Your Source For Beekeeping News, Information and Entertainment
Feb. 6, 2023

The Drayton Hive with Author Andrew Bax (S5, E34)

The Drayton Hive with Author Andrew Bax (S5, E34)

Joining us today is beekeeper and author, Andrew Bax. Andrew lives in the UK and has been keeping bees for decades. Like many of us ‘older beekeepers’, he has sought out better means of managing his colonies. Andrew switched from a UK standard...

Joining us today is beekeeper and author, Andrew Bax. Andrew lives in the UK and has been keeping bees for decades. Like many of us ‘older beekeepers’, he has sought out better means of managing his colonies.

Andrew switched from a UK standard hive of stacked boxes to a long hive so he didn’t have to lift supers. A standard is the UK size for a large hive, very similar to a deep box hive in the US.

Andrew then decided he could improve on the long hive and began designing.  Keeping the long hive approach, he set the length to hold 18 ‘standard sized’ frames.  To this he added several interesting differences to the hive, including insulation, an entrance not on the bottom, a floor you can clean without moving all those boxes and more. He also modified his management approach and honey handling equipment.

We explore this hive Andrew noting the what and why he did things, and we talked about his book about the design, “Beekeeping Simplified with the Drayton Hive.” The book includes lots of photos, drawings and the plans. It is published by and available from Northern Bee Books, as well as from Amazon.

If long hives with no lifting appeals to you, check out Andrew’s new hive. Your back with thank you.

We hope you enjoy the episode. Leave comments and questions in the Comments Section of the episode's website.

Thank you for listening!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast: 

Honey Bee Obscura



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S5, E34 – The Drayton Hive with Author Andrew Bax


Jeff Ott: Welcome to Beekeeping Today podcast, presented by Bee Culture. Beekeeping Today podcast is your source for beekeeping news, information, and entertainment. I’m Jeff Ott.

Kim Flottum: I’m Kim Flottum.

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Jeff: Thank you, Sherry, and thanks to Bee Culture for continuing their presenting sponsorship of this podcast. Bee Culture has been the magazine for American beekeeping since 1873. A quick thanks to all of our sponsors whose support enables us to bring you this podcast each week without resorting to a fee-based subscription. We don’t want that and we know you don’t either. Make sure to check out all of our other content on our website.

There you can read up on all of our guests, read our blog on various aspects and observations about beekeeping. Search for download and listen to over 200 past episodes, read episode transcripts, leave comments and feedback on each show, and check on podcast specials from our sponsors. You can find it all at Hey, everybody. Thanks again for joining us. Kim, it’s starting to be that busy time of year, especially for those beekeepers setting their hives in the almond orchards in California.

Kim: California, yes, not in Ohio.


They’re talking some polar meltdown or something coming up here, not a meltdown, the opposite. It’s going to be cold here for the next few days but California is really ramping up. Those people who have had bees inside all winter are able to take them out. They’re busting. They’re getting ready to go and people are shipping them to California from parts all over the US getting ready for almonds.

I’ve talked to a few people who have got them in the almonds already. They’re in the almonds. Have been inspected. They’re ready to go. That’s pretty good for the first week in February.

Jeff: Just last week, we were talking with Rory Crowley from Project Apis m. It’s the show coming up here in a couple of weeks talking about the ground cover that they’re providing and the seeds for bees program. He was saying that the flowers are up and blooming as they’re setting down the hives and the project is going as they expected to. It’s a win-win for the bees and the growers and for the beekeepers.

Kim: The rest of us will sit here and be green with envy. How is that?


Jeff: I just hope it’s a successful season in the almonds because that translates to a successful season for the rest of us.

Kim: Keep your fingers crossed. The one thing that the Project Apis m. is looking at carefully, beekeepers certainly is climate change. I know there’s a lot going on being talked about right now, but from a beekeeper’s perspective, there are certain things that we look at differently than your neighbor across the street when it comes to how warm is it going to get? How wet is it going to get? When’s it going to happen and why and what can we do about it?

