Whether it be a floor, stand or base insulating the underside of a Bee Hive (especially those raised off the ground and/or in exposed or cold locations can be of huge benefit to the Bees (and the Beekeeper).
An insulated base is an easy thing to make on a Sunday afternoon with a couple of tools (Saw, Screwdriver or Hammer, Tape Measure) and a few materials (see below). Also it doesn’t have to be crazy accurate – as long as its level at the end of the day the Bees will be happy.
- Sides: 2 x 600mm (2′ x 4′)
- Ends: 2 x 410mm (2′ x 4′)
- Legs: 4 x 380mm (2′ x 4′)
- Top and Bottom: 2 x 520mm x 500mm
- Landing Board: 1 x 500mm x 95mm
Building the Base
Step 1: Cut up the Side, Ends and Legs from your length of 2 x 4. The length of the legs is personal preference. I have done them as short as 250mm and as long as 400mm. Use what you have left over. Some places sell 3.2m lengths of wood. You can strengthen the legs later with some batten supports.
Step 2: Butt join the sides and ends with long screws (or nails). I used Size 6 100mm to get plenty of length into the ends. 2 screws per joint. Pilot drilling will make life easier.
Step 3: A bead of glue around the edge to seal the base and then affix the plywood top.
Step 4: Flip the base over and fill with your chosen insulation. This rigid foam insulation was left over from a home improvement project but sheep’s wool, wood chip; or any other insulating material could be used.
Step 5: Then you can attach the bottom. In this image you will see optional side strips that add an extra support for the legs but also act as handles.
Step 6: Once the legs are attached (I used three 6×100 screws in each leg) you can add some paint (although I avoided painting directly where the hive would sit. And also you can add the landing board.