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Apiary design and frame stand advice

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Cuckmere couple 

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a friend of mine and I are looking to improve an apiary of mine from its current state (rather random collection of hives on pallets).

The plan is to have 5 hive stands each catering for a couple of hives with room between to easily place a roof or brood box etc during inspections.

a couple of questions
1. what height should we be aiming the stands to be?
2. what's the ideal length for the stands, we are oscillating between 1.8m and 2.4m
Currently, as you approach, the hives are laid out in a U shape, all facing outwards to minimise walking across flight paths and the bees have had two happy years in this location.

Any advice gratefully received and any other tips to avoid rookie errors please.

Thanks
 

Apple 

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If the bees are happy and you are happy why change things around.... other than stands that are set at a comfy height for working?
 

Newbeeneil 

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Mine are at 400 high and a double stand is 1800 long.
 

Ian123 

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Personally I hate stands I’ll use some 8x2 make a square to accept the floor and stick on a paving slab, also provides draft prevention on omf. It’s about the right height to work a dbl brood box and I kneel to inspect the bottom. Also keeps well stacked hives a little lower. I don’t mind lifting any weight but bending over kills my back.
 

Cuckmere couple 

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thanks all

i intend to keep the layout but was thinking of suspending some 6x2 to hold hives and wondering what the best working height people find is...im stooping a bit much for the pallets!

very helpful comments though, thanks
 

Murox 

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thanks all

i intend to keep the layout but was thinking of suspending some 6x2 to hold hives and wondering what the best working height people find is...im stooping a bit much for the pallets!

very helpful comments though, thanks
You could try some load-bearing concrete hollow blocks, they come in different sizes. Like these ones.
 

Curly green finger's 

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I've come to the conclusion I might use a few of these Indian stone crates.
You may ask why, because of sheep!! I'm leaving the top layer of pallet on so the bees can have a decent flight path but the sheep won't beable to have a good scratch the buggers..
I've spent a bit of time this autumn, winter 50 5 in with hives almost being pushed over.

Im making some of Somerfords stands two. as pallets are a bit low of the ground.
When it takes as long as I do to inspect you get back and neck acke .

With the crates I plan to beable to remove the back of them so you can have easy access, maybe even turn it into a gate with a latch etc.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Personally I hate stands I’ll use some 8x2 make a square to accept the floor and stick on a paving slab, also provides draft prevention on omf. It’s about the right height to work a dbl brood box and I kneel to inspect the bottom. Also keeps well stacked hives a little lower. I don’t mind lifting any weight but bending over kills my back.
Wouldn't work for my knees. Ageing isn't all fun.
 

drex 

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I make mine so that the top of the first brood box is at finger tip height when I am standing by the side of the hive, hence minimal bending.
 

Boston Bees 

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Aerated concrete blocks are similar size but much lighter
View attachment 24024
Looked at those, but they aren't very stable - could kick one over easily - and can't be made double height (or at least not safely). The hollow blocks are pretty knock proof from any direction. Plus the holes in them allow straps to go through as an added bonus! But horses for courses.
 

madasafish 

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I am 73 years old.

I set my stand heights at a mix between 20-30cms.

20cms is ok for Full hives which with supers can easily grow to head height. 30cms just adds a little more height and makes teetering at the top of a 3 step ladder and lowering 25-30kg a bit precarious.But 20cms makes inspecting a single box a bit of a bend. With boxes raise off the ground I keep inspection boards in during winter or use solid floors. Winds can be cold, high and swirl around open OMFs.
I build two hive stands and single hive stands.. the latter mainly used for nucs and Q rearing.
Each has a footprint so they can accomdate frames as well stacked by the box side. They have a floor spar so nationals and Langs can be used wihout difficulty as well as nucs..


See attached as an example of a single stand.
 

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Gilberdyke John 

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You could try some load-bearing concrete hollow blocks, they come in different sizes. Like these ones.
Definitely. 18" x 9" x 6" are my preferred choice. 18" x 9" x 9" are good but heavier to handle. 4 blocks stacked 2 sides 2 high make a solid stand at just the right height for me
 

Newbeeneil 

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I make my hive stands out of anything that is available at the time. If I'm supplying a client I use tanalised 80mm X 40mm fence rails as they are strong, look neat and last forever but I have them made from blocks (125x225x450 concrete plus 225x225x450 hollow blocks plus 100x50 timber) and assortment of left overs from other jobs - normally put together with stainless screws and polyurethane glue.
I find the correct height for me is to prevent back ache is 400-450mm to the bottom of the brood box.
IMG_0385.jpgIMG_0253.jpg
 
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