DIY Kenyan beehive

For beekeeping, it is not necessary to have several dozen bee colonies – one or two hives are enough for the soul and for their own consumption. Novice beekeepers can use the Kenyan version. It is not as demanding as the traditional one. Frame requires compulsory adherence to the size, it is necessary to manufacture, build up a large number of frames. The African is deprived of this.


Biodynamic beekeeping means obtaining pure honey in a natural way, as it happens in natural processes. It is important here to exclude contaminants – frames, wire, foundation. Kenyan hives meet similar requirements.

A simple bee-dwelling is easily made independently. The Kenyan Hive is a rectangular box with sidewalls expanding upward. The length depends on the number of planks – beekeepers use 16, 20, 24, 40 pieces.

Features of the Kenyan hive

The simplicity of the Kenyan version will allow you to quickly master the technique of keeping and caring for bees. Its performance is lower than that of the classic one, but its existence is close to natural. They are healthier, it is easier to carry out prevention and treatment. It is rarely necessary to open it, only to pump out honey.

Feature: no frames, wires, waxes. Instead, they use slats with a cut, where a strip of wax is applied. Striped workers procure more food for the winter than with traditional housing. The expanding space confuses the bees – considering the side surfaces to be the bottom, they fix the honeycombs only on the slats.


The simplicity of the African version is beneficial for acquiring beekeeping skills, it allows you to keep two families in one house, dividing the internal space with a partition. Providing a favorable microclimate during severe winters made it possible to use it in the cold regions of the country.

DIY beehive for 20 frames

Starting work begins with the need to take into account several points: the type of working wood, quality, permissible moisture … Collecting all parts excludes the presence of cracks. The material must be smooth, free from defects in the form of knots, etc.

  • Coniferous wood has a high resistance to aggressive atmospheric influences, has a long service life.
  • It is possible to use soft wood – aspen, poplar, linden, etc.

The thickness of the front and back walls is 4 cm, for the side walls, three centimeters are enough. To organize the taphole, the front side should have a gap of 12 mm from the bottom.

  1. The bottom is collected with a shield with a thickness of 3 cm.
  2. During the assembly of the finished product, you should remember about the tap hole – a protrusion with a width of 3 centimeters is left on the front part.
  3. After assembling the body, they are engaged in interior decoration – they install folds for fastening the strips.
  4. The ceiling is made 1 cm thick, inserted into the folds.
  5. Any shape of the cover is allowed, the main requirement: no gaps, cracks, distortions.
  6. If desired, the finished hive is painted, then installed in the chosen place, the bees are launched.


The ventilation openings are covered with a mesh with a mesh diameter of up to XNUMX mm.

Necessary materials

For manufacturing and assembly, you need to prepare:

  • Dies of the required thickness-length.
  • Self-tapping screws, screwdriver.
  • Liner, cover.
  • Nest frames – 20 pieces.
  • Two diaphragms.

Dimensions and Drawings

The above drawing implies:

  • the length of the front and back walls is 175 cm;
  • front width – 36, back 44 cm;
  • the sidewalls in the upper part are equal – 45, in the lower – 17 cm;
  • the height of the walls is 30 cm, the lower angle of expansion is 5 °;
  • the length of the ceiling depends on the size of the structure;
  • internal dimensions depend on the thickness of the material.

It must be remembered that the size of the hive depends on the number of planks.

Advantages and disadvantages

A simple device gives the impression of being unreliable. However, the positive qualities outweigh the minor disadvantages so much that they give it many advantages over the framework.

  • Insects independently prepare for wintering, to guarantee they are left with top dressing.
  • Due to conditions close to natural, bees endure wintering more easily and develop more actively in spring.
  • An overseas “guest” is less costly in financial terms and care than a framework one – all the work comes down to the periodic collection of honey.
  • The absence of wax, wire is a guarantee of harmlessness and purity of the product.
  • The design feature does not allow swarming – the peaceful coexistence of insects is the key to getting more honey.
  • Self-production makes possible the simultaneous settlement of two bee colonies – it is necessary to partition it from the inside, to make entrances from different sides.

The disadvantages include a small volume – hot weather contributes to overheating. The struggle with such a parasite as the Varroa mite is complicated due to the difficulties in handling the hive.

The disadvantages of the Kenyan method of keeping honey miners are so small that the method is becoming more and more popular among the population of the whole world.


Animals and rodents can attack the “house”, so the structure can be lifted for delivery, suspended, as is done in the USA.

The maintenance of such an apiary generates income, contributes to the development of the necessary beekeeping skills. Communication with beneficial insects, observation of their behavior broadens the horizons, endowing with knowledge, experience, love for small, tireless workers.

The ancient African method of domestication, the maintenance of useful honey workers, taken as a basis, has undergone some changes, has undergone modernization – it has been adapted for use in almost all regions of the world.


DIY Kenyan beehive

Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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