This is probably the easiest part of building the hive and you can go about doing it any number of ways:
Option 1: Using 1″ by 4″ boards for (almost) all the boxes
Pros: You don’t need too many cuts of wood.
Cons: The bees’ part won’t be as united as it potentially can be.
In this method you can think of the hive in “eighths:” 3 parts beekeeper’s part, 5 parts bees’ part.
So then, using 1″ by 4″ boards you will need to make eight boxes (3 supers for the beekeeper’s part and 5 boxes that will be put together to form the bee’s part)
To make a box, cut 4 boards so that they are 57 cm. long + the thickness of the board. (Each one of your boards should be around 59.5 cm. long) Assemble them and nail them together in the following way: (View from above)
Angled view of how to assemble and connect the boards
Note: In order to complete the interior dimensions of the bees’ part of the hive (57 x 57 x 57 cm.) you’ll need to make one small box too, a box in which the boards are 1″ x 4.4 cm. This small box will be joined to the other five boxes. You can see the small box, outlined in green, in the picture below:
Option 2 – Using 1″ x 4″ boards for the three supers and larger-sized boards for the bees’ part.
Pros: The bees’ part will have less gaps.
Cons: You’ll need more than one measurement of board to build the hive body.
The most important thing about the bees’ part is that its internal dimensions should be 57 x 57 x 57 cm.
How you get that 57 x 57 x 57 cm is really up to you. Technically, if you have a board that’s 57-some cm. high, you could assemble the bees’ part by building just one really big box.
As you can see in this hive below, (location: Island of Chiloe, Chile) the Bees’ Part was assembled using three boxes.
Additional Options for the Hive Body
Transforming the shape of the hive’s interior:
Oscar Perone is a firm believer in ”sacred geometry,” the belief that the universe was created according to a certain geometrical plan and that by copying the shapes nature provides us, we maintain a connection with the universe. Applying this concept to PermApiculture, Oscar cuts long wooden bars (24 mm x 24 mm, the same cut used for the top bars in the comb grids) in half at 45 degree angles and places one each corner of the hive, so the hive goes from having a square interior to an octagonal interior. Mr. Perone chooses to do this because 90 degree angles barely exist in nature. By making the interior of the hive an octagon we come a bit closer to having a circle, a shape that does reoccur in nature.
You can see the same has been done here in the corners of the super featured in the following photo:
Installing support bars in the Bees’ Part:
This is an alternative to placing branches inside the brood area (prior to the bees’ arrival) and also a design recommendation if you absolutely want/need to move your hives for pollination services or any other reason, a difficult but not impossible task with Perone hives.
With a hammer and chisel you can make notches in the hive boxes and then fit the bars inside.