Most of the materials you need for building your own hives and other equipment can be obtained by dumpster diving. If you have a friend that is a contractor, it is even better. Perhaps you can set up a barter with them (honey for scraps).
Here's a grocery list for dumpster diving. Of course, some materials listed can be smaller and pieced together to make larger pieces. Smaller pieces can be used for nuc boxes and swarm traps. Free is better than cheap any day.
- 2 1/2" decking screws. (of course, they can be used!)
- sheet metal or coil stock 20 x24 or larger. Smaller pieces can be used for nuc box lids and on your swarm trap tops.
- 1 by anything 16 1/2" or longer. (your contractor friends should be swimming in this)
- 2 by anything at least 2' long.
- 19" by 23" exterior plywood or OSB for outer covers, nuc boxes and swarm traps.
- 16" by 20" Luan board for inner covers and nuc boxes.
- Exterior latex paint. A light color would be nice. Bee boxes don't have to be white.
Click the following links read these articles on BeeSource.com. They also include all the specs you need to build it yourself.
- SIBA Swarm Trap Plans - Courtesy of Jeff Jump and Jason Bruns
- 10-Frame WBC Hive – Steve Moye
- Dadant Type Frames
- 10 Frame Assembly Jig
- Modified Pillow Block Bar for Maxant Chain Uncapper
- Foundation Form Board
- IPM Screen Bottom Board
- Pollen Trap – Hosterman Style
- Pollen Traps – Trapping Pollen From Honey Bee Colonies
- Solar Wax Melter
- Removeable Swarm Catching Frames
- Honeycomb Uncapping Tank – USDA
- Honey Heater
- Miller Type Feeder
- Slatted Bottom Rack
- Bee Vac
Visit this page on Beesource to find build instructions for:
- 10-Frame Langstroth Beehive – Barry Birkey
- Beehive Handhold Jig
- Inner Cover for Langstroth Hive
- 5-Frame Nucleus Beehives
- 5 Frame Nuc – D. Coates Version
- Double 3-Frame Brood Hive – USDA
- 11-Frame British National Hive
- 3-Frame Observation Hive
- 4-Frame Honey Extractor
- 20-Frame Honey Extractor
- Double Screen Board
- Super Dumping Board