We started a blog on our webpage and you can check that out. What I’m doing is I’m following all of this climate change news from a lot of different sources and applying it to what’s it going to mean for bees, beekeepers, and beekeeping. Just that focus. There’s a lot of noise but a lot of it isn’t looking specifically at what you and I do when we go out to a bee yard. Check that out if you get a chance.

Jeff: When does the series start?

Kim: He says carefully, soon.


We should have one out there by the second half of February. I’m looking for one a week but that may not quite happen. There’ll be a couple of three, four, maybe a month.

Jeff: On a regular series, so that’s Kim’s climate change in beekeeping. That’s coming up here shortly in the next couple of weeks.

Kim: Yes.

Jeff: Oh, fantastic. I look forward to reading it and I’m sure our listeners are too. The bees this week at least here are getting out on occasion on the warm part of the afternoon. It’s been reaching high 40s. They’ve been bringing in some hazelnut pollen and it’s really good to see them flying. Then you got a couple of dead outs that I’ve written about in our blog and that’s always sad to deal with but it’s always a good sign of spring to come to see those bees start flying.

Kim: I haven’t had that yet. I’m patiently waiting.

Jeff: Coming up on today’s show, we have Andrew Bax from the UK. He’s come up with a new hive Design, Kim.

Kim: I took a look at that. It’s interesting the way he made it work. I got the book and I took a look at it and I’m anxious to talk to him.

Jeff: All right. I’m looking forward to talking to Andrew as well but first, a quick word from our sponsors.


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Jeff: While you’re at the Strong Microbial site, make sure you click on and subscribe to the Hive, their regular newsletter full of interesting beekeeping facts and product updates. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the show. Sitting across the virtual Zoom table right now is Andrew Bax directly from the UK. Andrew is here to talk to us about the Drayton hive. Before we get into that, Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Bax: Thank you very much, Jeff. I have great pleasure and privilege to be speaking with you tonight.

Jeff: Thank you.

Kim: Andrew, it’s nice to meet you. [laughs]

Andrew: Thank you, Kim.

Jeff: We’ve invited you to the show. You’ve recently published a book with one of our sponsors, Northern Bee Books on the Drayton hive. What is the Drayton hive? What is that? Most of our listeners are in the USA and North America. They’re familiar with the Langstroth hive. You can draw comparisons to that. What is the Drayton hive?

Andrew: The Drayton hive is a reaction or response really to a situation I found myself in which I discovered is now very common. I started keeping bees about 40 years ago. In the usual process and traditional beekeeping, I was harvesting considerable amounts of honey, perfect time I was having, and then I had a slipped disc from all the lifting. I really damaged my back quite badly four years before I could stand upright again. I was dissuaded this past time should really move on to something else.

Anyway, 10 years or so later, I couldn’t stand anymore and I got some more hives. I got some Warre hives. They were smaller. I could cope with them, which, of course, I could but then I found other problems. I found the most problems largely to do with brace comb. I saw the idea. The concept behind the Warre hive, which is somewhere in the 1880s I think was originally designed. It could have been a lot better.

I moved on to horizontal top bar hive. Again, brace chrome I found a big problem. I thought why on earth don’t these hives have the usual movable frame, which I think Langstroth invented was a time I’m not sure. I thought building on more ideas of that sort, I ended up by building a horizontal hive using what in the UK we call national frame dimensions. It’s a little bit smaller in some ways than Langstroth. Same principle there. I put in a lot of insulation in the hive.

I was long since decided honey wasn’t my motive. I was just interested in bees. I liked the presence of bees in my garden, I got this little orchard. In fact, when I was doing those long years when I didn’t have any, I felt quite bereft from not having bees around me or none that I was felt responsible for. Honey went on from there and I discovered that other people had this.

I built this thing just for myself. The other people recognized the problem and the potential solution is-- I don’t think there’s anything unique about it. I just didn’t share everyone’s ideas, put it together in one new hive and there has been quite a lot of interest in it.

