by Tammy Taylor~
RancherMan & I are still New-BEES! Our apiary started out with two established single-deep beehives back in May of last year. That first beehive stand was built using repurposed 2″x6″ boards that were 6-ft long from raised beds that we tore out. We added a deep to each hive last year & saw those bees safely through the winter. This spring we split them into four hives. Now we needed another hive stand so we built another like the first from purchased 2″x6″ boards. Then we caught not one, not two, but FOUR bee swarms this spring! (I KNOW, how exciting!!) But these swarms are being caught & brought to our fledgling apiary faster than we can build stands. RancherMan decided to change direction. He wanted to build the next stands using concrete cinder blocks and 4″x4″ 5-ft long wood posts.
Really, it couldn’t have been easier. He needed two cinder blocks laid longways & stacked on top of each other for each corner of the stand. So for each 5-ft long beehive stand he’ll need two 5-ft long 4″x4″ wooden posts and 8 cinder blocks that measure 8″x8″x16″. We built two 5-ft long hive stands with just the material pictured below!
After the concrete blocks were in place he slid the 4×4 poles through the holes in the cinder blocks. BOOM! Table for 25,000, no waiting!
He could probably fit three hives on each stand, but he wants to limit it to only two hives per stand. He finds it’s easier to work around them when the hives are not too close together. In the picture shown in the first paragraph his hive stand is holding a regular single-deep hive and a nuc box with a recent swarm capture. When we move this swarm from the nuc box to a deep box hive, the spacing will be about right for his comfort.
These stands are just a touch shorter than the other hive stands he built. But he found that he actually prefers them a little shorter. Although he’s a handsome 6′-4″ tall RancherMan, when the hives get two deeps and a honey super (or two) stacked, that’s about shoulder high for him. This slightly shorter stand actually makes it easier for him to lift those heavy top boxes off when he’s inspecting or when we (gulp) harvest the honey! In the picture below you can see the slight difference in height between our concrete block hive stands and the ones we built initially.
He loves that he can put these stands together in 5 minutes or less. Apparently this year with so many swarms available, time is of the essence! We already have one hive stand filled & another built and standing ready.
Let’s learn from each other – what do you use for hive stands?
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