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Having researched the obvious benefits of four-hive pallets, I'm wondering why so many comparatively expensive and labor intensive hive stands are so commonly used. Are there trade-offs I'm not thinking about with putting your hives down on the ground?
 

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Having researched the obvious benefits of four-hive pallets, I'm wondering why so many comparatively expensive and labor intensive hive stands are so commonly used. Are there trade-offs I'm not thinking about with putting your hives down on the ground?
4ways are great if you have equipment to move them. most hobbyists use the single bottom boards on some sort of 'stand' and try to face them with entrance to the south. a compromise is a two way pallet. much cheaper, quite stable, can be a two man lift if singles, both entrances can face south.
 

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Burlington, MA. Langs
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Nothing expensive about my hive stand. Some free cinder blocks and 2 landscape poles that cost $5 total
I don't want it on the ground where animals and bugs/ants can get at it easier. Not to mention bending over.
 

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Our hives are on stands. I built the stands to last. We get a lot of standing water thru the winter here, it rains hard enough, and long enough, the back lot where our bees are will often take 4 or 5 days to fully drain. Untreated wood on the ground will last a season or two, and we would have a terrible problem with water coming in the entrances if the hives were not elevated from November thru end of February. Just as an example, last week I emptied the rain guage on Monday, it was overflowing. Emptied it again on Wednesday, again over flowing. Then the following Sunday, it overflowed again. It's not a large guage, graduations up to 5 inches, overflows after about 6.

There is a reason it's called the 'wet coast'....
 

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I have bees on both a hive stand and the pallet system, I like working the bees a lot better that are on the pallets. They are a lot easier to work on the pallets to me, I can work them from 2 sides with no problem and not much movement. By the end of this year I will not have any on stand.
 

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Geezer back. I want my hives up a little bit higher. But not too high because then I have to lift supers high. 16" high is just about right for me. Still, lifting is not as bad as standing stooped over.
 

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Geezer back. I want my hives up a little bit higher. But not too high because then I have to lift supers high. 16" high is just about right for me. Still, lifting is not as bad as standing stooped over.
This is where I am too. Also, I don't have the equipment to move a pallet, so I would not get the total benefit. I really am going to have to find a more comfortable way to tend to my hives. Even keeping them at 16" off the ground, my back feels like it is about to snap after a day of inspections. The lifting doesn't bother me. The prolonged bending is what kills me.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I am 6'2". Having my hives on stands comprising of 2 stacked cinder blocks and 4x4's gets them about 20" off the ground and allows me to work them at a comfortable height. I rarely ever have more than two deeps and two mediums together so the stack never gets too tall. Drainage here can also be a problem. Once it rains, the ground can stay mushy for days. Even treated lumber rots. I had some firewood stored up on pallets once, within two years the pallets were gone. Rodents and ants are not a problem either so I cast my vote for using stands.
 

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Hey Palmer, let's see you take a full deep off when it is on top of 4 other deeps. Some times it is a compromise between too low and too high,

Crazy Roland
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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No can do. Like I said, two deeps and two mediums tops. If I had hives like I see in some pictures, I would figure out a way to get them on the ground too. I see that Scott Hendriks has poured concrete pads for his hives.
 

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the hivestand itself is not expensive, four separate bottom boards are.
You still need a bottom board unless you just have a solid bottom to the bottom box.... which is still a bottom board I think whether on a pallet or stand. You don't have a bottom box with a completely open bottom do you?
Maybe I'm not understanding what you mean by this.

The way pallets are made you would need more cinderblocks to support it to keep higher off the ground.
I still have to figure out how I'll change when I go to Layens/LL. I'm not sure if I like the legs and just put them on cinderblocks for the stability with winds.
 

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Hey Palmer, let's see you take a full deep off when it is on top of 4 other deeps. Some times it is a compromise between too low and too high,

Crazy Roland
Roland -- I think all of us only wish we had your "problems." 5 Deep stacks is something you will never see in my yards. Though I can still dream about it.
 

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Little more than 2- treated 2 by 4's make my stands in less than 1/2 an hour which allows me to put 2- 8 frame hives on each side with the middle left for me to put the lid and boxes in the middle while working one of the hives. That was the original plan but for some unforseen circumstances I now have 3 hives per stand. the stands are 12" high which is just enough to be able to keep the hives clear of weeds. By the way if you can build the stand in a 1/2 hour it does not take much longer to make your own bottom boards.
 

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PSM1212, Usually we get up to 4 total, one brood and 3 supers, but if our management , the weather, and the plants all work out, 5 total is not uncommon. As for hive stands, two lengths of 4x4 tied with two pieces of 2x6 on the ends. Seats two hives. Most where made in the 60's.

Crazy Roland
 

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Pallets work better for migratory beekeeping operations. Stationary hives can be pallets or any stand that works for you.

I like working hives on 4-way pallets the best. Can pull frames from the side which is much easier than from the rear of a hive, less reaching and twisting to remove it. Also can use the hive next to it as a counter top to set smoker, hive tool, bee brush, etc.

I've used both, linear stands and 4-way pallets. Now I have stands, harder to work the hives on the stands but they are at a much nicer height so less bending, but as I said above, more reaching and twisting to pull frames.
 
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