Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opinion?
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2017
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    Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opinion?

    Looking to build one or the other and looking for some pros and cons of each. Both would be up on cinder blocks.

    Thanks,
    Dave

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    Pallets tend to rot after awhile if in contact with the ground and can be too big unless you are putting four hives on one. JMO. I use four cinder blocks and 2 8' 4x4's for my stands. Cheap, last a long time, easy to level, and will hold five full sized hives at just the right height. One of these days I might sink posts into the ground and make permanent stands.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    Pallets are bad for growing up grass and weeds that you cannot cut. Cement building blocks flat side down give good stability on even fairly soft soil. Lengthwise rails of either 4 x 4 (or 2 x 4 on flat) on top of the blocks to place the hives on. The hives can be slid alongwherever you want to regulate space between hives. If you wish you can work feet on the ground for low hives or throw a piece of plywood on top of rails which you can stand on to work taller hives with supers on.

    Think about placing some geo textile material down before you put the blocks down to control weeds and ants.
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Bucks County PA
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    376

    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    I'd never consider pallets for this kind of thing for the reasons already stated.

    Most of our hive stands are 8" solid cement blocks on stone base. I did, however, just build another one from reclaimed 4x4 PT that was used for the skids my CNC machine was shipped on as we need to move one colony to get it out of the way of some necessary tree removal (ash borer tree death) as well as to absorb a "new" colony from Alison's NUCs. Both types of stands get the base of the boxes up about 8" off the ground.

    Here is an example of both the block hive stands and the new "portable" one recently constructed....

    Last edited by Jim_in_PA; 08-25-2018 at 12:20 PM.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  6. #5
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    Next time I will follow Frank's advice of placing the blocks flat side down. That way there will be no cavity to fill with leaves. My client poured the slab and baserock which I felt was a nice touch. Arranging the blocks like this left room for a shelf on the back to hold the jars being filled by the Flowhives.


  7. #6
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    May 2002
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    This is a bee closet for a client scared of bees. I like to be able to see the entrances easily when I arrive at the site, so I arranged them like this. The blocks are on compacted baserock. I dislike the gravel because it sticks to the equipment if stood on the ground. One problem with the blocks used directly under the hives is that they are 1/4" narrower than this style of bottom board. Therefore the wood blocks.


  8. #7
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    Since Ollie decided this will be a show and tell thread, this is a picture of one of my hive stands. All five look the same. Not nearly as nice, but gets the job done. I should have put the blocks flat too.

    20180605_191510.jpg
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
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    May 2002
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    I make use of concrete slabs whenever possible.





  10. #9
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    I now decided it will be the "biggest braggart thread". If we could just get Charlie in on it with his antproof hive stands. My favorite concrete slab is this donut shape at a "scuplture farm". I call it the compass apiary as the hives face NSEW. Sadly the site has very poor forage, the hives struggle to survive, last week they were stinging the host during the toyon bloom. I will likely abandon it.



  11. #10
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    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default

    I like my concrete blocks on the ground, no rails. I only have a few hives but I have them spaced so I can work comfortably between them and when winter comes I can add blocks in the spaces between

  12. #11
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default

    Sorry I hit send too soon. I was trying to say that I can fill the spaces in with concrete blocks and Slide the hives together for overwintering. This year I left some blocks on the ground between the hives to give me a stable place to set boxes during inspections. J

  13. #12
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    Apr 2010
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    Cameron Wisconsin USA
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    96

    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    I like to lay black plastic down and then put a plastic yes plastic not wood pallet. They are much thicker than the rickety old wooden ones. You can walk on them without disturbing the hive at all.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    A complaint about plastic pallets is that the hives slide around on them easily while working them. I guess one could cleat them down.

  15. #14
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    Apr 2013
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    Concord, NC
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    90

    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    I prefer up off the ground. No stooping over to work the hive. Put down some plastic and mulch then sit the hives on treated 4x4.
    Dont know why my pictures are side ways??
    0414181512.jpg

    0415181249.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by SDiver40; 08-26-2018 at 10:42 AM. Reason: pictures side ways
    Tom
    Tater Road Apiary

  16. #15
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    San Mateo, CA
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    We can't do it like that here in earthquake country.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  17. #16
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    Jun 2014
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    sparta, tn
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    IMG_0506.jpg
    I like using cinder blocks. I live on top of a hill, so the ground is very steep. I arranged the entrances so I can see them without always having to walk down. I like having a few extra blocks for a workspace so I don't have to put boxes down on the gravel. I use rock salt a couple of times a year to keep weeds from growing out of control.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Brown County, IN, USA
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    646

    Default

    I built two way pallets myself using a similar design to Ian's. I had hives on the block and beam stand and moles built tunnels around and under the blocks, which sank and tipped the whole stand. I caught it before anything fell. With pallets you have a larger surface for support so they are very steady. I don't have a lift yet but the design will allow for that down the road. The bottom board is the pallet so one less piece to stock. If I need to move them, I pull the boxes off and restack on a different pallet, or a trailer. Mine are built with treated lumber for ground contact, and untreated for parts the bees contact inside. These have worked very well. Regular wood pallets rotted enough to start falling apart in a few years in this use.

  19. #18
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    Jul 2017
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    Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    Thanks for all the good ideas, very helpful! As far as the wood pallets rotting, if I did go that route I would put them on cinder blocks as well and I think this would extend there life to some degree. In the end I am leaning towards the 4"x4" in/on cinder blocks.

    Cheers!

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I now decided it will be the "biggest braggart thread". If we could just get Charlie in on it with his antproof hive stands. My favorite concrete slab is this donut shape at a "scuplture farm".
    Since my glorious victory over Ollie in our 2018 swarm trap contest, I feel that I will leave any remaining bragging to him. I was way out of my league trying to out-brag one of the best braggarts on BeeSource to begin with!
    My opinions are based on whatever OD Frank says because he thinks he knows everything!

  21. #20
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    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,234

    Default Re: Pallets or 4"x4" through cinder block for a hive stand. Whats best in your opini

    My hive stands are a frame that sits on posts. I screw four PVC caps on the bottom of the frame that I line with grease to make it ant proof. Underneath the pipe cap is a 3/4" nut. A 1-3/4 counter bore is drilled 3/4" deep in the cross member and a 13/16" hole is drilled all the way through. The nut is pressed in and epoxied in place. Then I drill a 7/8" hole in the PVC cap and screw it in place. A 3/4" leveling bolt passes through from the top.

    The stand in the first two pictures has three hives on it currently, but it is a little crowded making working the center hive difficult. I've built several single hive stands using the same pattern, third picture has one shown under my Warre. I much prefer the single hive stands.

    While I happen to have granite posts available for free, any post will work, or with longer leveling bolts the bolts can just rest on cinder blocks or pavers.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by JConnolly; 08-26-2018 at 12:34 PM.
    Zone 6B

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