Horizontal Hives

At Zook's Orchard we enjoy beekeeping using horizontal Langstroth beehives.  A hive of this design eliminates the need to unstack heavy boxes of bees and honey to do a complete hive inspection.  This design also makes it much easier to perform various hive manipulations such as moving frames between hives, all at a nice working level (no bending over!).  After learning about horizontal hives we took some of the best features of several designs and combined them, along with some of our own innovations, to come up with our Zook's Orchard horizontal hive design.  We have successfully overwintered our bees in these hives now for 3 years.

Our design (similar to many others) is built to accept approximately 40 standard medium Langstroth frames.  The plans could be modified to accept deep frames.  The hive is at a nice working height which eliminates bending over to work the hive.  The top cover is hinged, making it incredibly easy to take the top cover off and put it back on.  The inner covers consist of simple 1"x8" pieces of wood so as little, or as much, of the total hive can be opened up.  Our design also features a screened bottom below the frames and then a second solid bottom a few inches below the screen.  The solid bottom allows shallow trays of cooking oil to be placed to act as a small hive beetle (SHB) trap.  We also find wax moths and ants in the oil as well as other other potential pests.  Two hinged doors on the side provide access to the oil pans for easy removal, cleaning, and filling.

We like our horizontal hives and if you are a beekeeper you may like them also.  We currently have no desire (or time) to build hives to sell but we are happy to provide the plans and parts list for you to build your own.  If you have just a bit of woodworking know-how these hives are not difficult to build.  A drill press, table saw, and cordless drill (with screwdriver bits) are pretty much all you need.  We like to build 2 at a time.  The plans and parts list are pretty accurate; however, we are not responsible for any inaccuracies.  Please recheck all dimensions before cutting or drilling!  If you get stuck or have questions give us a call or send us an email.

Parts List