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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to build a hive stand to hold maybe three hives, and I'm trying to put together some idea of how to do one that will prevent SHB's and ants from just walking in. For materials, I've got a broken heavy duty aluminum extension ladder that I think would make a great horizontal platform to set the hives on. I also liked an idea I got from Goat Man for the stand legs. He runs them through PVC pipe end caps with their open end pointed down, then fills that protected hollow with stiff grease that the beetles and ants can't cross, but I'm not sure what he used for the legs. He did mention rebar, but I don't remember just how that was used.

I'm thinking of embedding lengths of 2 in. Schedule 40 PVC pipe into concrete footings, cutting holes through 3 in. PVC pipe caps to slide over and seal to the legs inverted, then cap off the tops of the legs with 2 in. pipe caps to keep water out. Where i'm looking for ideas is in how to attach the ladder to the PVC legs securely enough to support up to three hives. My best idea so far is to use "U" bolts to attach cross pieces of treated 2 x 6 lumber that a piece of the aluminum ladder can be attached to with deck screws. I'm afraid they'd slip down though, with the weight of the hives. One solution for that would be to make the legs two piece, joined with a PVC coupler that would stop the "U" bolts from slipping down. This is getting really complicated though, and if someone else has done something like this, I don't want to reinvent the wheel.

I really don't want to drill any holes in the PVC pipe legs. Any water getting in could freeze in cold weather and break the stand legs. I'd also like some opinions on how high off the ground an ideal hive stand would locate the hives. I know they could get quite high with a few supers on them. I'm running 10-frame Langstroth hives, and I'm completely new to all this. Thanks a lot for any ideas you might have. :scratch:
 

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Welcome MichaelCffg.

I don't have any suggestions on your project but I do have some info on a few of your questions. I use 8x8x16 concrete blocks with 4x4x8 set on the top of them so 12" high
works well for me. 8' holds 3-10 frame boxes with about 8" between each box. The bottom board is 20" so I like my 4x's at 16" apart so there is some overhang, so the ladder would probably would work well.

I don't worry about ants getting in the boxes because we don't have fire ants here. The only time I see ants in the boxes is when the ground is really wet and the ants need a temporary home, they move out as soon as the ground dries out.

Enjoy the rollercoaster ride you're about to embark on.
 

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I have been using a a ladder at one yard for years. You need to support it about every 4/5 feet. I have gotten to the point I don’t like hive stands over a 16” off the ground. More like a 12”.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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My hive stands are two concrete blocks stacked with 4x4s on top, so 20" off the ground. We have all kinds of nocturnal creatures around here, raccoons, skunks, oppossums, etc. Have not had a problem yet. An 8' 4x4 stand can hold upto 5 10-frame hives if they are side by side as mine are, or 7 5-frame nucs. I feel you would be better off finding a way to deal with the ants and SHB instead of coming up with a complicated and not so likely to work hive stand for keeping them out of the hive. Diatomaceous Earth, DE, works well sprinkled on the ground but must be reapplied after rain. Ground cinnamon around the hives is supposed to keep ants at bay. Swiffer sheets or Beetle Blaster traps in the hives can capture SHB and keep their numbers down. Also note that healthy colonies mangage the SHB and ants pretty well on their own.
 

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The ant moats work great for ant control where each leg is sitting in a pan of water or oil. But for SHB, you'd be out of luck. SHB adults fly into the hive just like any normal bee so a hive stand will not prevent them from entering, ever. The SHB lays eggs in the hive, they hatch and the larva start feeding on everything. When the larvae are ready to pupate into adults, they crawl out the hive entrance at night (or fall through the screened bottom board) onto the ground. They dig into the ground a few inches and pupate into adult SHB and the adults fly into the hives and start over again.

There is almost nothing preventing the beetles from flying into your hive, if the bees can get in, they can get in. The larvae is the thing causing the issues in the hive. You can trap the adults with swiffers and oil trays, but they can lay thousands of eggs in a few minutes. I suppose if you had a hive stand sitting in the middle of a kiddie pool filled with water, you could stop the larvae from pupating!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting stuff! I've read somewhere that old carpeting, placed up-side-down under the hives will keep the SHB from being able to pupate, but I've also read that their larvae can motivate up to 15 ft. across the ground. I've also seen too many bees walking around on the ground to be very confident in DTE not killing bees as well. I've already got Beetle Blaster traps in my original hive, and plan to put them in the other two - if they make it. (Two splits off the original.)

Thank you all for your input!
 
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