Beehive Dadan: detailed description with dimensions and drawings

Bee farms use different dwellings for bees, selected according to planned productivity, ease of maintenance and other criteria. The most common types are vertical. Dadant’s hives are well known among them. The width of the buildings depends on the number of installed frames, the height depends on the number of installed modules.

Beehive Dadant

Vertical structures have long been used in apiaries, achieving maximum productivity of swarms. More than 120 years ago, the popular Dadant hive, named after him, was designed by a French beekeeper. The size of the 10 frames that the house contained coincided with the Queenby model. The interior space is designed for the active growth of the insect family.

At the beginning of the 3,5th century, the creation of Charles Dadant was modified and modified by the Swiss beekeeper Johann Blatt. The length of the frames has decreased by 12 cm, and their number in the nest has increased to XNUMX. The improved designs are called Dadant-Blatt hives. In them, insects give the best results in collecting honey.


Most often, bee dwellings are built from dried hardwood – linden, birch, willow. A solid product will last more than 10 years. You can make a wooden Dadan with your own hands by connecting its parts using fasteners (pins, nails) or harmless, odorless glue.


If spruce, cedar or pine wood is used, it must be dried for at least 12 months due to the resin content. Before cutting out parts, the moisture content should be checked in accordance with GOST.

It is allowed to create Dadan hives from high-quality strong plywood, fiberboard, in which layers of deciduous and coniferous trees are combined.

Some beekeepers prefer lightweight plastic structures. But this material has a shorter service life compared to wood.


In the southern regions, the Dadan hive is most often made with single walls about 4 cm thick. It weighs less and is better ventilated.

If the winter is harsh, cold snaps occur in spring, it will be necessary to change the design to maintain the optimal temperature in the bee nest. There is a way how to make the Dadan hive insulated, windproof: double walls of the hull will help. Straw pillows or a layer of foam plastic are laid between them, dry sawdust is poured.



Changing the thickness of the frame should not affect the internal dimensions of the hive, the height of the entrance. With a removable bottom, bars are attached at the bottom of the walls, which prevent the insulation from spilling out.

This technology is not used for the manufacture of store add-ons. They are installed during the flowering of melliferous plants and are removed in the fall, so they do not need to be insulated with the help of double walls.

What it consists of

The initial version of the design involved 3-5 rectangular parts, which are placed on top of each other:

  1. Stand. Prevents pests from entering the house, protects against excessive moisture and cold coming from the ground.
  2. Housing. It contains a bee’s nest – combs with brood and food. The module is often made with a removable bottom for easy cleaning.
  3. Score. During the flowering of a large number of plants, bees fill the honeycomb cells with honey.
  4. Roof. Often a low insert is placed between it and the store.

As needed, beekeepers add or remove some modules throughout the year.

Benefits of the Dadan hive

Over the past century, the vertical structure for the apiary, developed by a French beekeeper, has not lost its relevance. It is used in small farms. The Dadant hive has many positive qualities:

  • availability of materials, ease of manufacturing and assembly of modules;
  • frame strength;
  • keeping warm in the nest;
  • ease of inspection and replacement of frames;
  • the ability to compose the most convenient design from separate parts.

The peculiarities of the applied methods of beekeeping are associated with the large size of the nest frames. It is difficult to fill free combs with food before the swarm hibernates, to move the module.

Dadan-Blatt hive arrangement

In the lower part of the prefabricated structure, mounted on a stand, there is a nest housing with holes on the front wall. Near the lower entrance door, a bar is attached to the outside for landing bees. Most often, 1 building is used in Dadanov hives. Up to 16 waxes are installed inside, usually 10-12 of them.


If you plan to move the house, it is better to choose Dadan 10-frame. The larger structure becomes heavier when filled.

At the beginning of the honey collection, a store is located between the building and the roof. An add-on with half-frames is necessary to accommodate the nectar collected by the bees. With active honey collection, another 1-2 stores are temporarily added. Some of the frames are taken from them as they are filled, substituting empty honeycombs.


Early installation of the store under the collected nectar is one of the most effective measures to combat swarming. Insects will take care of work and feeding the brood.

During wintering, a sub-roof is usually placed on the nesting module, and even higher – a roof with ventilation that completes the structure.

