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Beehive Frame Assembly Instructions

Frame Assembly Instructions

To assemble a wood beehive frame you will need the following parts:

  • 1 - Top Bar
  • 1 - Bottom Bar
  • 2 - Side Bars
  • Wood Glue
  • 4 - 1 1/4” Nails
  • 2 - 3/4” X 18 Nails


If the frames will have wax foundation you will need five to six 5/8” X 19 nails and something to secure the foundation such as frame wire or foundation support pins.

Know the parts

Each frame consists of one top bar, two side bars, and one bottom bar.  A frame for wax foundation will be the same in almost every way except for the top bar.  A top bar for wax foundation will have an extra groove cut into the side of the top bar so that a small thin wedge of wood can be easily removed from the top bar and used later to secure the wax foundation.


There is no difference between the deep and medium frames except for the length of the side bars.  Assembly instructions are the same.

If you have a pneumatic (compressed air) stapler or brad nailer it will be much easier than using a hammer.  Do not use staples or brads any larger than 18 gauge as they will likely split the wood.


Place a small bead of wood glue along the tops (wide part) of each of the end bars and attach the top bar using 1 1/4 inch nails.

Next place a small bead of wood glue along the bottoms of each end bar and attach the bottom bar using 3/4 inch nails.  Be sure that the groove of the bottom bar is facing the inside of the frame.

Drive a single 3/4 inch nail under the frame ear to secure the end bar to the top bar.  This nail helps to prevent the frame from pulling apart when removing it from a hive.

Wax Foundation

Use a screwdriver or other tool to remove the wedge from the top bar.

Place the wax or wired wax foundation into the frame with the bottom edge inside the groove of the bottom bar.  If you are using wired wax foundation with hooks be sure the hooks are pointing toward the outside of the frame.  Further secure the wax foundation using metal support pins or frame wire.


To secure the wax foundation in the frame with frame wire thread the wire through the holes in the side bars.  Lace the wire through the holes so that the two ends of the same wire are on the same side of the frame.  Twist the two ends of the frame wire together so that the wire is tight.  The wire can then be embedded in the wax foundation using a wire embedding tool.  Use only one piece of wire for each frame.


Reattach the wedge using five 5/8 inch nails and glue.

Plastic Foundation

After the wood glue has dried place one edge of the plastic foundation into the groove inside the frames.  Bending the foundation slightly push it into the frame until it snaps into place.

Tip:  It is sometimes helpful to soak the side bars and the ends of the top bars and bottom bars in warm water.  This softens the wood, allows the nails or staples to go in easier, and reduces the likelihood of splitting the wood in the process.  Do not soak the wood too long as this will soften it too much and can cause the wood to warp.  Five minutes should be sufficient.