Re: raising hives a foot or so
A number of my hives are on concrete blocks most 18-20" off the ground to keep the single deep and medium configuration at a comfortable working height, as more supers are added I'll remove blocks during deep inspections for the top supers to be more manageable. Other than an initial "I remembered the entrance being higher" response, the hive doesn't miss a beat.
I am not too worried about lifting the supers as I am taller than most and the weight shouldn't be an issue.
Mediums at eyeball height may change your mind. Since I refuse to work bees off of a ladder, I find doing two extractions an alternative.
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw