nail and a cross nail on the adjacent side.  Continue to nail the remaining two corners in the same fashion.  You should have 8 nails in the box when you are done.

Put two nails in all four corners.

11. Remove the four clamps and flip the box upside down. Place the four clamps back on the box toward the top.  Check for squareness in all corners, adjusting the box and clamps when necessary.

Check if the box is square, adjusting into place with the clamps if needed.

12. Start in one corner and hammer in one nail and the adjacent cross nail.  Work your way around the box until all four corners are nailed.

Flip the box over, adjust the clamps and nail the bottom.

13. You should have 16 nails in the box when you are done.  Check if the box is square, tweaking and muscling into place if necessary.

Each corner of the box should look like this.

14. Now you can put the remaining nails into the box.  Start with one side and work your way around the box.

Finish by nailing the center nails into the box.

15. After all 40 nails are hammered into the finger joints you have a finished hive box.  Congratulations! Now it’s time to start again and make another.

The finished hive box.

If you are making many hive boxes it will be easier to use a jig to assemble them, but for the backyard beekeeper this is a simple and easy way to put several hive boxes together.

Copyright © 2011-2014. Anita Deeley, All rights reserved.


Click here to learn How To Paint A Beehive.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

  1. Parts Of A Beehive – A Beginner Beekeeper’s Guide
  2. The Unassembled Bee Hive – A Beginner Beekeeper’s Guide
  3. How To Set Up A Beehive Video – A Beginner Beekeeper’s Guide
  4. Planting A Bee Friendly Garden
  5. How To Assemble A Frame – A Beginner Beekeeper’s Guide