Jeff: You point out a common problem, especially as beekeepers age and even from an accessibility standpoint for disabled beekeepers, the lifting of the heavy supers and trying to find an alternative to heavy honey boxes, heavy brood boxes no matter what time of year. It’s fascinating that you came up with this and you based it on the national frame size.

Andrew: Which in our case, in inches, the frame is 12 by 14. That’s the deepest version of it, which is just a bit in comb area. It’s just a little bit bigger than Langstroth deep, I think.

Kim: The other thing about this that I like, a lot of people are looking at what’s going on in hives year-round right now and your hive is insulated all year long. You’ve got your insulation on all of the time and definitely, during the winter it’s important but people are beginning to see that it’s easier for the bees if it’s insulated during the warmer months of the year. Also, you’ve got that advantage.

The thing I like about this hive so people can look at it is the entrance in the front of the hive halfway up from the bottom to where the roof starts. I’ve never seen a hive that did that. In your book, you said that concept actually helps keep the hive cleaner.

Andrew: I can’t, myself, point to the evidence for this, but I’m a member of a local natural beekeeping group, quite a flourishing one here in Oxfordshire in UK. There’s a lot of research among-- and scientists indeed among that group. They have been pointing evidence to suggest that they actually do recommend based on what they see in free-living bees and colonies, that most choose if they have the choice, to go for two small holes and not on the ground but not the base of the colony but higher up. It would appear so it would seem.

I can’t honestly show evidence to this, that whatever it is, it stimulates some reaction to keep it debris clear. Indeed, I had an instant, myself, last summer where the comb collapsed onto the floor of the hive, my fault, I think. There was honey and dead and dying bees everywhere, complete chaos. I was unable to get into the hive for a couple of days because I had other things down. When I went back out two days later, I had actually cleaned the whole thing up. This is one of the hives with, I said an entrance, actually about two. It’s halfway up, I suppose.

Kim: The other thing, Jeff, I don’t know if you noticed when you looked at the book, if you have to get into the bottom of the hive to clean it, very clever idea, the hive sits on a stand and the hive is on the stand. The floor of the hive is hinged on one side and it collapses and it opens up and there’s enough space below it on the hive stand that you can get at the bottom of the hive if you do have to clean it. Another very clever idea. I’m impressed with how easy you make this.

Andrew: [laughs] I just drawn a little caveat on that. It’s a nice idea and it does work. The fact is, of course, bees cover the inside of the hive with a layer of propolis so the floor is actually stuck in place, so you have to give it a bang to release it. That can be quite exciting for the bees and for the beekeeper. It does the job.

Kim: [laughs] I would guess that all you have to do is remove a couple of frames and then with a fairly long stick you just hit the bottom on the opening edge, which is probably the most satisfactory for getting it open.

Andrew: That’s exactly how you do it.

Jeff: I have a long hive, a long Langstroth hive. The bottom is not latched like that and not hinged like that. I saw that and I thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?” I thought that was a brilliant idea. I liked that part of the hive. Makes the spring maintenance much simpler.

Kim: It is a long hive. I want to say was it 18 frames?

Andrew: 18 frames, yes.

Kim: It holds and you call them nationals. Your frames are a little bit bigger than our deep frames and our deep boxes. You don’t use foundation.

Andrew: You can use foundation. I think wide foundation. I presume you use wide foundation in the USA normally in Langstroth hive.

Kim: It’s becoming less used. Many people are going towards plastic.

Jeff: The plastic inserts.

Andrew: Oh, okay. Plastic only just starting to make inroads in the UK. Most people use wide wax foundation. I prefer not to use foundation of any kind and let the bees draw out their own comb on foundation of these frames. You can get it commercially frames that it’ll fill it on the underneath the top bar. They naturally, without any problem at all, draw out their comb from that top bar.

It just grows naturally, and it makes honey extraction when you come to harvest honey a very easy process. It’s not immensely productive. Probably bees got to rebuild their wax every time. It’s part of my philosophy behind the notion of beekeeping simplified.

