Knowing The Correct Langstroth Hive Dimensions – An Easy Guide

When it comes to hives, Langstroths have always been a fan-favorite choice. And that is probably down to one super handy design feature.

Knowing The Correct Langstroth Hive Dimensions - An Easy Guide

The Langstroth hive has standardized sizing so that when one part is broken or damaged, it can be replaced easily and completely hassle-free. 

Of course, this will only be the case if you’re well-accustomed to the dimensions of a Langstoth hive. Get it wrong, and you’ll be sure to make life a whole lot harder for yourself. Now, you may be thinking, well if it’s standardized, what’s the problem? It should be easy, right

Well, yes, in theory, it should. But the problems arise when you take into account that the standard dimensions can change from country to country.

So, it would probably be handy if there was some sort of guide that pulled together the different specs from a range of places so that you could get the answers you’re searching for, right? 

Well, today’s your lucky day. Let’s get straight to it, for all you’ll need to know will be covered in this simple and easy guide!

Dimensions Of Langstroth Boxes – USA

Okay, so the way that these beehives work, is that a variety of boxes hold the frames.

You’ll tend to find one or more deep brood boxes right at the base while smaller and shallower boxes can be located stacked on top of each other for honeycomb and other similar resources. 

10 Frame Hive Dimensions 

Generally, in terms of width and length, deeps, mediums, and shallows share the same values in 10-frame hives. This is done so that all of the boxes, regardless of their depths, can be easily stacked on top of each other nicely and neatly.

The values are as follows (inches): 

  • Internal Dimensions – 18 ⅜ long x 14 ¾ wide 
  • External Dimensions – 19 ⅞ long x 16 (construction materials may affect the result)
  • Langstroth Deep – 9 ⅝ in depth. 
  • Langstroth  Medium Super – 6 ⅝ in depth
  • Langstroth Shallow – 5 11⁄16 in depth

The overall total height of your Langstroth hive may vary depending on the combination of boxes that you choose. Typically, one or two deeps may be used for the brood. However, again, this can vary from location to location. 

For example, warmer states are likely to need only one super whereas colder states are likely to need more. This is because the hive will require additional food supplies and nourishment in order to survive the harsher winters. 

Summary – Width, Length, Depth

  1. Deep – 14 ¾  x 18 ⅜ x 9 ⅝ 
  2. Medium – 14 ¾ x 18 ⅜ x 6 ⅝ 
  3. Shallow – 14 ¾ x 18 ⅜ x 5 11⁄16 

8 Frame Hive Dimensions 

Again, much like the 10-frame hives, 8-frame hives also use consistent measurements in terms of the interior width and the interior length. This is done for the same reason, it allows boxes of different depths to stack on top of one another in a neat and orderly manner. The values are as follows (inches): 

  • Internal Dimensions – 18 ⅜ long x 12 ¼ wide
  • External Dimensions – 19 ⅞ long x 14 wide (construction materials may affect the result)
  • Langstroth Deep – 9 ⅝ in depth
  • Langstroth Medium Super – 6 ⅝
  • Langstroth Shallow – 5 11⁄16 

Summary – Width, Length, Depth

  1. Deep – 12 ¼ x 18 ⅜ x 9 ⅝ 
  2. Medium – 12 ¼ x 18 ⅜ x 6 ⅝
  3. Shallow – 12 ¼ x 18 ⅜ x 5 11⁄16 

Things To Consider – Langstroth Dimensions 

  • Manufacturers may make small adjustments to the standardized dimensions of Langstroth hives. However, this variance should not be large enough to cause issues.
  • Larngsroth hive dimensions do vary from country to country. 
  • The inner dimensions are a more accurate way to measure the hive than its exterior dimensions. 
  • The outer hive dimensions often differ depending on the thickness of the wood or material used to construct the Langstroth hive.  

Dimensions For Different Countries 

As I have mentioned above, the standard dimension regulations for these hives are roughly the same regardless of country. With that being said, though, there are some differences depending on the country.

So, let’s take a look at the general height dimensions in different places. 

Summary – Country, Inner Width, Inner Length, Brood Depth, Super Depth. 

  1. Australia – 362 – 464 – 241 – 168
  2. Canada – 380 – 469 – 241 – 168
  3. Denmark – 374 – 463 – 240 – 165
  4. New Zealand – 362 – 464 – 241 – 184
  5. United Kingdom – 370 – 464 – 242 – 146

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Thick Should The Hive Walls Be? 

There isn’t a standardized measurement for how thick your walls must be. However, you will often find that Langstroth plans suggest a thickness of around ¾ inches.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that this measurement is easily achievable with wood such as cedar or pine, but if you use a material such as polystyrene foam or polyurethane, it will usually be somewhat thicker. 

Are Accurate Measurements For A Langstroth Important? 

Yes! It is imperative that you ensure each part of the Langstroth hive is a consistent size otherwise they will not stack on top of each other neatly or precisely. It will also make replacing certain parts much more difficult if they are not of consistent size. 
 
It’s not just for human convenience either, correctly measured frames and boxes respect the hive’s bee space. Spaces too small will likely become filled with propolis by the colony and too large will create a space built out with burr comb. 

Do Hives Need To Be Perfectly Level? 

Yes! Level hives are essential if you want to avoid navigating cross comb aftermath.

Gravity can affect the hives ability to support the comb too, especially when it’s full of the honey they’ve worked so hard to produce. If you don’t want your honeycomb production completely ruined, then you’ll need to ensure that it is entirely level. 

What Are The Dimensions Of The Langstroth Frame?

The frame dimensions will all differ depending on the type of box. For example, deep boxes will have different frame dimensions than shallow ones. Below you can find the typical frame dimensions (length, width, height): 

Deep – 19 x 1 1/16 x 9 ⅛ 
Medium – 19 x 1 1/16 x 6 ¼ 
-Shallow –  19x 1 1/16 x 5 ⅜ 

As you may have noticed, the length of the frame tends to be a little bit longer than the box (by about ⅝ inches.) Don’t worry, this is intentional and the reason it is slightly longer is so that the top bar of the frame sits outside the box. 

What Are The Bottom Board Dimensions? 

You should always make sure that the bottom board of a Langstroth hive is larger than the hive body itself. It should provide both a base for the hive and an entrance.

In order for standard entrance reduces to be used, you should aim for your board to be around 22 inches and ⅜ inches high.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Langstroth Hives? 

There really aren’t many disadvantages when it comes to these kinds of hives, after all they are so popular for a reason.

The only main drawbacks of these hives is that they can be incredibly heavy, especially when you combine the boxes, frames, bees, and honey. And sometimes the level of invasiveness for the bees can leave something to be desired.

Final Thoughts

Langstroth hives are great hive options, in fact they’re probably one of the most popular choices out there. So if you’re looking for a hive, you can’t really go wrong with building one of these bad boys. 

You’ll just want to make sure that you take extra care when measuring out your dimensions for the hive and it is one of the most integral components of the hive. Through using the standardized dimensions you can be sure that everything will stack up on each other just as intended. 

And remember, these sizes aren’t just for you. They’re for the bees too. It allows them to live in the most beneficial and healthy hive and avoids issues such as mess of propolis or purr comb. 

After reading this article, you should now have a sound understanding of the dimensions that are used in the United States, as well as the differing values for specific countries. So, what are you waiting for? Get building your beehive today!

Thomas Callaghan
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