A Summer / Winter Hive Ventilation Box

By Lorna Cook

Directions for one 8 frame ventilation box.

Buy List / Cut List
  • 1-1×4 Pine KD x 8 feet, cut 2-20 inches long and 2-11 1/2 inches long
  • 1 Bullnose Stop x 8 feet, cut 2-20” long, cut 1-11 1/2” long, cut 2-5”long
  • # 8 Hardware Screen, cut 1-13 3/4”x19 5/8” piece, cut 2– 2”x8” pieces
  • Plastic Window Screen, cut 1-24”x30” piece
  • 1 1/2 inch self taping star drive screws, need 8
  • 3/4 inch #6 Philips drive screws, need 24

Prep the longer box sides by using a scrap piece of 1×4 to mark each end of the two long sides. Pre drill two holes on each end with a #8 countersink bit. Set holes centered and 3/4” from each side.

Prep the two shorter box sides by measuring in from the end edges 4” and from the top 1”. These mark the ventilation holes to be.

Drill out the ventilation holes using a 1” forstner bit.

Clamp the box sides using pipe clamps and adjust each corner with a square until correct. Box must be on a very flat and true surface.

Pre drill with a straight bit, use the existing countersink holes as a guide, to extend the screw holes into the short sides of the box. Keep the bit really straight.

Drive the 1 1/2 inch screws in to tighten the box snug.

Turn the box so the ventilation holes are closest to the countertop. Place the #8 mesh piece on the now top edges and attach with a staple gun. Trim as needed.

Paint bottom sides of bullnose stop.

Clamp the long side bullnose stop to the box. Round side to outside. Using a #6 countersink bit pre drill four holes. Place 3/4” #6 screws in holes and drive to attach bullnose stop. Repeat for other side and the piece for the short side.

Attach the 5” bullnose stop pieces as above to create the winter escape opening.

Screw pattern for the bullnose stop. If you are painting your boxes now is the time to do that. Two coats of an exterior latex paint is fine.

Staple the screen material, 2”x8”, to cover up the ventilation holes on each end. This is done after painting .

A finished summer ventilation box ready to be placed on the hive.

Accessorizing for Winter

Accessorizing for winter for the colder temperate regions means cutting a hole in the screen for a winter feeder and making a bee quilt to go on top.

Cutting a hole in the screen to accommodate a Barnyard Bee top feeder.

Add the sugar and cover.

Take the 24” by 30” piece of the plastic screen material, fold it length wise and sew two of the open sides shut. Fill the bag with shavings 1/3 full. Sew the last opening shut. Shake to get rid of dust.

A finished Winter Hive Ventilation Box.