Log Hive

June 2023 Update.

In spring 2022 I was gifted a ready hollowed log by John H. It was first occupied in July 2023. At the weekend (4th June) we did our first and only inspection. The next time I plan on looking will be around 12 months from now in 2024.

Build Log

I was recently lucky enough to be gifted a large Chestnut trunk by John Haverson (Associate at Natural Beekeeping Trust). John had already hollowed with the intention of it becoming a Log Hive for Honey Bees but was keen for it to find a good home. Here are some photos and a quick walk through.


The Roof

Due to a large split on the outer lid I have wrapped some steel wire around it and used a turnbuckle to tighten it up. An offcut of roof underlay is used to keep everything dry. When putting the hive into situ I added some rough clay to level up and seal the gap. I’m aware I might need to revisit this as the clay was not as pure/clean as I wished and once the mud has washed away it may need patching.

Making Caps for the Top and Bottom.

To make the recesses for the inner lid and bottom cap I quickly spun the template on the CNC and then used the 1/2″ router to turn out a 40mm recess.

When I made the top cap I had some ideas and thought I could get away using a piece of Beech worktop offcut. Since then the beech has bowed and my ideas have developed so I think I’ll revisit this cap. The cotton is to help me remove the cap for the occasional inspection.

The bottom cap is made from 4 pieces of Cedar pegged and glued together. A piece of oak holds the cap in place.

The ‘Top Bar’ Dowels

Two sets of top bars made from 10mm dowels have been inserted into the log from the outside. They have had a coating of Bees Wax applied.

The Entrances

The entrances are simple 25mm holes with copper wire passed across the front in a pattern. Currently held with stainless screws a timely reminder from @pguythompson about galvanic charge means I’ll be changing them to Copper nails.

Getting it into Situ.

My initial plan was to site the hive on an earthen hedge bund but looking at the site again I felt this wouldn’t be fair on our neighbour so I elected to erect a stand for the hive to sit on. This has the advantage that its a bit higher and is sheltered by the hedge it would have originally sat upon. Once the posts were knocked in with a man-breaker and the structure finished I was able to lift the hive into place. First attempt with it upright was abandoned in preference to taking it up on its side and tipping it into place.

Since Occupation

The Log was first observed as being occupied on 9th July 2022.

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