Do you have dealer network across the country?

Yes, we work with about 15-20 dealers. If you would like to know of the name and address of the dealer(s) nearest you, just e-mail us. If there is enough interest, we may add a page to our site listing all dealers across North America. We recommend you always check out our monthly specials, though, as they apply to deals here at Western Bee only.

What difference does it make as to the kind of pine used in woodenware? Pine is pine, isn’t it?


This is one of the biggest misconceptions we see in our industry. All pines are a softwood, but there is a big difference in the amount of resin each type of pine has inherently. Think of resin as the “glue” that keeps wood from slivering, flaking and drying out to a point it is that the wood is “punky” or too soft. The most common “punky” wood used in bee supplies are Eastern White Pine and Spruce. We use Ponderosa Pine exclusively. Whereas a White Pine or Spruce hive body may last 8-10 years, Ponderosa Pine will last at least twice as long. This ratio applies to frames, covers and other woodenware as well. Yet the price is comparable. This is why our major competitors buy at least some of their woodenware from us each year. Do yourself a favor and ask what wood species is going into your purchase and steer away from anything that isn’t Ponderosa Pine.

When will we carry 8-frame boxes, covers, bottoms, etc.?

First, we’ve been making 8-frame equipment for 30+ years on a custom order basis. As we see the popularity of 8-frame equipment rise, we want to make sure our customers know that they can get the highest quality 8-frame woodenware right here. The so-called standard 8-frame hive measures 13 3/4 inches from end to end – if you are ordering 8-frame equipment for the first time, just specify that when prompted.

However, your existing 8-frame equipment should be checked to determine that this is what you have. It could be 13 7/8 in., 14 in. or even 14 1/4 in. and we will need to know to process your order. We offer 8-frame equipment in hive bodies, all three super sizes (7 5/8″, 6 5/8″ and 5 11/16″), inner covers, regular flat covers in pine or cedar, and bottoms in pine or cedar. The pricing is the same as it is for 10-frame. We currently do not make 8-frame tele-covers due to the tin. If you have questions concerning 8-frame equipment , please Contact Us.

You sell a couple of different grades of wood. What’s the difference, and what’s the best grade for me?

We basically sell three different grades of bee supplies as described on our Grading page. They are Select, Commercial and Budget.

The most common grade is Commercial. It allows for the following deviations in our grading process: tight knots are allowed except in the dovetail or in the rabbet on boxes. Knots must be tight and solid. The same grading rules apply to covers and bottoms. Generally, frames of this grade will not contain any knots or discoloration.

Our Select grade has less wood deviations than our commercial grade. We allow only small, tight knots or small pitch pockets, but with no deviations in the dovetail, rabbets or in the handholds. The same rules apply to covers and bottoms. We do not carry a select grade in frames – dimensions are such that only commercial and budget grading rules apply.

Our Budget grade is our seconds. They are a very serviceable grade which allows some loose knots and/or cracks, but with the same precise fits as our other grades. For frames, discoloration and knots that are tight enough to not break under pressure are included. Stock is limited to availability. It’s a personal decision as to which grade you choose. It is only logical that the higher the grade, the longer the product should last.

Wood species may play a more important role.