Beehive Extension Tubes

Introduction: Beehive Extension Tubes

Winter is a very difficult time for honey bees.  In fact, this particular winter has been brutal for honey bee colonies throughout the United States and Canada.  Bees are particularly susceptible to snow but in particular to moisture.  So I came up with this invention I call the Beehive Extension Tube.  It basically extends the entrance even after a heavy snowstorm blocks the main exit.  It is all PVC plastic therefore easy to make an install.

Step 1: What You Will Need

1. Ruler 
2. Sharpie
3. Workbench
4. Hacksaw
5. A treaded pvc plug from Home Store (see pic)
6. Sandpaper 
7. 3/4 Inch PVC Pipe
8. Paper & Pen

Step 2: PVC Pipe and Plug

These are the 2 main pieces, got them at Loews.  See barcocode for Exact piece.

Step 3: PVC Male Threaded Plug

The plug is different on both ends.  The open ends is where bees exit from and come back.

Step 4: Measure Landing Entrance to End of Ramp

With a ruler or measuring tape measure from entrance opening to end of ramp. Usually it is about 5 1/2 to 6 inches depending on base style. Ad abou a 14 to the measurement as you eventually want the pipe to squeeze into the opening to make a tight seal.

Step 5: Measure

Measure opening of hive of top bottom.  Write it down.

Step 6: Measure and Cut Pipe

1. Measure 3/4 PVC Pipe circle opening use the measurement for hive opening.  You will cut that far down. Then cut into it to remove that piece. Leaving an L type opening on end of pipe. Remember use the circumference of circle as it is facing you to measure.  

2. Then use the length measurement from the entrance to the end or ramp/runway to cut pipe lengthwise. The Extension Tube will hang over that, once you add plug.  Sand cut sides.

Step 7: Plug Entrance (Plug Has Opening)

Push plug into end of tube.  This will require some elbow grease, maybe a rubber Mallet.  Push as far as possible we don't want water gaps.  The front is tapered in so it should stay dry.

Step 8: Hive Part

The pipe end closest to the hive should look like this. Notice the tight fit.

Step 9: Complete Beehive Etension Tubes

Here they are.  Add as many as you think necessary.  I would leave a good size opening in either case.  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to share.

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    1 year ago

    Can the bees remove the dead bees through the tubes?

    Good 'able. Do bees actually move in & out in winter or is this for air movement ??


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, yes hey take "cleansing flights" during cold but bearable sunny days. They like to keep the hive clean but do need to make their business. It is also for airflow, in case snow blocks the entrance.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I have a question

    Mt Top bar hive has a few openings on its side wich are circles, how would you suggest I adapt this project to a circular entrance?



    8 years ago on Introduction

    I would recommend using dark PVC or painting/dying your PVC. The reason is that if sun does catch the tubes, they will help to clear the snow by themselves (through the warmth of course).

    This is one of the main reasons that I went with a top entrance to my hives. Bees can withstand some serious cold, but moisture is the killer.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    That is an excellent suggestion thank you very much! I think in the room works together offering positive feedback like this we can do a great job helping out the bees.