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Beekeeping Supplies

A Guide to Beehive Brood Boxes and Honey Supers

The beehive box is the most important part of the beehive.  Langstroth hives and Warre Hives have components called a beehive box.  It is the part of the hive that contains the frames for comb, brood, and honey.

If a beekeeper is looking for beehive boxes for sale, they are typically looking for extra boxes for their beehive. Both of these types of hives are customizable in that you are able to add more beehive boxes to them in order to accommodate a larger colony. 

In the Langstroth hive extra beehive boxes are added to the top of the hive, while they are added to the bottom in the Warre hive. The extra boxes are called supers, and this is where the bees store honey. The other boxes are called brood boxes, and this is where to brood is.

Bee Space

In a Langstroth hive, the box is usually 19 ⅞ inches long, 16 ¼ inches wide, and 9 ⅝ inches in height. If you are building your own bee box it is important to follow the measurements exactly, as they take into account optimal bee space. 

Bee Space is the ideal space (⅜ inch) needed for bees to pass freely around the hive. If your hive contains more than ⅜ inch bee space, the bees will create sticky propolis and extra comb. This will make the hive difficult to inspect.  

Box measurements for a Warre Hive are smaller than that of a Langstroth, but the bee space theory still applies.  And even though the Top Bar hive does not use frames like the Langstroth and Warre, it still uses bee space for it’s bars to ensure that the bees do not create comb glued to the inside of the box.  

Beehive Boxes for Sale

While some beekeepers enjoy building beehive boxes, many lack the carpentry skills to build their own.  In that case, you can find beehive boxes for sale.

If you are lucky enough to have a beehive supply store in your area that would be a great place to start, but most people buy beehive boxes online. Websites like Amazon and Galena Farms have beehive boxes for sale both assembled and unassembled.  While an unassembled box will take some carpentry know how to get together, it comes already measured and cut, so the hardest part is done for you. 

I personally like to buy my boxes from Galena Farms. Their beehive boxes are always very good quality with great craftsmanship. I also like that the Hoover Hives boxes are wax coated, so I don’t have to paint them. Plus, if you purchase directly from their website galenafarms.com, you can get 5% off your order by using code COMPLETEBEEHIVES. More on Galena Farms here.

Parts of a Beehive

In this article, we will focus on the brood box, also called the brood chamber, and the super, also called the honey super.

Brood Box

In a Langstroth beehive, the brood boxes are the boxes on the bottom of the hive. They are usually deep boxes and sit directly on top of the bottom board.

As the name implies, the brood box is where the brood, or the eggs and larvae live. A deep box is used so the queen has lots of space to move around and lay eggs.

Beehives typically have 1-2 brood boxes on them, depending on where the beekeeper lives and how often they inspect their hives. If you are not able to do frequent inspections, 2 brood boxes will give the bees lots of space to grow without swarming.

Hoover Hives Brood Box

This deep brood box comes with either 8 frames or 10 frames. Or, you can even choose to get it without frames if you prefer. Another option you have is to order it assembled or unassembled.

This box is made out of fir wood and features dovetail joints to keep the boxes perfectly square. Fir was chosen for it’s durability, tight knit grain flow, and because it is less likely to warp in the rain.

The hive parts are dipped into 100% natural beeswax, allowing the wax to soak into the wood. This protects the wood and gives it a beautiful, golden sheen.

Honey Super

A honey super is a box used to collect honey.  Like in a regular hive box, the super also contains 8 or 10 frames.  Basically, bees need a certain amount of wax and honey for their colony to survive winter.  Luckily for us, extra honey will be stored in the super, for the beekeeper to extract and keep.  

Supers are the boxes that are placed near the top of the beehive, below the covers. Throughout the season, extra supers can be added to the hive as needed. The rule of thumb is to add another super once the previous one is at least 60% full. Most beehives will have 2-3 supers on them.

The width and depth of the super is the same as standard Langstroth hive boxes.  The difference is the height. While beehive come in 3 sizes (shallow, medium,and deep), the most common size for a super is medium. 

A deep super that is full of honey would be quite heavy for the average beekeeper to lift, while shallow supers do not yield as much honey.  You can expect a medium honey super to weigh about 50 pounds, so much more manageable than a deep honey super, which would weigh 70 pounds. 

Hoover Hives Honey Super

Hoover Hives makes a good quality honey super. This particular one is medium sized. Like all of Galena Farms beehives, it is made of quality fir in the USA. The wood of this box is coated with 100% beeswax, so no painting is necessary.

The measurements of this super are consistent with industry standard dimensions.  That means that you can us it interchangeably with most other Langstroth hives. Just keep in mind that you must use 10 frame parts with a 10 frame hive and vice versa for 8 frame.

You can choose from either 8 or 10 frames and CellTech foundations made from food grade plastic, dipped in 100% beeswax. Beekeepers who have purchased this super have reported it being high quality and well made.


If you are looking for beehive boxes for sale you have several options.  First, you must determine what type of beehive box you need. Do you need a box for your brood?  Or do you need a super for honey?

Then, you must choose what size beehive box to get – shallow, medium, or deep and 8 frame or 10 frame. Lastly, you must decided if you prefer an assembled or unassembled beehive box. Be sure to choose a beehive box for sale according to your own skill set.

The good thing about Langstroth (and even Warre) hives is that they are customizable when it comes to beehive boxes, so you can experiment with size and configuration to find what works best for you.