Basic Wooden Lids and Floors for use with EPS Bee Boxes

These lids and floors are designed for use with the EPS bee boxes on the market and work with Swienty, BeeMax and Meijers' boxes, which are all pretty close to exactly the same in all dimensions.

EPS lids and floors are available, but are expensive, awkward and fragile.  The lids and floors below work well, are durable, and can also fit standard wood boxes (except Jones*) as well.

These lids are designed with an inch and a half space underneath to permit use of pillows, sacks or blankets and to allow placing patties, sugar or baggie feeders above the frames.

The floors are a basic floor that can slide around easily on pallets or hive stands.  For use directly on the ground, rot strips on the bottom can be added.

* Jones wooden boxes have a thicker wall and may not quite fit inside with these dimensions and may require adding a quarter inch or so to length and width of the lids. 

At right are pictures showing how the lids are constructed. 

The materials are 1/2" construction grade plywood and 1" nominal (3/4") spruce 1X4.

I use drywall screws to assemble them, but staples work fine, too.  The design is such that the same lid fits snugly on standard wooden boxes and also on the various EPS boxes on the market.

The inner rim lifts the lid enough that there is room for patties under the lid or a baggy feeder.  I normally use a plastic pillow under each lid for insulation and to keep the bees from building burr comb under the lid in that space when it is not used for patties.  In winter, I use several pillows for added insulation.

From top:

  • Top view from one side.
  • Inside bottom view
  • Angle inside (bottom) view
  • Side view
  • End view

These simple floors are also made from one piece of 1/2" construction plywood, plus strips about 1" thick, ripped from 2 x 4 material to hold the hive off the plywood on three sides.

The bottoms are left as flat plywood to slide easily on pallets or hive stands.  Rot strips can be added easily if desired.

Above: Bottom view. Just the flat surface of plywood.  No feet.

Below: Top view from side.  Flat piece of plywood with three side pieces.

Fit between the side and back pieces should not be too tight or sealed to permit drainage of water.

Construction tolerances are +/- 1/16". Some small imperfections are acceptable as long as they do not affect the strength or utility.  Gluing and painting is optional.

The direction of the plywood does not matter.  Plywood off-cuts could even be spliced with a spline and waterproof glue and used with the joint running crosswise on floors to use up scrap, but most people do not have the skills and the extra work might not be worth it.

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