Kim: It does make it simpler when you’re harvesting. What you suggest in your book is that you remove a frame and you place it over a container bigger than the frame and you simply cut the wax up, let it fall into the container, and then put the wet frame back on the box, which is remarkably simple. You’re just making a big chunk of home honey is what you’re doing there. If that’s what you’re selling, you’ve got it made. You just cut that piece from the frame. The other thing with how that works is do you have hardly any or some cross comb with that?

Andrew: Yes, some. Not often but it does happen. I don’t allow myself to get overtaxed about that. If need be, if I need to move frames, I lift two together. If they happen to be stuck, occasionally I feel it necessary to separate them. There is a bit of cross combing. Nothing as much, for example, as you can get in a Warre hive or indeed probably a horizon top bar.

Kim: The thing about the Warre hive that I’ve never worked on, but I’ve watched people working them. When you have to add that third box underneath and you have to lift up all of the honey above it--

Andrew: It’s a nightmare.

Kim: Yes, I got the same back you have.


Andrew: The worst thing is that the comb from the top box is more than likely to grow down and attach itself to the comb in the box beneath it. To separate the boxes, that in itself is a problem.

Kim: Yes, or you lift them both, which is even the bigger problem.

Andrew: Or you lift them both. [crosstalk]

Kim: Yes.

Andrew: Exactly.


Kim: Tell me about the insulation that you may use in your own insulation.

Andrew: I’ve come through two or three series of prototypes but the current design of the one that’s available now commercially has an inner chamber, which slightly controversially over here. I don’t know how you feel about in the UK, but it’s actually made of marine ply. It’s thought by some that there may be some toxins in the adhesive there.

I’ve been persuaded that modern adhesives aren’t toxic. Anyway, it doesn’t seem to affect the bees. An inner chamber of ply then the outer chamber is there’s a clad, as an air gap of about a centimeter. Then there’s an outer cladding of cedar all around. Where there are brakes, for example, in the entrance, the floor you mentioned, and there’s a side window as well, an observation window, that is all sealed. There’s no draft can get around the inner chamber. It’s a sealed double layer of casing around the hive.

On the top above the frames, there’s a layer of what we call Hessian and I think it’s more usually called burlap in the states. Then on laid across those are three bags of insulating material, either again, in Hessian instead of cushion type arrangements, either consisting of wood shavings or barley straw turns the roof on top of that, which is ventilated, which helps in terms of temperature control. Instantly just the moment we’ve got terrible rain and the drought through that keeps the hive reasonably dry.

Kim: Yes, I can see from the picture here you have that opening up on the top of your, I don’t know, peak of your roof in the front anyway. With the insulation that you’ve got laying on the top, do you get much ventilation? How well does that ventilation work? Because it rises from the center of the brood nest below and it’s got to go through that insulation on the roof?

Andrew: It has but it’s very loosely packed material. The insulation itself, in no way could it be considered impervious at all. I think, in fact, actually it can even draw condensation if it becomes too moist inside the body of hives. Yes, and then there’s two insulation vents on the roof, to say one in each end. That keeps a draft going, so any surplus either moisture or even warmer, colder or even, I suppose it would be drawn out.

Kim: If I was going to build one here, looking at how you describe building one, I’d have to think about what kind insulation to put on top. Wood shaving is something I don’t have a lot of access to and I would guess lots of people don’t, or as you say, the shredded wood. I wonder, Jeff, what kind of insulation can you put up there that will allow moist air to rise if you want that to happen? Or do you seal it completely? We’re hearing lots of people saying sealing a hive completely so you don’t have that ventilation.

Jeff: Let’s hold that thought and we’ll be right back after this quick word from our forensic Betterbee.

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Jeff: Kim, you asked before we took the break if you want to have a seal?

Kim: I’m just referring to the controversy that’s beginning to go on over here on, do you keep your hives sealed or do you allow ventilation? There’s two schools of thought here and they don’t talk to each other very well.


I’m wondering, Andrew, what your thought is on ventilation because you’re providing it and that must be working for you.