Arrangement of multi-body hives Dadan

The version of the house, in which 2 nest modules are installed one above the other, usually contains 8-10 waxed frames to lighten the weight and reduce the size of the frame. If necessary, a store is located above these modules, but more often a roof.

It is customary to use multi-body Dadanov hives to obtain layering from a large bee colony or to organize a general wintering of 2 weakened swarms. A lattice separating the families is installed between the nesting parts.

What is the difference between Dadan and Ruth

Langstroth-Ruth Hive

The vertical hives designed by renowned beekeepers are a bit similar. However, in the Dadan-Blatt design, the store frames are 2 times lower than the nest ones (14,5 versus 30 cm). Modules of different heights cannot be interchanged, work is carried out only with honeycombs.

The dimensions of the frames for the Langstroth-Ruth hive differ from those of Dadan’s. Their height in the nest and in the store is 23 cm. It is easy to rearrange the Ruta bodies, but in the spring, during this process, the nest can be overcooled.

It is believed that the Dadan hive is suitable for beginner beekeepers, small apiaries. Ruta designs are used by large farms, especially in the southern regions.

Dadant hive weight with honey

The weight of the empty foundation is about 0,5 kg. If the wax honeycomb is rebuilt, it becomes 0,1 kg heavier. The honey-filled Dadant nest frame weighs about 4,5-5 kg, the store frame weighs 1,5 kg.

During the period of active honey collection, the body of a 10-frame hive has a mass of at least 45 kg, and a design with 1 magazine reaches a weight of 60 kg. More spacious bee dwellings are becoming even more massive.

How to make your own 8-frame Dadan hive

Self-construction of a structure for keeping honey insects made of solid wood, plywood or fiberboard is available even to beekeepers who do not have good carpentry skills. You will need drawings, where all the components of the product are drawn in detail, with dimensions.

The manufacturing steps and the tools required for it are the same. The walls of the buildings, the bottom, the roof of the 8-frame Dadan differ from the parts of more spacious buildings only in size.

Getting Started

It is better to cut out parts and assemble the structure in a warm, dry room. If the materials become saturated with moisture, cracks may then appear on them. You will need:

  • hive drawing (general and all parts separately);
  • good quality boards;
  • drill with screws or hammer with nails;
  • non-toxic glue;
  • paint.

For a nest box with a bottom and frames, boards 3,5-4 cm thick are taken.The walls of the store, the roof, the insert under it can be thinner, about 2-2,5 cm.

A wood processing machine is needed to make a Dadant hive with your own hands. With its help, the smoothness of the surface of the boards is given, the necessary parts with grooves for connection are cut out.

Operating procedure

Wooden blanks of the modules of the future hive are fastened together so that there are no gaps left. It is advisable to grease the joints of the parts with glue, fix them with screws, nails from the ends.

On top of the obtained rectangular modules (except for the roof), bars are attached to install a higher “floor”. Folds are formed at the body and the magazine for the waxed frames.


It is necessary to assemble the structure carefully so that there are no distortions. When installing the resulting parts on top of each other, no gaps should form – stability, strength and tightness are required from the hive.

The assembly is carried out gradually, from the bottom to the roof. After sealing the cracks, the structure is coated with a primer to protect it from moisture. The finished Dadant hive is then painted on the outside to attract bees, usually yellow or bright blue. Inside it is disinfected or heated with a burner.

Eight-frame hive size

The height of the structure with 1 nest housing and 1 store, an insert under the roof is about the same for all Dadanov variants – about 80 cm. Of these, 9-10 cm are taken to the bottom and the sub-roof.


In the modules, a distance of at least 2 cm is left under the frames for the movement of bees.

The height of the standard body is 32 cm, the store is 16,5 cm.The roof can be up to 15-16 cm.

Inside, the length is 45 cm, the width depends on the number of frames and the thickness of the boards from which they are made. It is necessary to leave a margin of up to 2 cm.For 8 waxes, a body width of 30 cm is required.

The outer dimensions of the hive are determined by the thickness of the boards. At 3,5 cm, the length of the structure will be 52 cm, width – 37 cm.

Dadant Eight-Frame Hive Blueprint

The diagram shows the location of the modules of the compact bee house. It takes into account the peculiarities of movement along the honeycomb of insects with the extracted nectar – from the bottom up.

