Want to keep your own bees? It’s never been this easy.
Mason jar bee hive is an ideal consideration for small spaces. The smallest suburban backyards can be a perfect haven for honey bees to build hives.
Note: Find out from your nearest municipal office what you may do in your given location before setting off to make your mason jar bee hive. Another great idea is to contact a local beekeeping group and ask them for advice regarding the bees that occur naturally in your area. They will most likely be the best people to advise you.
For a mason jar bee hive, you will need:
a) 1 piece thick, unpainted plywood (this is where the honey jars are inserted into where the hive will exist so keep in mind the weight factor when you consider the strength and thickness of this wood);
b) 4 pieces of unpainted wood for the top frame, 2,5cm (1″) in height. The plywood should be a bit smaller than the surface area of the brood box;
- Screw the 4 pieces of wood around/to the plywood to create a frame.
c) Place and trace around one mason jar lid at the corner of the plywood. Use a hole-cutter and cut out the circle hole inside the lid-tracing otherwise it will be too big when you want the mouth of the mason jar to fit the hole snugly;
- Once you are happy, cut out all your circles.
d) Beehive bottom board (same size as the top frame);
e) Assemble the hive next. Set the bottom board, followed by the brood box where worker-made cells will house eggs, larvae and pupae to develop. Then place the queen excluder at the top;
- Tip: Plastic excluders weigh much lighter. (Don’t know what an excluder is? An excluder is a barrier inside the beehive that allows worker bees through, but not a larger queen or drone to get past.)
f) 4 paint-free wooden side-panels for the hive, all of similar heights;
- Finish construction by attaching and screwing together the wood panels and the frame to create a box-like structure with the plywood and holes on top while the bottom is open.
g) Wide-mouth, sanitized mason jars Fit the jars and ensure they all fit properly around the holes;
h) Starter strips / empty combs;
- Finally fit the jars with starter strips or empty combs inside to lure bees inside (and keep them happy outside with these plants https://gardeningeden.net/2019/10/30/bee-gardening/). These starter strips and empty combs are available for sale on the internet and sellers post them to you. Let the bees do what they do best. Get bees from a farm. Like the empty combs/starter strips, you can find one near you online. Once filled with honey, you can close the jars lids for cover again.
- Note: not all bee spesies are o.k with this type of bee hive.
The only question left is, why have you not done this before now?