2017 Beehive Christmas Ornaments are ready to ship. The style has changed this year. They have flat lids just like the original Langstroth style bee hive. The price also has increased by $1 this year as I’m “co-making” them with a friend. We calculated the labor and materials to come up with this price adjustment.
Christmas Ornaments for 2017
$9 (not including shipping)
As much as I’d like to claim this idea, I cannot. I was at my beekeepers Christmas party and a member came in with pieces that he said he made 5 years ago. They were just cut pieces of pine, un-assembled, and unpainted. They were single deep box Langstroth bee hive Christmas ornaments. Each had a bottom board, a deep box, and a garden-style lid. He allowed members to take them and assemble them at home. Of course, I took one and immediately thought of all the changes I wanted to make to it.
First, was some additional boxes… more deeps, or mediums? Definitely one more box. I experimented with a number of boxes, 3-deeps, a deep and two mediums, but finally settled on one deep and one medium. Then, I also experimented with the finish… did I want shiny and new, or worn and rugged? I entertained wood-burning and added the nails on the corners of the boxes. Then last, I burned in the Christmas message on the bottom of each.
In this fast-paced world where everything is mass-produced and disposable, it’s nice to have something that can be seen and appreciated each year. Rarely lost, ornaments get packed away with the Christmas stuff, only to be pulled out and appreciated for a while the next year. The beehives strike a chord beekeepers, but also are most appropriate as gifts from a beekeeper.
I keep no secrets here… the process I used to replicate these was simple if you have a workshop and some basic tools. Here is the process I used, and I’m sure anyone could make improvements to make these their own.
I started with a simple 2×4 and ripped it down the center to have two equal halves. I cut my cubes off of that… and struck lines and filed them out to make it appear as two boxes stacked on top of each other. I also ripped the roof material from another 2×4 into the triangle shape. It helps to have a table saw whose table can be adjusted at an angle to cut these pieces. For the bottom board, just as you might suspect… another long strip about 1/4″ thick. Basically, all the pieces were cut into lengths. That’s the hard part. Then, you will make cross cuts to cut off each individual hive body, roof, and bottom board.
The bottom board was a little more involved… at least, my approach was. I used a stationary router with a flat bit and made up a make-shift jig to allowed me to stick the wood in, and route out the small notch for the front of the hive. Because these pieces are so small, I routed each piece individually while still connected to the length of wood… stuck it in the router to take out the notch… and then ripped the piece off individually. I went back to the router to make the next notch, then ripped that piece off again. I repeated the process here for each piece. One could maybe use a Dremel (that would render a cruder cut, but may add to the character of the ornament).
See the pics below. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have… and, Merry Christmas!