beekeeping equipment

Slicing a brood box into ekes

A brood box sliced horizontally to make ekes or feeder rims for mountain camp feeding or baggie feeding.

The photo below was sent to me by Erik Brown in Virginia. Eric wrote, “I was inspired to make your no-cook candy boards for my three Langstroth hives this year, but I was dismayed to find that Brushy Mountain doesn’t carry 8-frame ekes. I was on the way to my father’s, who is a woodworker, so I bought a medium and had him cut it into thirds. It worked great and I put them on the hives yesterday.”

You can see a photo of Erik’s finished no-cook candy boards on his blog, and you can read about his weekend trip to the Brushy Mountain store in Pennsylvania. It sounds like they give excellent customer service.

Slicing and dicing

It seems that beekeepers do a lot of slicing and dicing to make the equipment they need. I have some medium boxes that were given to me by another beekeeper that were shallows once upon a time. It looks like a box was cut into thin slices and the pieces added to the bottom of the shallows. I can’t figure out how they are attached—glue maybe?—but I’ve had them about ten years and they were old when I got them. Still, they show no signs of coming apart.

Of course, beekeepers are always cutting deeps into mediums or mediums into shallows. In true beekeeper fashion, we always want the dimension we don’t have, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to show you another piece of beekeeping ingenuity at work. Thanks Erik!

Also see my post: A no-cook candy board recipe for wintering bees.

Honey Bee Suite

Photo of slicing a brood box into three ekes.

This 8-frame medium was sliced in three ekes for use as candy board frames. © Erik Brown.


  • I have a hive body that had a little rot, so I sliced it into 3, 2-1/2 in deep and put old window screen on for some moisture quilts. Worked great.

  • As a new beekeeper (actually had two hives about twenty years ago) I love reading your blogs. They have encouraged me to get back into woodworking and read everything I can about beekeeping. I even do little videos of myself working with the bees. Dumb but fun. Anyway I just finished my first Imirie shim, no-cook candy feeder (don’t turn it upside down to dump off the loose sugar even if you think it’s hard as a rock) and a moisture quilt. Wanted to include pictures but don’t see a link to do so so I will send separate. Thank you again for teaching those of us that don’t know much at how to be better beekeepers and have more fun doing it.

  • Thank you for the reference, Rusty, appreciate it. I am always amazed (or surprised at myself) that beekeepers can be so creative. I know the bees do most of the real work, just pretty impressive at what some beekeepers I have met come up with. Another local beekeeper nearby cuts down deeps into mediums similar to what you describe, which is how I probably came up with the idea in the first place. Bee well.


  • I usually cobble mine together with some 1″x3″ boards from one of the big-box home improvement stores and they work well, although Erik’s are much nicer looking than mine!!! Nice job!!! I also make nucs by cutting 10-frame mediums in half and using a 3/8″ plywood floor and a board to replace the open side. Again, not pretty but they work very well. Just watch your fingers around those saws!!!

  • Rusty –

    Great picture! In 2012 when I read about your design of moisture quilts for Lang hives, I made mine from old comb shallows, then cut up old mediums to make feeder rims. All you need is a table saw.

    I notice that some suppliers are now selling “moisture boxes.” Innovation from the grassroots!

    Corinth, KY

  • These also work nicely if you wish to feed with larger (1 gallon) baggie feeders. Old beekeepers used to recycle everything. It was almost as if they had a constant challenge to repurpose everything for one more round.

  • The only question remaining is how to quickly chisel out new lips on boxes with top damage without loosing fingers or going trough the sides. 🙂

    • Temporarily attach a couple of pieces of 3/4″ stock to the outside of the box, level with the top edge and the full length or more of the box end with the damage. Use an appropriately set-up router with a straight bit and an edge guide to cut away the damaged lip area, then glue in a repair piece. You’ll only need to do a small bit of chiseling in the corners.

  • This question is not related to above topic. I have question regarding swarm guard or queen gate. I keep Apis cerana bees. What should be the size of queen gate for Apis cerana as for Apis melliefer. It is 4mm?

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