A list of beehive sizes and dimensions.

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:


Field Bee
Jan 13, 2016
Reaction score
Hamilton, AL U.S.A.
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Variation only tells that bees live in many kind of boxes and wall gaps. How handy they are to nurse, it is different question.

That Dadant is odd question. It really does not give any advantage compared to Langstroth.
How many frames do you have to inspect to find a queen? I only have to handle a maximum of 14 frames.

How many boxes are needed for a prolific queen? Two or three? I only need one.

How many boxes do you keep your bees in for winter? Two or three? I only need one.

Square Dadant hives reduce crowding effects, improve ventilation, are less likely to blow over in strong wind, and encourage a consolidated brood nest.

Not perhaps the most important factor, but very high on my list, they cost less for a given brood area. I spent $75 per square Dadant hive including top and bottom, brood box, 14 frames, and 14 sheets of foundation. Comparable Langstroth equipment requires top, bottom, two boxes, 20 frames, and 20 sheets of foundation. I am not counting cost of nails, glue, and paint in these numbers.

The bees do not care what size or shape cavity they live in so long as it is big enough for them to successfully winter and swarm the next spring.

Nominal volume of a square Dadant hive is 465 X 465 X 295 in mm. That gives about 63.8 cubic liters capacity.

Nominal volume of a Langstroth is 465 X 373 X 244 in mm which gives 42.3 cubic liters. Double this to give @85 liters capacity for two Langstroth boxes.

How many usable cells are on those 20 Langstroth frames? Keep in mind that the queen rarely lays in corners and usually leaves a band near the top bar unused. Langstroth frames have nominal capacity of 7100 cells of which roughly 5000 will be used by the queen with the remainder used for pollen and honey storage. Now knock off the outside four frames which queens usually avoid laying in. You get 80,000 cells in your double Langstroth hive that a queen will use. Using the same math, there are 14 frames in my Dadant hives with 9000 cells in each frame (5.3 foundation) of which about 7000 will be used by the queen. Knock off for the outside two frames and I have 84,000 cells the queen will lay in.

How many cells does a colony need for successful wintering and normal colony function? This has been checked and verified too many times but bears restating. A colony needs between 110,000 and 140,000 cells in most temperate climates. Two Langstroth boxes give 140,000 cells. My square Dadant's with 14 frames have 126,000 cells in a single box.

So finman, could you perhaps tell of the time you tried some other type hive than Langstroth?