Корпус. On the front wall, you need to cut out 2 entrances for bees. The bottom slot runs along the edge, at the junction with the bottom. At a round or rectangular hole in the upper entrance of the hive, the location should be in the center of the body, retreating from the edge of 6-7 cm.

Shop. Thin walls increase the volume of the interior. It can be used to deepen the cells of the honeycomb so that the uterus does not lay eggs in them.

Roof liner. The height of the insert should be sufficient to place the top dressing, the mattress to insulate the nest.

Roof. The top is made wider and longer than the Dadan body by about 2 cm. It will need insulation and an external waterproof coating, for example, metal.

Bottom… Although the bottom of the case is more sealed when all parts are secured, most beekeepers prefer a removable bottom. It is easier to clean up debris. 3 bars are attached to the plane, except for the side on which the notch is located.

Features of keeping bees

The 8-frame Dadan hive is suitable for southern regions. Usually weakened families are placed in it in the spring, with a weak honey harvest.


When the number of bees increases, care must be taken to prevent them from swarming due to lack of space in the nest.

Modules of the lightweight design of the hive can be moved like rooted ones. But such principles of work are not suitable for keeping bees in 8-frame Dadans due to the high body height. Insects in the spring, with an insufficient amount of brood, tend to lay nectar with pollen into the upper cells of the nest instead of store cells.

How to make a 10-frame Dadan hive with your own hands

Wood with a thickness of 3,5-3,7 cm is best suited for the manufacture of cases: dimensions and weight increase, the load on the frame increases.

When assembling narrow and wide boards, you need to alternate. The technology of joining parts in 10-frame Dadan hives does not differ from buildings with fewer honeycombs. The boards are tightly fitted to each other, well fastened so that there are no cracks.

The size of the ten-frame hive

The mass of the body with brood allows it to be lifted and moved, therefore the design is used in mobile apiaries. Compared to a more compact hive, the dimensions of the Dadan hive by 10 frames are distinguished by an increased width – up to 37 cm inside, 44 cm outside (with a wall thickness of 3,5 cm).

Dadant ten-frame hive blueprints

Due to the small size of the lower box in spring, the uterus quickly fills the free combs with brood. Although the number of cells in the Dadanov frame is about 9000, it is still not enough for a strong family. Therefore, a grate can be installed over the nest, which prevents egg-laying in the wrong place.

Hull drawing

1 – front and back walls of the case; 2 – side wall of the case; 3 – fixing nails or self-tapping screws for wood.

Handles are often made on the side walls so that the module can be conveniently lifted and moved.

Front and back walls of the case

Side wall of the case

Shop drawing

1 – front and rear walls of the store extension; 2 – side wall of the store extension; 3 – fixing nails or self-tapping screws for wood.

From 2 superstructures, if necessary, 1 Dadant nest block of normal height is obtained. It is also equipped with folds for frames.

Store extension side wall

Front and back walls of the store extension.

Liner drawing

1 – front and back walls of the roof liner; 2 – side walls of the roof liner.

The insert improves ventilation inside the hive. She does not require a large wall thickness.

Roof drawing

The Dadant roof is rarely horizontal. To make 1 slope, the front of the module is simply made taller.

Bottom drawing

In length and width, the removable bottom part protrudes slightly beyond the walls of the case. 2 bars are nailed to it, so that it is more convenient to hoist on a stand.

Feature of keeping bees

The size of one nesting part of a 10-frame Dadan hive is not enough to permanently accommodate a large family. A multi-body, double-walled design is suitable for him, in which the bees can stay for the winter.

You can populate a standard house in the spring with a small layer for rapid development. The transfer of the bee package into the hive is carried out before the onset of honey collection, so that many working individuals necessary to create stocks for the winter have time to hatch.

How to make a 12-frame Dadan hive with your own hands

The volumetric version of the design, modified by I. Blatt, is most common in apiaries. The structure turns out to be cumbersome due to the increase in the width of the modules.

The dimensions of the 12-tier Dadan hive indicated in the drawings do not take into account the thickness of the double walls necessary for the wintering of insects. The second layer of boards is attached to the outside of the hull.