Andrew: I definitely think it should be unsealed. I think putting a ceiling across the top is quite likely to result in condensation, which can be a killer certainly towards the end of the winter. I’m all for allowing the whole thing to, as it were breathe. That I think is the direction of thought among most beekeepers in the UK. There are some hives available which have a plastic in a roof, which totally prevents any kind of movement of air conversation or anything there.

Jeff: It’s an active source of discussion in many bee meetings is whether you want that top ventilation versus no ventilation. That’s one of those discussion grenades you can lob into any beekeeping meeting and stand back and watch the discussion.

Andrew: Ah, interesting.

Kim: I look at it, Tom Seeley's book when he talks about ventilation, tree cavities don’t have any. They also don’t have a lot of condensation up, they have it down very near the entrance. You would have condensation probably very close to your entrance, which is right in the middle, up and down of your box. I’d have to try it with and without to see what would work.

Andrew: The debate in the UK often surrounds polystyrene hives. I don’t know if you have many in the-- yes, I’m sure you do have them in the US, but commercial beekeepers are tending to use polystyrene hives in the UK. People don’t use polystyrene, often deride the material or the likelihood of condensation being a real problem, particularly in winter.

Kim: With the polystyrene hives?

Andrew: Yes, they are not absorbent.

Kim: But they also don’t have ventilation. Correct?

Andrew: I think you’re right. I don’t know.

Kim: That’s interesting.

Jeff: I know it’s a big topic of discussion, where I live in the States, I’m in the Pacific Northwest it’s damp all the time. It’s much like the UK and maybe Scotland where it’s moist and gray most of the time. [laughs] I’m always concerned about condensation in the hive as well. In a damp environment, how do you balance the moisture needs of a colony so?

Kim: I don’t have a damp enough environment that ever enters my discussion. The other thing I wanted to ask, one of the pictures in the book shows a queen excluder. Are you using that to isolate the brood on one end or the other?

Andrew: That was the plan. I must admit, with my own use of hives. I’m starting to not use the queen excluder just allow the nest to settle itself more or less in the hive where it wants to, which is in the middle, usually. Not quite so convenient as being towards one end, but it doesn’t trouble me that much. In terms of bee welfare, I’d like to sort out their own way of living inside one of those hives. It doesn’t worry me too much, it’s just another factor. Although I offer it, I don’t use it myself.

Kim: I can see where if you’re making splits and divides, that might be something you want to incorporate for a short period of time when you’re pulling out frames of brooding bees and then replacing them with empty frames. It would be beneficial I think, but on a long hive, their hive isn’t terribly long, 18 frames. The middle probably the middle nine and you’ve got honey on both ends then, right?

Andrew: Exactly. That’s the disadvantage if it’s deceived as a disadvantage. That’s all you got to bear in mind.

Jeff: In the book you have complete plans for the hive. Is it also available on a website where people are making adjustments, making variations or is that a publicly available and debated?

Andrew: It’s certainly available. There is a website It is designed, the website is presented for a primary viewing by UK beekeepers but the principles apply equally. In retrospect it would probably be more useful if in addition to the UK measurements I planned so that it can be at those measurements for the plans could be adapted in terms of length or sizes, which is something I can do if we go to reprint again.

I’m happy for people to build their own hives. I don’t want someone to go into commercial production without my agreement, but the individual, their building one or two is fine by me. I’m concerned and I’m not in this to make money. I quite like to share the experience I’ve been through and hope it might be useful to other people too.

Jeff: I would imagine there might be some in the North America and the States who would look at your plans and say, “I’ll just adapt those two, the standard Langstroth deep hive,” or something.

Kim: That brings up a question. You wrote about your mentor in the book and his name was, I’m guessing the pronunciation, cars?

Andrew: Cars, yes, terrific cars.

Kim: Cars? Okay, your mentor was car and your name is Bax, so I have to ask you, where did the name Drayton come from? [laughs]

Andrew: Yes, Drayton is-- I had to call it something. Commercial beekeeper who came along to ask if they could put it in production called Thorns, which are the major suppliers in the UK, they wanted to call it the Bax Hive, after my own surname. I certainly wasn’t having that. That’s not the kind of person I am, but I needed a name, so I simply called it Drayton because Drayton is the name of the village in which I live.

