DIY Beekeeper’s Toolbox

For Mother’s Day I built my mom a pretty cool gift (if I do say so myself!)  I took the basic plans for a nuc box (which can be found with a simple google search but also HERE) and this toolbox from Williams-Sonoma (no longer available or on their website unfortunately.)

Williams Sonoma Toolbox

no longer available 😦 but it was insanely overpriced anyways

I could have purchased one but the cost + shipping was pretty prohibitive, plus mom’s like homemade stuff right?  Even when their kid is 26?

The benefit of the nuc-turn-toolbox is that it can safely hold all your tools, AND be used to transport frames, a swarm, or a sandwich.  So multipurpose.  It’s a little heavier than a regular tackle box style container, but the added benefits are worth the few extra pounds.

I headed to home depot and purchased a nice, straight pine board that was 1″x10″x10′, a set of hinges, a hook closure, a cheap ratchet tie down, liquid nails, and some 1″ wood screws, and a can of spray paint (primer/paint all in one, exterior.)   The nice gentlemen at Home Depot cut down my wood for me so that saved me the majority of the heavy duty work!  Then I headed over to Michael’s for a few bottles of craft paint and a 2′ balsa wood stick thing.  (It’s like a rectangular dowel.)   This only cost about $35 FOR THE ENTIRE PROJECT.  MUCH better than the cheapest versions I found which cost about $75 with shipping.

I followed the directions to build the nuc, gluing the body together first before drilling pilot holes and then carefully screwing it all together.

Nuc Box

Then I added in the bottom board in the same way and painted the whole thing (not the inside of the box, but I did do the entire lid.)

Nuc box bottom

I put hinges on the top and attached it to the body of the nuc and then had to notch out the opposite ledge a bit to accommodate the latch I purchased.  I don’t have any fancy tools so I just drilling a few holes to remove the small section of wood, sanding down the edges to create a finished look.  Then I realized I’d put the latch on backwards, effectively locking the box shut permanently, and had to switch everything around.

Nuc box hinge

Finally, I cut the tie-down strap down and made handles and a strap across the front for the smoker.  (The smoker’s bellow goes under the strap and it sits on what would be the landing area if this was a real nuc box.  I used washers and screws to attach the strap and handles and then secured the handles with a bit of liquid nails and tacks.  I also cut and added the balsa wood with the liquid nails as a place for the edges of frames to rest, effectively creating two small ledges that would prevent the frames from just sitting in the box.  I’ve read a few posts where beeks have complained about queen cells at the bottom of frames being crushed in transport, but the ledges, plus the fact that this comes out to be a little taller than all standard nucs/frames, will prevent that from being an issue.

Nuc box straps

I personalized it with a fun little design, just quickly sketched lightly with a pencil.  I used a magic eraser to wipe away the pencil bit by bit after I was satisfied with how everything looked.

Nuc box design 1Nuc Box design 2

BOOM. You’re done!  I MIGHT end up finishing the box with a clear coat of acrylic? laquer? something? to help protect it from the elements, but I’d rather leave it plain as I’m not sure what might negatively affect the bees.








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