The size of the twelve-frame hive

For manufacturing, a strong tree with a thickness of 4 cm is usually used. On a cross-section, the Dadan structure is square, with an inner side of 45 cm, an outer side – 53 cm. The height of the modules can be increased by leaving large gaps for the movement of bees. Then the building with the store will stretch up to 85-90 cm.

Dadan Twelve-Frame Hive Blueprints

On the diagram, it is customary to depict a structure with 1 module of each type. It is recommended to make 1-2 additional copies of parts according to the sample (2-3 stores will be needed) for replacement or add-on. Assembling a 12-frame hive usually takes about 1 working day.

Hull drawing

1 – front and back walls of the case; 2 – side wall of the case; 3 – fixing nails or self-tapping screws for wood.

Folds are required to install the frames. A margin of about 1,5 cm is left inside the box so that the knocked down slats do not touch the walls.

Front and back walls of the case

Shop drawing

1 – front and rear walls of the store extension;
2 – side wall of the store extension;
3 – fixing nails or self-tapping screws for wood.

After reducing the honey yield, one of the Dadan add-ons becomes redundant and can be removed. Therefore, handles on the sides of the box come in handy.

Liner drawing

1 – front and back walls of the roof liner;
2 – side walls of the roof liner.

A rectangular or square canvas is placed under the insert, which covers the frames and does not allow the bees to rise higher.

Roof drawing

Several round ventilation holes with a diameter of up to 1,5 cm should be made under the roof. They should be covered with a net so that insects cannot crawl through.

Bottom drawing

It is recommended to increase the space under the nest to 5-6 cm. Such a basement is arranged for the movement of insects and ventilation.

Corner wall joints in hive bodies

Corner wall joints in hive bodies

1 – side wall of the hive body;
2 – the front wall of the hive body;
3 – connecting key.

Features of keeping bees in the hive

To move the structure, you need the help of a second person or the use of a lift, so it is difficult to work with it alone.

A strong family by the time the store is installed can go into a swarm state. It is necessary to remove part of the brood so that unwanted layering does not form.


At the beginning of spring, it is better to place the superstructure under the nest in order to avoid hypothermia when checking the filling of the cells.

The modules of the Dadanov hive for 12 frames are square. Inside them, you can put the bases under the wax honeycomb parallel or perpendicular to the hole of the tap hole to improve ventilation, maintain the optimum temperature of the nest.

Dimensions and drawings of the 14-frame Dadan hive

A spacious, well-insulated structure is used to accommodate a strong family for the winter. There is enough space in the body for food supplies, and in the spring the queen is rapidly increasing the number of working bees.

The width of the body, in comparison with the dimensions of the Dadan hive, by 12 frames increases by 7 cm (internal – up to 52 cm, external – up to 60 cm). Only a magazine can be installed on top: the second body will be too heavy.

Dimensions and drawings of the 16-frame Dadan hive

The structure is very bulky, it is rarely found in apiaries. It is used without a store superstructure, only for wintering families.

You can make an enlarged version of the Dadanov hive with your own hands. For the main walls, boards with a thickness of 4 cm are needed, for additional outer ones – 2-2,5 cm. Under the foundation, the structure is expanded to 60 cm (with walls – 68 cm). Dimensions and drawing have changed slightly.

Dadant framework

The main difference between the vertical structures of the French beekeeper from others is in the different heights of the frames intended for the nest and the store. In the spacious case, instead of one of the waxes, you can install a dividing board of the same height.

Frame size

After the modifications by I. Blatt, the length of the base for adjusting the honeycomb decreased to 43,5 cm. The standard dimensions of the Dadan frames are the same for all types of these hives. In the nest box, their height is 30 cm, and shortened waxes are installed under the honey in the store – only 14,5 cm each.The width of the side slats in the upper part is 3,5-3,7 cm, downward it decreases by 1 cm.

Frame drawing

Bases for honeycombs are rectangular, made of knocked together or glued slats. They pierce holes for the wire, pull it with pliers and fix it. For a house with 12 frames, the drawing of foundation does not differ from 8, 10, 14 and 16-frame buildings.

Sh. Dadan’s vertical hives are often used by novice beekeepers. They are appreciated for their simplicity of design, ease of working with swarms, and a large amount of honey obtained. With quality wood and tools on hand, you can make a house with as many frames as is best for an apiary.

Beehive Dadan: detailed description with dimensions and drawings
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Anna Evans

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