When it comes to domestic honey bees, the hive you keep them in is a crucial piece of equipment.
Most commonly, honey bees are kept in box-shaped hives. You may have seen wooden or white-painted stacked boxes without even realizing they housed busy honey bees.
If you’re unsure of where to start when looking for beehives, keep reading to find the best bee boxes for your beekeeping hobby.
Our Top Picks
10 Frame Complete Bee Hives and Supplies Kit
Honey Keeper 20 Frame Complete Box Kit
Best Starter Kit:
Hoover Hives 10 Frame Langstroth Starter Kit
10 Frame Complete Bee Hives and Supplies Kit
Nothing beats a high-quality beehive to get you off to the right start, making this the best bee box overall.
The 10-frame set comes with one deep and two medium bee boxes, and all of the wood is wax-coated for protection and a beautiful finish that’s bee-safe.
It includes black plastic waxed foundation frames, an inner cover, a top cover, an entrance reducer, a queen excluder, and a solid bottom board. That’s everything you need for a new colony except the honey bees, and nothing extra you don’t need.
These bee boxes have sturdy wooden construction with no gaps that will bother your honey bees. The black plastic foundations on the frames make it much easier to spot tiny eggs in cells.
You can easily add other regular 10-frame Langstroth boxes to this set of bee boxes, like honey supers and brood boxes. It has a classic design that is used by beekeepers all over the world.
Honey Keeper 20 Frame Kit
It’s no secret that beekeeping is an expensive hobby, and the bee boxes themselves are definitely one of the biggest investments.
Keeping to a budget can be tough, but there are still a lot of quality products out there that can save you money. This inexpensive bee box has what you need to get started or expand your apiary.
It’s made from quality wood with a telescoping metal top that’s built to last. Included are two 20-frame boxes (one medium and one deep) as well as an inner cover, entrance reducer, beeswax-coated black plastic foundation frames, plastic queen excluder, and bottom board.
The black foundations inside these bee boxes make spotting tiny eggs easier, and they’re pre-waxed to encourage bees to start building comb more quickly.
These bee boxes have a natural unpainted wood finish, which you can leave as is or paint over if you prefer.
Best Starter Kit
Hoover Hives 10 Frame Langstroth
For new beekeepers, bee box starter kits make it easy to have everything you need from the beginning.
This set includes a single wooden deep, 10 pre-waxed black plastic foundation frames, bottom board, entrance reducer, plastic queen excluder, bee escape, top and inner covers, jacket with a veil, leather gloves, smoker, mouse guard, and hive tool.
Black plastic foundations make it easy to spot eggs, which is perfect for helping you get the hang of finding them quickly.
This wooden bee box is waxed to protect it from the elements with quality construction that won’t fall apart on you. Made of thick wood, this bee box has great insulation to help your honey bees regulate their own temperature inside the hive. The natural wood and waxed finish will look beautiful in any apiary.
Starting off with a bee box kit ensures you’re not missing any crucial pieces to get started. All you need to add is your honey bees.
CREWORKS 2 Layer Bee Hive
If you’re just looking for reasonably priced boxes, this full set of bee boxes is a great option.
The quality natural wood boxes come with no frames inside, allowing you to use whatever frames you like best. Each box holds 10 frames, and you can choose from foundationless or plastic foundation frames.
This bee box set includes one deep, four mediums, a plastic queen excluder, a metal telescoping cover, a bottom board, an entrance reducer, and an inner cover. The bee boxes are preassembled so you’re ready to go right away.
These bee boxes are well-made and won’t leave gaps in between that your honey bees will want to fill in. Leave the wood natural as is, or paint it to your liking.
5-Frame Nuc Beehive
Even though nucleus colonies are temporary, they still deserve a quality nuc bee box.
This nuc bee box comes with five frames, an inner cover, a telescopic top cover, an entrance reducer, and a solid bottom board.
The outside of the bee box has a heavy wax coating to protect the wood from the elements. The included frames have black plastic pre-waxed foundations to make your bees comfortable.
It’s just like a full-size hive, and the frames can easily transfer into just about any Langstroth bee box.
Apimaye Ergo Insulated Bee Hive Set
Some beekeepers prefer to go with insulated bee boxes, which are a great option if you experience very cold or windy weather throughout the year.
The insulation on these bee boxes helps the bees regulate the temperature inside the hive more easily.
Included are one 10-frame deep bee box, one 10-frame medium bee box, a screened bottom board, an entrance reducer and mouse guard, a pollen trap and drawer, frame spacers, a queen excluder, a top feeder, and foundationless plastic frames.
In addition to superior insulation, these bee boxes also have great ventilation and can offer excellent airflow all throughout the hive.
All the pieces easily snap together and are made from durable plastic with convenient handles for easy lifting. They’re also lighter weight than traditional wooden bee boxes, so inspections and harvesting aren’t so cumbersome.
Insulated bee boxes are definitely an investment, but they’re worth the price for how long they last and how happy your honey bees will be.
NTERCEPTOR PRO Honeybee Swarm Trap
Be ready to catch wild bees with the best swarm bee box!
This swarm bee box is appealing to honey bees looking for a new hive to live in. It can hold five deep or medium Langstroth frames and weighs under 10 pounds, even with the frames and foundation inside.
This bee box comes complete with frames that have a pre-waxed plastic foundation as well as a pheromone lure to attract swarms. The entrance closure snaps easily in and out, and it’s easy to assemble with almost no maintenance required. This bee box is made of plastic and will last you a long time.
The telescopic cover on this bee box snaps on and off and offers plenty of space inside to allow the bees to organize themselves however they like. You can adjust the ventilation as you see fit to keep the bees inside comfortable until they can move into their new hive.
7 PCS Auto Bee Hive Frame Kit
Make honey extraction simpler with an auto-harvest bee box.
This bee box setup works just like a regular Langstroth hive with one major difference. The honey supers allow you to harvest the honey without removing them or disturbing bees, eliminating the need for a honey extractor.
Included with this bee box are a vaulted top cover, a seven-frame auto harvest super with frames, a seven-frame deep, a solid bottom board, an entrance reducer, and a queen excluder. It also comes with an instruction manual to get you off to the right start.
The honey super has a window so you can see the progress inside, again without opening up the hive and disrupting the bees while they work. It’s well-ventilated and can be used with other Langstroth bee boxes.
This bee box does require assembly, and brood frames are not included.
What Makes the Best Bee Boxes?
The most common and classic type of bee box is the Langstroth hive.
It’s made up of stacked bee boxes with frames hanging inside where the bees build comb to raise brood and store resources.
Even with the same basic design there are so many different options to choose from to fit your needs.
What to Consider
Everyone prefers something different in their bee boxes, so there isn’t a single best bee box for all beekeepers.
Budget is a major consideration for many people. Bee boxes usually aren’t cheap, but they’re also one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need.
There are a few basic things to think about to find the best bee box for your situation.
Make sure you understand your local climate and if you need a specific type of hive to keep your honey bees safe and happy.
Plan out how many bee boxes you need to get started or add to your existing apiary. Do you want to source each piece yourself, or is the convenience of a starter kit appealing to you? Decide if you’re comfortable with building your own or prefer to bring home bee boxes that are already fully assembled.
Start off Right With the Best Bee Boxes
There are so many great options for bee boxes out there for every beekeeper and apiary.
The best bee boxes for you depends on your specific situation, and there’s a lot to consider to determine what will work best for you and your honey bees.
Keep learning about all the other fascinating aspects of beekeeping on our honey bee page!