Build a Beekeeper's Work Bench
Strong, Lightweight, and Portable - Bee Mate Beekeeping Work Bench Folds Flat for Storage
If there's one thing every beekeeper really needs in the bee yard, it is another pair of hands. Well, a Beekeeping Work Bench can be the next best thing to a helper at the hives:
- To hold a frame (or many) during a hive inspection;
- To hold a heavy hive box when it's time to reverse the brood chambers;
- To sort out out capped frames of honey from a half-filled super at harvest time;
... and more uses than you can possibly imagine, until you've got a work bench!
My "Bee-Mate" - Doubles as a picnic table, for when the beeyard work is done
Some beekeepers use a pair of sawhorses, cinder blocks, and boards as a makeshift work bench in the bee yard - but that's hard to move around as you're working with your bees. Others use an old kitchen table with the legs sawn down, a metal table from the bigbox DIY stores, and perhaps a frame rest that hooks on the side of a hive.
We did all of those things, too - in search of a solution for squashed bees and back pain - until 2004, when my clever partner designed and built the original Bee Mate workbench. It was so widely admired by our beekeeping friends, he drew up a set of plans so other beeks can make their own. Nice professional CAD drawings with dimensions and detailed instructions, the whole works - just $5.00 gets you the PDF woodworking plans by instant download.
Strong, portable, and so lightweight you can lift the Bee Mate with one finger! And when your work bench has finished its beekeeping duties, it folds up flat and hangs on a nail on the wall, neatly out of the way.
Or, as in the photograph above, turn your Bee Mate work bench into a picnic table by setting a few metal queen excluders on top, or sometimes a serving tray, and gather around for a restorative cup of tea and an outdoor meal. That's what we often do!
See the Beekeeping Work Bench in Action - "Bee Mate" Workbench for Beekeeping
To Build a Beekeeping Work Bench - You'll need the Bee-Mate plans and a few woodworking tools
To build a Bee Mate workbench, you'll need a few basic woodworking skills, the Bee Mate woodworking plans (available from StonehavenLife.com) and a couple of power tools that no home workshop should be without.
This is the heavy-duty version of the very capable table saw that you see in the Bee Mate video. A portable table saw is highly recommended if you don't have unlimited space in your home workshop - as most of us don't - and it's wise to choose one with a stand that has wheels, so it really is truly portable. Ridgid is a reliable brand of power tools that we've been very happy with owning and using over the years.
A good electric drill is one of the most useful power tools than any homeowner can have - in fact, we often give an electric drill for wedding gifts. DeWalt tools are generally excellent quality, and around here it's the brand the contractorschoose. What you're looking for is a compact cordless electric drill, not too heavy, with good torque. This kit includes two batteries, battery charger, and case.