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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    193

    Question Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    My husband has agreed to try to make a MIG welded hive stand. The problem is, being beginners ourselves, we're not sure what design elements are needed other than having enough room for 2 full-size hives and a 5-frame nuc. One club member suggested we have enough space next to each hive to place boxes during inspections. Is there anything else that might be useful? How far off the ground? How much weight should the stand be able to take?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    Urbanoutlaw,

    Interestingly I plan to do the same, hopefully before this summer. I have accumulated some heavy steel wire shelves of the type used in warehouses such as Home depot, etc. They vary in length but average ~ 6 feet long. I run double deeps with mediums for honey supers but intend to start transitioning into all mediums. My plans are that there will be six evenly spaced ~4" long legs with large round washers welded on the bottom to stabilize the legs. i use SBB's on all of my colonies and the wire shelf will permit any V-mites to drop through. I use a cart on casters in my bee yard to work off of when I do inspections. I also have an electric bear fence so I'm not concerned about skunks or raccoon getting around the "low" beehives. I plan to paint all of the metal work stands before putting them into service.

    Steve

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    Having level hives is very important, espcially in a good season as heavy honey supers can bring down a leaner in a hurry. If you are on ground you'll need some type of feet to keep the legs from sinking in, again to the tipping issue. I would want a "platform" or "base" on top of the stand to sit the hive on so it isn't shifting when you work. Our best year running 2 queens units we averaged 200+ lbs of honey/hive, another 70 lbs of equipment, bees and stores. Think about the heights you will be working ie. you are running 2 deeps as many do, a good season has 4 or maybe 5 supers on a normal hive here - not sure about Virginia and think about what height will be easy to pull that top 35lb. super, without a step ladder, in those good years and also still be able to work the brood chambers without being between squat and kneel.

    PS - nice job luring your husband in by giving him an excuse to use his welder!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,439

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    What joel said, have partitions to help hold them in place. I like my stands around the 20" tall mark. Being able to level it easily is also a plus. The feet should have a good surface area so they don't sink in too easily as well. Height overall depends on how tall you are. I'm 5'10", the 4th box, if using deeps, the top is at about eye level, the rest are easy to work at that height though.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Whitmell, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    There's a guy across the hill from me that makes them out of angle iron and rebar for the legs. like 3/4" rebar that is for single hive stands. 18" off the ground. He told me that 18" is the perfect height to keep skunks from eating the bees at night.

    I sit mine on 2x4's right on the ground. make little square hive stands 4" off the ground but they are in my front yard. I'll shoot/trap any skunks that are a problem.
    Don't laugh it's paid for. -- Manure draws more flies than honey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Trinity, NC, USA
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    Made from 1.5"x1.5"x.125" steel angle with eye bolts at the bottom of the legs. Set into small concrete footers.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Wake County, NC
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    I like my stand about 15 inches high. Works good for me. not a lot of bending can get 2 deeps and 3 medium supers without being too high.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    329

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    rail: that's a good looking hive stand

    ralph3 & billybwf: having had both back and shoulder surgery, 15-18 inches up is too difficult for me to use. I can't lift 35 - 80 # up from shoulder height. But of course that's just a 70+ year old man!

    Steve

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,230

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    I don't know if I posted a picture in the past, but I'll describe the stands I have and I'm sure your husband can duplicated them. I've got them sitting on concrete block cap stones at the moment (four or five inches thick, 8 inches wide, 16 inches long, I think) but you can use regular pavers of any kind.

    The are made from four pieces of angle iron, welded together to form a tray for the hive with about half an inch of space between the hive and the sides. The sides are L shaped with the angle up, welded to a front and rear rail with the angle down. At each corner my brother welded a 14" piece of square tubing, and on the other end of each tube he welded either a small piece of flat plate or another piece of angle iron. If you use pavers under the legs, you can just use a three or four inch piece of angle iron for a foot.

    Mine are black and Chevrolet engine orange, as that is the paint my brother had handy. I'm thinking I want to change the next one and have it long enough to hold three hives with four legs on each end, that way I don't have to haul so many cap stones up the hill where I want to put the rest of my hives.

    You can space the hives out or leave them fairly close together -- in fact, you can shove the hives right together with no space between them at all if you use migratory covers, but a foot or so apart is as close as I'd want just a few, that way you can reach around and pick up the boxes from the front and rear. Almost have to with my home-made boxes as I don't currently have handles on the sides anyway. If you make an individual stand for each hive, you can space them any way you want. Just remember that you want to work them from the rear most of the time, leave room to put a pile of boxes where you can easily reach them as you take the hive apart during inspections.

    Make sure you level whatever you use for a foundation, and be sure you can adjust it later, the ground always settles or a paver sinks over the winter, etc. Last thing you want is a hive to topple over when full of honey and soon to be very angry bees.

    Plan on at least 250 lbs on each stand per hive -- they get pretty heavy when full of bees, frames, and honey. I shudder to think of clearing up the mess if they collapse!

    Peter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,189

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    I make hive stands from treated 2X4's so that they are about 20 inches off the ground. This height reduces problems with wild turkeys and with skunks. My stands are square so that 4 colonies can be placed on them. You can do 4 colonies with 2 facing one direction and 2 the other or you can make it so that one colony faces each direction north, east, south, west. The important considerations:

    Sturdy enough to hold up to 1200 pounds of bees and honey
    High enough to discourage your predators
    Always has a side you can work from so you are not in front of a colony
    Must be very stable, you don't want it shaking from side to side
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 02-25-2013 at 06:58 PM.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,607

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    I have about 15 hive stands like the ones in the photos attached. They are made from 2 inch well casing pipe. They are 18 inches off the ground. Some are 12 ft long, some are 16 ft long, one or two is 20 ft long. I position the hives so there is room between them to place hive bodies or supers while working them.

    These are about 25 years old, were built by an oil well drilling company. Today, I suspect it would cost to much to make them this way.

    Stovall Brood Stock.jpg

    Thru top feeders.jpg

    Monroe.jpg

    cchoganjr

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Designing welded hive stand: Seeking input

    Thanks for the input - many good points that I'd like to incorporate into the stand. I might have to learn to weld myself....

    Husband is thinking square tubing or angle iron for the stand frame and perhaps 18" high with footed supports. We definitely like the idea of space to place hive bodies and supers. The current setup has 3 hives with space between. I'm thinking anything larger in a welded stand would be tough to move.

    For now we set up the bee yard with a temporary stand (cinder blocks and landscape timbers). Found out the ground there is very soft and boggy - unfortunately, we couldn't get the setup quite level. Ideally, the welded stand will be finished before we have to add boxes so it won't be a problem.

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