Dividing grid for bees: what is the size of the cells for, how to do it yourself

Dividing grid for bees: what is the size of the cells for, how to do it yourself

To improve the quality of nectar and preserve the population of insects in the apiary, beekeepers use special devices that separate the queen of the hive from the main swarm and cells with a valuable product. The separation grid is installed in the hive, separating the queen from the main honey storage, but still allowing the worker bees to access it. Why such a design is needed, and whether it is possible to make a dividing grid on your own, we will look into the details further.

Importance of the separation grid for bees

The main purpose of the design is to zone the hive into several compartments and limit the movement of the queen.

  • Without such a dividing frame, the queen bee moves freely throughout the space of her home and lays her eggs in any place convenient for her.
  • As a result, part of the masonry gets into cells with honey, which significantly reduces its commercial value and damages the reproduction of the family.
  • Due to the dividing structure, access to the honeycombs with nectar is also limited to drones.

The idea to separate the uterus from the combs with nectar came from European scientists several centuries ago. For this, gratings were made with a gap between the cells of 4.5 mm. This size allows ordinary, worker bees to freely penetrate into any part of the hive. But the larger female and the drones cannot squeeze into the small gaps, so they remain in the part of the house intended for them.

The lattice is laid on special frames located in the inner part of the hive above the main nectar storage.Worker insects can easily lay nectar in any part of the room. For the queen, access to the store is closed, so she lays her eggs in the cells remaining on her territory, which reduces the risk of death of offspring. In the main storage, honey is also protected from foreign substances entering it.

The idea of a dividing frame also helps beekeepers during the preparation of hives for wintering. Based on the amount of honey accumulated in the frame, the beekeeper will always be able to calculate the exact amount of nectar needed by insects to feed the queen and offspring in the winter.

During swarming, the colony, along with the queen, flies out of the hive and may be lost. To avoid trouble, during the swarming period, the notch is closed with a dividing grid, and the insects remain inside the house.

The design is also used to separate the old uterus from the new female capable of reproducing offspring. In one room, the queens will not be able to get along and will fight until one of them is exterminated.If you divide the hive with a lattice, then the young queen will be able to adapt to the dwelling and, after the natural death of the old queen, take her place.

Important! When choosing or making a dividing grid, the dimensions of worker bees and queens are taken into account, which depend on the variety of insects.

It is also necessary to remember that a bee filled with nectar swells up and its volume increases.


The first designs of a dividing grid for a bee hive appeared in Switzerland, and were brought to life by the Ukrainian beekeeper Prokopovich in the early 19th century. But the separation grids for hives gained fame thanks to the Brazilian beekeeper Hahnemann, who was the first to separate the uterus from the main storage of honey.To this day, the Hahnemannian grid is used by beekeepers around the world.

In the manufacture of structures use:

  • galvanized iron, characterized by long service life and reliability (uncomfortable to use due to heavy weight);
  • layer gratings (light in weight and comfortable to use, easy to attach to mesh frames);
  • grids made of wire (may deform during use, but completely safe for insects).
Important! Wooden structures can cause damage to insects during their passage through the holes, so they are not used in beekeeping.

Pros and cons

The main advantage of dividing grids is to improve the quality of honey and the safety of future offspring.

Of the disadvantages of using the design, they note the possibility of injury by insects if the lattice parameters are not observed and the difficulty in installing it inside the hive.

Tools and materials

To make your own design, you will need:

  • galvanized wire with a diameter of 4 to 4.5 mm;
  • wood planks or finished frame;
  • hammer, wire cutters, nails, ruler or tape measure.

Important! Wooden planks must be thoroughly cleaned before use.


To make a suitable design, you first need to measure the parameters of the part of the hive where the dividing frame will be located.

  • A frame is made from prepared boards.
  • On the wooden base of the structure, using a ruler, measure equal distances, from 4 to 4.5 mm, and mark them with a pencil.
  • Then, strictly according to the markup, pull the wire and fix it with nails or special rivets.

The distance between the cells in the lattice is chosen based on the size of the queen, drones and worker bees. The finished structure is installed in the hive so that the slots in it are horizontal.

This page in other languages: