So why do bees build comb in that particular shape?
According to Instructables.com, bees build a six-sided figure and there is something special about a six-sided shape. A honeycomb built from spheres would have little gaps that would need extra wax for patching. Pentagons, octagons also produce gaps.
"It is a mathematical truth," says some Maths Dude named Lightman, "that there are only three geometrical figures with equal sides that can fit together on a flat surface without leaving gaps: equilateral triangles, squares and hexagons."
The more compact your structure, the less wax you need to construct the honeycomb. "Wax is expensive." A bee has to consume about eight ounces of honey to produce a single ounce of wax. The hexagonal honeycomb is absolutely perfect in economizing labor and wax.
1. Warré (pronounced war-ray) Beekeeping
These hives are supported on gantries at heights above ground, and more typical of the heights of feral colonies in trees. This plan is from Warre Beekeeping.
2. Barcelona Warre Beehive
The hive is a vertical top bar style beehive and follows a tradition of natural beekeeping methods. The plans are from Projects FabLabs.
3. The Wooden Skid Hive
This frame is made up of 10 frame wooden hive parts. The plans are from BetterBee.com.
4. The DIY Warre Hive
A Warre hive is a vertical or supered top bar hive that is simple to build and easy to use. Plans are from Bee Space.
5. The Warre Hives
This is a great site filled with 18 different hive plans. They are all based on the original Warre hive. The plans are saved as a PDF here.
6. 10-Frame Langstroth Beehive
Barry Birkey has provided these plans of a 10-frame Langstroth beehive. You can find them at Bee Source.
7. Kenya Top Bar Hive
So if you want to build instead of buy then this is a great site for you to browse through. Plans can be found at GaryBees.com.
8. Beehive Construction
You can click on each section of the hive! Check out this plan.
9. Easy DIY Beehive
Mother Earth News helps out beekeepers with this construction diagram.
10. Beehive made from tires
Instructables has a wonderful DIY project for beekeepers who want to be creative. This is a truly unique beehive. If you are looking for a hive that will allow you to up-cycle then this is it.
Beekeeping 101 is complex! If you research the history of beekeeping you'll see that hive boxes are mainly hexagonal hives. There are many styles and shapes you'll find online, but there is a reason honey production is made in this specific shape by honeybees.
We focused on the Warre style for many of these ten hive plans. These pollinators need help from beekeepers, so if you're considering this as a hobby you should consider the ten hive designs we've included here.
Do you have a bee colony?
Would you like to do this in your city? Please leave a comment below!