Stands come in all shapes and sizes. I use concrete blocks as I have plenty and get them for free from job sites and a mobile home dealer as he can not use chipped of crack blocks. All the plans I have seen are for short(6 to 8 inches) stands. You have more bending over to get to them and mice and other critters are a pain. I am building a table type stand for my nucs.
I've used everything from old boards on the ground to concrete blocks and bricks. Just something so the bottom board doesn't rot from resting directly on the ground.
But the typical "hive stand" is cypress or treated wood with a sloped front so the skunks and the mice can easily get in.
The ant proof ones seem nice, but I've never had a lot of ant problems here. The few I see will set up a colony between the inner and outer cover sometimes, but they don't seem to bother the bees much. Brushy Mt. sells an ant proof metal stand.
While we're on the topic of hive stands. What height do most folks keep their off the ground? Is botom board 6",10", 2' or what. I seem to recall that skunks don't like to expose their bellies to the bee stings, and a little elevation helps out.Steve
Heres how to build the BEST hive stand Ive seen, I have one.
Make a "box" same size (LxWxD) as a deep super. Make 4 legs from 1-1/2 or 2" PVC pipe (approx 16" lg), use carraige bolts to secure in each corner. Set legs into shallow cans (tuna or chicken, about 2" deep), and put oil in each can to protect from ants.
If you use a Screened Bottom Board, (I incorporated mine into the stand) you can remove sticky-board and fog w/ FGMO under stand. Your first super will be about 18" above the ground, easy to reach. I hope to use a very tall ladder this summer to remove my top honey supers.
Dave W . . .
Hobbist - 1 Hive
First Package - Apr 03
Broodnest - 3 Deeps
Screened Bottom Board
Apistan - Aug 18, 03
Grease Patties - All year
03/04 Winter Loss - 0%
The trade off is that a booming hive can get really tall and taking full supers off the top is difficult. More so if they are deeps, but even a full medium that high is difficult. Before I went to all mediums, I've had booming hives that were three deeps and five mediums. That is slightly over six feet tall when setting on concrete blocks. But then the skunks and the mice have an easier time if the entrance is down low. I'm going to experiment more with top entrances and see how I like them. Or maybe a middle entrance.
The concrete blocks I've used are 8" and I had a stand on them. I wasn't having skunk problems at that height. I'm currently using two treated four by four rails on the ground to set the hives on and the skunks and mice have been pretty bad. I suppose I could put the 4 x 4s on some blocks. Some of my hives are up on tables that I built for long hives and they have been free of skunks or mice. But they were also small hives that weren't more than three medium boxes tall.
I have a large supply of three inch cinderblocks. I stack them three high by three wide. In the heat of the summer I will pull the top center one out for more ventilation. I still see wads of chewed up bees in front of the hives, but I am hopeing that my live trap and asprineggs will take care of that.
My only mouse problems have been with pallets and wood wax frames.
I like the bottom board 18 inches high. I am using one deep and one medium for brood box so first super is 32 inches. No bending needed to lift the super off just use those knees like you are supose to do lol.
I built mine of steel with three legs sunk into concrete filled 24 inch deep holes. It sits 1 foot off the ground, it ventilated under the hives, and will hold 4-6 hives easily. I can keep fireants out by using vaseline or Tanglefoot on the legs. The height is great to keep me from stooping too much. If you want to see pix, let me know and I'll email some to you.
The Beekeepers Handbook (Sammataro & Avitabile) p37 shows plans for both a low version (6") and higher version (18"). I have built several of the higher ones and have been quite satisified with them. Like everything in beekeeping, both approaches have their pros and cons, however I see it this way;
Low Stand = higher possibility of critters = bad problem
High Stand = Difficulty removing lots of surplus honey = good problem
I would perfer to have to deal with good problems vs bad problems. Just another POV.
[This message has been edited by Sungold (edited March 20, 2004).]
Being that i sideline as a handyman I often end up with extra lumber from a project so I just built a platform 16' long and 4' wide from rough sawn lumber this provides a level surface where I just line up the hives and can stand on it to work them th front of the hives are about 18" above the ground and hang over the edge. No mouse problems since I built it.
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