A diagram detailing one of the many ways to build a Mk 2 Perone Hive.   IMPORTANT: There is a typo in this diagram.  The dimensions of the small board below the first comb grid should read 1″ (2.54 cm) x 7 cm  NOT 1″ (2.54 cm) x 4.4 cm.   

About the Size

The Perone Hive’s size is based on two factors:

1.   A capacity of  280 L (282 L to be exact):    In his 40 years of beekeeping, Oscar experimented with various sized hives, but observed that the colonies he was working with were strongest, most resilient, and most productive when they had around 280 L of space.

2. The Golden Ratio – The hive has the proportions of a Golden Rectangle.   For centuries mathematicians, artists, and architects have been fascinated by the Golden rectangle, which is believed to be more “ascetically pleasing” than rectangles whose sides do not have the golden ratio.   The Golden Ratio is found repeatedly throughout nature, in the spiral of nautilus shells, the base of pine cones, and the distance or length of various human body parts.   For a more visually enriching presentation of the Golden Ratio and Rectangle, you can check out the following video:

All About the Golden Ratio

Materials Needed to Build the Hive:




Measuring tape, chisel, and a square can also be handy.

UNTREATED WOOD   –  Most commercial lumber, for preservation purposes, is treated with chemicals that also serve as fungicides and insecticides – substances that can have a big effect on little bees.

What kind of wood is good?

Truthfully, the topic of bees’ wood preferences isn’t a very well-researched area, though Dr. Thomas Seeley, author of Honeybee Democracy mentions that when he was studying wild bee hives in the 1970s, he observed that the bees didn’t seem to favor one species of tree over another when it came to making their home.   In the northeastern U.S., he found hives equally dispersed throughout pines, hickories, oaks, elms, maples, walnuts and ashes.

In many parts of the world Red cedar is a traditional choice for bee hives because the oils it contains naturally help preserve the wood without any type of chemical treatment.   Due to our personal environmental convictions regarding sustainability, we recommend using species that are native or local to your area.

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