Kim: That makes perfect sense.


Very simple answer to a question that bothered me the whole time. I kept expecting to turn the page and then have you begin to tell me about another beekeeper you know named Drayton and that’s where some of these things came from, but it’s where you live. Okay, that makes it simple. Are these hives available anywhere in the UK for sale?

Andrew: They’re for sale in the UK, sure. A lot of people, the website gets inquiries more around the world nearly every day, that’s slightly embarrassing. The hive itself is quite an expensive thing to produce, complicated to produce and therefore expensive, but what’s worse is transporting it.

Even though this is quite a small country, the prices are horrible, delivery from one end of the country to the other, which is one of the reasons why I went on to produce plans so people can build their own locally. Indeed, I think there’s quite a lot of interest in Sweden of all things for these hives. By the time we’ve shipped it out to Sweden from the UK that just makes no sense at all.

Jeff: That’s like many people here in the States have the AZ hive. By the time they get an AZ hive, complete hive shipped from Slovenia or wherever that’s created, it’s a very expensive proposition.

Andrew: Yes.

Jeff: When you receive feedback on the Drayton hive, what is the one overriding comment that folks comment about and what do they like?

Andrew: Actually, subliminally behind it all, I had some idea about the visual appearance of the hive. That’s their first reaction particularly when it’s made out of cedar, which has this lovely soft warm glow and a beautiful aroma in the right context when it’s been unpacked and people earned it up. That’s what they first remark on, so it is appearance.

I’m not expecting people to have 20, 30 hives, Drayton hives. Maybe two or three in a garden, which is where most people particularly of my age have their hives. I’ve actually got some hives, I’ve got some own garden, someone else’s garden, but most people really need two or three. Something that looks good, it helps there.

Jeff: Oh, it’s a very beautiful design.

Kim: How often enough over the years I’ve heard people, a husband and a wife, now wife complain about those ugly boxes out there.


Andrew: Yes.

Kim: You have to hide them somehow. This one you get to show off somehow. It’s a very attractive setup.

Andrew: What I hoped to do was to allow the natural cedar to weather in its own way, and it takes on a grayish, silverish hue and fall into a landscape like that. Unfortunately, in our climate in the winter, it attracts mold. I had to apply wood treatments to it, which is against my natural instinct, but even so, you do get a good even color, and you can choose your color. [laughs]

Kim: What have we missed about your hive that you would want people to know?

Andrew: Perhaps I could mention my own personal philosophy. Having gone through the whole business of approaching beekeeping as almost as a business, indeed I was when I first-- but I was making money out of it, and this was one of my satisfactions. I no longer do that. I’ve made my money. I don’t care. I don’t need any more, but I wanted to enjoy it as a hobby without intruding into many other things I get involved in. I wanted to make the whole business simple.

In fact, my slogan entitled the book is beekeeping simplified. I personally, for example, don’t do the regular inspections to anticipate, see the signs of potential swarming. I’m actually quite relaxed about swarming. I regard it as nature’s way of recleaning. I believe it is adopting a more natural beekeeping philosophy in the sense I think it’s a good idea to shift colonies of bees around the country. I like them to be indigenous bees.

If a bee swarms, by definition, queens can be mated by local drones familiar with local crops and the conditions there. I don’t treat my bees these days. Only once have I suspected I assume varroa is everywhere, and I assume my bees have got it to a certain degree. Only once have I had a hive die out from what I suspect was varroa. I assume that the other colonies have got it and they’re coping with it. I’ve had on one occasion deformed wing virus, too, and that killed two hives, two colonies.

When it’s become necessary to restock, I do so always with local swarms. I collect swarms, actually, for other people as well. I’m a local swarm collector and help other people stock their own hives, but always with swarms. I greatly enjoy swarms. I think they’re tremendous. I get great satisfaction from securing them and hiding them and I let the bees get on with living their own life without too much interference from me.

