This article demonstrates a very simple design of a Stingless Bee Box – Pine OATH. Standard OATH dimensions are 280mm long by 200mm wide.
This is 33mm thick x 100mm wide Hoop Pine, but you can use anything you have and adjust the measurements to suit. 33mm thick wood gives each frame the internal volume of around 2.9 litres, so the total box volume with all the frames together might end up around 8 to 9 litres. You might want to use anything from 25mm to 50mm thick wood.
Tip: It’s important to try make all your cuts square. Having nice square cuts will make the assembly easier and neater. Spend some time on scrap wood adjusting your saw to get it nice and square.
Frame height varies with different box makers. All my Cypress frames are 90mm high. These pine frames are 100mm high. You could use any timber from 70mm to 100mm high, or mix it up and have two frames at 100mm and one frame at 70mm. If you’re wanting to harvest honey from the box it can be easier to extract honey from a shallower honey super, even 40mm deep as opposed to a 70mm deep honey super.
Tip: When joining the pieces together, use a perfectly flat surface to set the wood on, and a Square like the one pictured. Again it’s important to make everything square, straight and flat. This will reduce the work needed later and produce a better result.
Below – I’ve made the honey super frame 70mm deep. It could be much less than that. A shallow honey super frame will be easier to harvest honey from. A deep honey super is difficult to harvest honey from, but if you’re not interested in the honey the deep frame will allow the bees to create more stores, making for a stronger colony.
Below – Plywood (Hardwood) splitting bars / brood support bars are in the top of the bottom box and matched up with the same support bars on the underside of the middle frame. These are inset a few millimetres so there will be a small gap between the bars when the frames are together. This allows the bees access between the bars and they can seal the inside where the frames meet when together to secure their colony. This may also make the splitting process easier.
Below – This shows the brood / honey super separator plate. I’ve used plywood here with a 50mm hole placed at the rear of the frame. This hole can be blocked to isolate the Honey Super. A small honey pot jar could be placed over the hole to create a simple honey collection method, or you could allow full access to the honey super frame.
This box is under construction – please return for updates!
View the OATH Construction Plans here: https://www.nativebeehives.com/oath-construction-plans/