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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Mason, West Virginia, USA
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    16

    Default Need advice on hive stand construction

    Hi. I am working on this design for a new hive stand I want to build and need some advice on how to put it together so it will be sufficient to bear the weight.

    This is what I've got so far, what I'm going for basically:



    It occurred to me after I scanned the drawing that the stringers would actually need to be turned so the 2" side is up, for strength. But then I am not sure how to fix them to the cross pieces... I guess I could use landscape timbers instead. Those are 8', I think. The cross pieces I will probably secure to the 4x4 legs with deck bolts.

    I'd like to use some 10' 2x4s I have, hoping this would be enough to hold 5 hives. But I can go with 8' (4 hives) if that would work out better. I really don't have enough construction experience to be sure what would bear the weight. (Only built stuff like chicken coops, dog houses, etc. before.)

    I like this guy's hive stands that I saw on this Youtube video. His are on 4x4s and he paints the legs with a vaseline/baby oil mixture to keep the ants down. (Or I might use tanglefoot.) Except I wanted a bench instead of just a single hive stand.

    So any thoughts on this, improvements on the design? I don't want to go on a wish and a prayer and have the whole thing topple over on me! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Imperial, MO, USA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    If you don't cantilever the 2x4's so much (move the support legs closer to the ends of the "bench") you wouldn't have to turn the 2x4's up on edge. If I did that, I'd probably add a 4th support leg though (although I tend to way over-build things).

    I'd make sure you set those support legs in/on concrete or something - and use treated lumber.


    Nice design - I like it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,069

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    You need to add a support peice at a 45 degree angle from the legs to the crossbars.
    Other wise the weight will shift to the front or back over time and the crossbars will start to lean down leading to failure.
    ____
    | /
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    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    South San Ysidro, NM
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Definitely add diagonal braces and make sure the posts are in solid. Heavy hives + wet soil after big rains could equal a big mess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Yea, I am not a fan of hive stands with legs, you go into a bumper year and each hive can weigh hundreds of pounds then like mentioned above get a good rain and.... @ a minimum I would use 6 legs.

    Plus, if cement is used they can not be moved and things can happen in the future.....

    But this is PURELY my opinion, you of course are free to make any hive stand you want..

    Nice drawing!!
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Chicago,Ill.
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    The stand looks good, But when I worked off a stand like this I found it a little hard to get use to. A bit high and hard to work from the sides. So I had to lift boxes from the front or back of the hives.Was hard to get levage to lift.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,671

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Hope this doesn't sound critical, but I'd go with a different design. Mine are very close to those seen here:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ighlight=stand

    The problem I see with your design is that you need to sink the posts, plus there would be a fair amount of stress based upon the cantilever style arms. Simple is better. Portability is also good.
    Last edited by AstroBee; 03-16-2011 at 08:50 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Mason, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Sorry I forgot to mention, the dotted lines were where I was planning to set the posts in concrete. I only have one area along a fenceline to place my hives (we're on one acre), so it would be a permanent location. I know bees can tend to multiply on you, but right now I don't plan to have more than a few hives.

    Good points so far, things I hadn't considered, especially the diagonals.

    I like the looks of the four-legged stand you have, AstroBee. That would do the trick. I am wanting the legs so I can foil the ants which give me problems. I am on a slight slope, so I'd still have to set the legs in the ground permanently so it would set level and secure. Is a foot off the ground working well for you? Looks like an easier build too.

    This is still on the drawing board. Maybe I need to toss this sketch out.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Did some like that but did it out of 2x12 on edge. Ran round post material for the legs something like 6" die. Made the box first then figured where to put one of the ties to the post anchored it with a screw then put the block in for the other leg. In total about 4 legs. Boxed both sides of the leg with a cleat under it. Don't forget to get the right screws. The new pressure treated will eat hardware if it isn't right. Finish height was knee high with the front a little bight lower for drainage On a 16' stand I had some thing like 6 hives. I like to leave room between them so when I work I can stack the boxes right next to the main hive. Very little bending over. I will be out there tomorrow and can take a photo
    David
    My-smokepole
    http://www.davidspaintingandwallpapering.com"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Mason, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Thanks David, I'd like to see it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Nice looking design and it's great to see the other stands you mentioned too. It's funny how the unique problems each area face are different. For me I have to get the hives up off the ground and give them a screened bottom for cooling in the 110+ days.

    My simple 2 hive stand is about like your drawing but instead of using posts I place it like a sideways ladder on a couple of cinder blocks. I don't have to worry about ants, at least that I know of ;-)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    I used 4x4 ,, four 18 inch long legs , I dug them so the front 2 are 3/4 inch lower then the back 2 ( to drain water out of the hive ),I think I have the hive 10 inches off the ground , but make the legs longer and make them higher if you want , a 4x4 on top of the legs and long enough for 2 hives on each stand .. I ran a drill in the cross piece then ran a long screw through and in to the leg . I think the screw was like 8 or 10 inches long ... you can work the hive from front , one side or back . if you ever want you can pull them up and move them .they will not tip ,

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,700

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    I have a couple stands similar to yours. I would put the 2x4 on edge and make the 2x4s the width of a frame so you can set the first frame out of the box inbetween the 2x4s. It is really a nice way to hold this frame while you do your insepction. Make sure you do not put the braces too far apart. Like others have said the hives get very heavy during a nectar flow.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Spicewood, TX, USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    I just got my 1st hives ready, and built some stands. I took a lot of ideas from this forum and utilized some old 2 x 6 cedar decking that I had laying around. My thoughts were to have a space next to each hive to set the supers and bodies. If i like this, I have lots of the 2 x 6's, being that I severely over-ordered when I built my deck.




  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    The more you can put under them the better in terms of stability. Two or three hives can weigh a lot.

    Heres some photos of mine

    http://img580.imageshack.us/i/dscf5097a.jpg/

    http://img858.imageshack.us/i/dscf5093.jpg/

    The timber is treated pine sleepers. The 4 posts under them are cemented into the ground about 1/2 metre. I screwed coach bolts into the ends or the legs so that they wouldn't slip through the concrete under load.

    Everything is coach bolted together, levelled up with the front slightly lower than the back. Fine adjustments can be made by putting shims under the hives to get them level.

    Pros

    • I haven't got a flat bit of ground on my 5 acres. This gets the hives level
    • Coffs can get very heavy rain at times water 10 to 15 cm deep can flow over the ground here. Keeps them dry.
    • Easier to mow around


    Cons

    • The hive on the high end is difficult to work particularly when it is 4 supers high
    • You don't have the normal access around the hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Maricopa, AZ
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    One comment on the various hive stands I have now seen.

    Everyone paints their wooden hives to protect them, but I don't see anyone painting their hive stands to protect those? Shouldn't the hive stands be painted for the very same reasons?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    I think everyone uses treated lumber for their stands. That is what I am using. The pressure treated lumber is rot resistant and can be used in a ground contact job.....No need to paint...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Los Gatos, California
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    Lots has been said already regarding the strength of your intended design. But I'd advise you to make the length of your supports long enough so that your middle hive boxes can be separated from one another by at least enough room (6-8 inches?) for you to hang a metal external frame support when you're inside the box.
    Learning to swim was pretty easy. The hard part was getting out of that burlap sack.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    908

    Default Re: Need advice on hive stand construction

    I live in a SubTropical climate ( timber rots pretty fast if in contact with soil)
    I like to have my hives on concret. If I use timber I prefer it not to be in contact with the ground, very solid AND oiled.
    I have hive stands which can carry 3 hives, I prefer never having to replace them. Use non- rotting material and build thinking of the long term.

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