I always leave quite a lot of honey in the hive when it comes to winter. I can’t resist, though, topping up with a bit of extra feed, and I lose my nerve around the middle of February and give them a bit more just to make sure they get through into the next season.

Kim: I like the phrase you used in the book, relaxed approach to beekeeping that sums that up. Probably the two attributes that I most appreciated are the fact that it’s a long hive and I am not having to do a lot of lifting and you are replacing a fair amount of old wax every year just by the way you harvest. You’re keeping fresh wax in the hive. I’m not working too hard, and I don’t have to lift anything, I think sums it up. [laughs]

Andrew: There is another feature which I myself in particular because it was a problem for me when I was having, what we described as national hives, not as the Bax hives, and applies also to Warre hives. In the winter, stacks of supers in my shed when I actually wanted my shed available to other things, and that was a damn nuisance.

Anyway, so one of the features of the Drayton hive is that, by definition, it doesn’t have supers. It has all the frames stay inside it. I have a division board so that in winter the colony can consolidate and retain its warmth naturally without having too much space to dissipate at all. The 18 frames remain in the hive all year.

Jeff: Kim, I see a Drayton hive in your future.

Kim: Hey, I like this. I’m going to have to find a woodworker, though, a hammer and a chisel in my hands are dangerous weapons.


I have no woodworking skills at all. I’m going to have to find somebody, but I’m going to look.

Jeff: Andrew, it’s been a great pleasure having you on the show today, talking about the Drayton hive that you’ve designed and built and is made available through your book on the Drayton hive, available from Northern Bee Books. Thank you.

Andrew: Thank you very much, Jeff, and thank you, Kim.

Kim: Thank you, Andrew.

Jeff: The look of the Drayton hive is really beautiful. I really like the look. It has a really sharp appeal. I can see it in a garden somewhere.

Kim: Yes, it is attractive, practical. It’s a long hive. There’s no lifting, and apparently very functional because he’s been using it for several years now, and it seems to be working pretty well for him to do the things that he wanted to do. Like I said, I’m interested in looking at one. I like it better than just a long hive.

I like the bottom that you can drop out and clean off. That’s fairly clever. I’m going to look a little bit different in insulation. I’m going to look at that and see if maybe there’s something there that could be changed, but maybe not.

Jeff: I’m not familiar. I have no experience with the national frame size. That’s a little bit narrower and deeper than a standard deep length structure. Is that correct?

Kim: Yes, it’s almost square and it’s big.

Jeff: He’s running it just with maybe a starter strip and letting it natural comb so you couldn’t extract it. If you use those design directly, you wouldn’t extract it like you would for spun honey.

Kim: No, he doesn’t use foundation. It’s natural comb, but you could put wired foundation in two or three frames on either end and let them fill with honey, and you could extract them and use them over again. One of the good things about this is you’re getting rid of wax if you’re treating. He doesn’t treat, he said, but if you’re treating after a couple of years, you want that stuff out of there. This is not a bad way to do it.

Jeff: I encourage everybody to take a look at that book, and consider the Drayton hive if they’re looking for something that’s nice and a showpiece.

Kim: There you go.

Jeff: That about wraps it up for this episode. Before we go, I want to encourage our listeners to rate us five stars on Apple podcast wherever you download and stream the show. Even better, write a review and let other beekeepers looking for a new podcast know what you like. You can get there directly from our website by clicking on reviews along the top of any webpage. As always, we thank Bee Culture, the magazine for American Beekeeping, for their continued support of Beekeeping Today podcast.

We want to thank our regular episode sponsors, Global Patties and Strong Microbials, and Better Bee for their longtime support of this podcast. Thanks to Hive Alive for returning this spring, and thanks to Northern Bee Books for their generous support. Check out all of their books at Finally, and most importantly, we want to thank you, the Beekeeping Today podcast listeners, for joining us on this show. Feel free to leave us questions and comments at leave a comment section under each episode on the website. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks a lot, everybody.

[00:37:47] [END OF AUDIO]

Andrew BaxProfile Photo

Andrew Bax


Retired publisher; beekeeper for 40 years