Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Langstroth Hive Stand Instructions

We just had someone ask about our hive stands and I thought the question would be of interest to a number of beekeepers.

Hello from Southwest Louisiana.
We have started keeping bees and were on the net looking for a bee hive stand that would work for us.
Ran across your blog showing the long hive stand that you moved a hive to.  On some property you had purchased.
Had about 8 hives on it in the photo.
Looks like you used several single post in the ground with y arms to hold double rails. 
Do you have plans or the details for the hive stand?   Looked on the blog but did not see dimensions, material, etc.
We currently have 5 hives.
Steven & Nola

So here is a step by step for building a hive stand for a Langstroth Hive.  This stand is designed for two (2) Langstroth hives with plenty of work space between them.  The hive stand referenced by Steven & Nola is not very functional.  It is difficult to get around to work on the hives.  We find a stand that supports 2 hives at a time to be the best.  When we take off the telescoping cover to our hives while working them, we place them in the open space between the hives on the stand instead of putting them on the ground. We work our hives one at a time. Convenient!!

Building a hive stand is best done in comfortable weather or just before the bees start flying.  Somehow doing this in the summer in a bee suit is just NO FUN.

  •      2 2"x8"x8' pieces of STRAIGHT pressure treated lumber
  •      4 2"x8"x12" pieces of  pressure treated lumber (we use pine)
  •      24 4" screws (galvanized so they won't rust) (Phillips head ONLY)
  •      4 cinder blocks (we use the small ones)
  •      1 or 2 bags of sand (optional)
  •      Wood chips or mulch (we have a pile of it so not sure how to measure this)
  •      Black plastic bags or black plastic sheeting (This will make sense in a minute)
  •      Wooden shims
  •      Level
  •      Tape measure

  •      Electric drill & screw driver
  •      Flat head shovel (Not the pointy version)
  •      Compass
  •      Beekeeper's assistant.
  •      Picnic table or other flat surface to support the stand under construction (optional)

Steps to construct & install hive stand:
  1. Be sure you have a sunny location to set up your hive stand.  If you have a shady one you invite hive beetles & other unwanted pests.  In North Carolina our bees like it hot.
  2. Your hive will face southeast so be sure BEFORE you start this does NOT represent a problem. We have our hives facing southeast to maximize daylight for the bees.
  3. Begin assembling the hive stand.

               a. Using your tape measure, measure roughly equal spacing
                   for your cross members, the 12" pieces.  Some
                   beekeepers want the support pieces to come under
                   the edge of each hive. Think through your strategy before
                   you begin the next step.
               b. With you cross pieces in place, drill 24 pilot holes in the
                   side of your hive stand.  This represents 3 pilot holes for
                   each cross piece on each side.
                c. Using your electric screw driver, screw in the 24 4" screws
                    to assemble the stand.  (Note - I tried 3" screws, they
                    were too short.  I also tried only using 2 screws per
                    support, not enough support.  I already made the mistakes
                    so you won't have to. But......)
               d. Your hive stand is now assembled

     4. Preparing your hive stand location
               a.  Using your compass, determine which direction is
               b.  Place your hive stand on the ground so that it faces
                    southeast and to determine what you need to do to
                    level the ground where your hive stand will be placed.
               c. Using your level, flat head shovel & beekeeper's assistant
                   to level the area where the hive stand will set up.

              d.  Place the 4 cinder blocks a foot or so in from the end of
                   the hive stand and the place the hive stand onto the cinder
                   blocks.  See above.
              e.  Relevel the stand that now is on top of the cinder blocks.
                   (2 cinder blocks per side)

               f. Remember I said straight pieces of lumber.  Chances are it
                  was not as straight as we had hoped. This is where the
                  shims come in handy.  Using the shovel, shims, level
                  and beekeeper's assistant, finish the leveling.  The
                  Beekeeper's assistant can stand back and eyeball the
                  stand to point out obvious mistakes.  My assistant is
                  excellent and finding my mistakes and not just with
                  the hive stand. Ha!

 Here is the finished project with hives on the hive stand.  At this point we were ready for yet another hive.  We ended up moving these hives to our property in Liberty, NC, Plan Bee.

Hope this is of value to you.  If you have questions we will try and respond.

 That's all  folks.  The Bee Boy out.

1 comment:

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