Powell Hive Box
When I first started stingless bee keeping I wanted to stick to one box and or hive design that I liked. Over time I learned that lots of different designs had come about by people’s own preference to what they thought was important.
The Powell hive has been born from what I have observed in bees in hives over time.
Here is a video of my new hive design.
Features of the Powell hive
One of the main features to the Powell hive distinct from other hives is the reduced wall height. This for me has been a huge help in getting the brood to separate equally every time. No longer having too much in the top or too much in the base.
The next thing is the double ply separators in the hive. Several well known bee keepers have used these for quite some time and it’s fair to say that once I gave this a go I will never go back. The frames come apart and honey/pollen damage is reduced significantly. Having a 4.5-5mm gap between these is no harder to construct and sees the prevention of mould and moisture built between sheets. The bees cover these ply sheets in a healthy layer of resin.
I always push the importance of a large 12mm vent hole. It provides a good amount of airflow and humidity regulation for the bees and opportunity for the use of tubing to be attached for eductions.
Maintaining 200/280mm dimensions on the floor plan means that people using an established hive can place a top half on this hive or a base.
40mm cedar is used for the hive’s construction. This provides superior insulation for both heat and more importantly the winter. It is also naturally rot and termite resistant and withstands exposure to weather.
I have provided the measurements and plans below in the link below so you can make your own:
Alternatively, you will be able to purchase these from this website very soon – stay posted for updates!
Hi Nick, fantastic looking box and we’ll informed designed. Thank you for sharing.
I am interested in adapting this box design into a square hive as you have eluded to in the box building link. Would you keep the height the same (i.e. 68mm) and would you keep this height and the 150-160mm internal dimensions for Hockingsi?
Hey mate! Yes it work very well with hockingsi in a square hive. I belive that hockingsi need a lot more room in a hive then carbonaria due to their tendency to put an air gap around their brood area. 160mm internal square is an absolute minimum for them in my opinion. Hope this helps.
That is great help, thanks. So if 160mm is the min, but the aim was to honey collection, what would you recommend as the ‘Goldilocks’ internal size? Ta,
160-200mm is my suggestion. When you compress the brood area with lower walls your honey super will fill faster. This is because the bees want more room and naturally use the super to achive this. Naturally in a tree I have seen hockingsi with a brood ball about 200mm accross. But for honey constricting height will work nice.
That’s great. Thank you kindly for your superb advice.
Thanks for sharing this design
Im just wondering if your design would get the same bee populations as in a standard hive with higher walls.
Also, would the amount of brood in your smaller brood boxes be the same as the amount of brood built in a hive with higher walls?
Your population will be very close. I’d say higher walls may hold a few more Bees. Honey supers can be added if you want more room. Originally I thought larger hive = more Bees and made the large double hives. But after seeing what happens I will never go back to high walls. The main thing that I have noticed is your bees don’t have to regulate humidity in a large area when starting a new colony. This means their speed in building is much faster. Hope this helps answer your question. If not write again and I’ll help. ????