Height of hive stand?

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BT Beekeeper 

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I have made a couple of new hive stands and think I might have made them too tall. The legs are 17 ins high so when the hive is assembled on the stand the top of the brood box (national) is some 30 ins high. This would seem about right but if I double up on brood boxes and add three supers (forever the optimist!) each 6 ins deep, the top of the hive will be about 5 feet from the ground. Is this too high? I could use a step ladder or take a saw to the legs but this would only lower by a few inches.

Is there a standard height recommended for a stand? I suppose there has to be a compromise between an aching back (too low) and handling heavy (I hope) supers at shoulder height.
 

admin 

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I think a foot is the average.
Some of mine are higher because as you say you get backache when using a standard national broodbox.

After 3-4 hives in spring I know about it..
 

Rosti 

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I think this is a personaal preference thing and depends on the height of the beek. If it helps Mine are 14in and I am 5' 11".
High enough to ensure ventillation and enough room for a clapper board around the stand to avoid wind disrupting warm air above the OMF in winter. It is a balance though. One hive unexpectidly ended up with a 14x12, a std brood and 3x supers this year. By harvest it was at shoulder height.
I would rather struggle to dismantle briefly with the supers than have to bend to the floor stacking hive parts for the whole year (especially May & June during frequent inspections.
 

BT Beekeeper 

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Thank you. I agree, I would prefer to work 'too high' than 'too low'. For me (same height as you Rosti, 5' 11") a single brood on a milk crate is just at that 'killer' height and I find myself having to close up half way through an inspection. I can sympathise with you Admin. Having said that, I am tempted to reduce by a couple of inches.
 

nonstandard 

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I made my first one at 18" which was a perfect height for me with a 14 x 12 brood box on it, Oh and a 4" deep home made OMF.

However, after reflecting on the fact that next year I may have 3 or more supers on top :smilielol5: I have made the subsequent stands 12" as per Dave Cushman's plans and intend to take the saw to the first one.

BTW I also used tanalised timber to save on treatment/painting and each stand rests on a 2' x 2' slab.
 

MuswellMetro 

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I am 6ft 2" and biuld the legs on my stands from a standard 2.4m length of 3x2 ,so it is 59 cm high after cutting the ends flat and wastage

so say 1ft 11 inches in old money, but since have lowered them to 18"

why, i have a metal pin in my back, so dont bend well
 
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Rosti 

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I am 6ft 2" and biuld the legs on my stands from a standard 2.4m length of 3x2 ,so it is 59 cm high after cutting the ends flat and wastage

so say 1ft 11 inches in old money,

why, i have a metal pin in my back, so dont bend well
OK here's the deal. I'll come and do your early inspections, you can do my harvests :sifone:
 

GingerNut 

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Mine are 500mm high with 14x12 brood boxes.

For me this is the perfect height for working the brood without bending, which is what you do every week.

If you find that lifting a super off from height a problem, don't put so many supers on, remove and store them when full.

Or make yourself a step that gives you the extra reach.

Remember.............

1. You go through the brood box every week

2. You only move full supers occasionally.

Yours Roy
 

beeboybee 

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:iamwithstupid:

i have mine similar height as i am 6'3" top of brood box should be at comfortable height to work an inspection.
 

Black Comb 

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Same here.

I'm 6'1" and 20" (500mm) is perfect for me with jumbo b/b.

Double stands are stable at this height.
 

beeboybee 

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for stability i have buried the legs into the ground by 60cm this is also so when i strap the hives to the stand they are pretty secure should they get any unwanted atention on my allotment. i expect i will have to replace the timber every couple of years though du to rot. :seeya::seeya:
 

MuswellMetro 

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for stability i have buried the legs into the ground by 60cm this is also so when i strap the hives to the stand they are pretty secure should they get any unwanted atention on my allotment. i expect i will have to replace the timber every couple of years though du to rot. :seeya::seeya:

to stabalise mine, i strap them down to a paving slab with the strap nderneath the slab, but agree the oringal 59cm legs on mine were too high, to be stable, 450 to 500 is more stable

it a personal choice but i work on a minium in full flow of three supers, two are for dryingthe honey and one is being capped, if a forth goes on it will be light and only for swarm reasons and the hive will be 4 high until i can remove the capped super
 

oliver90owner 

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I make mine a little different to the Dave Cushman site. I think Somerford is another who does the same. I saw/machine shoulders onto two adjacent sides of the legs so that the support is through the timber onto the legs, not through screws. The screws merely hold the side rails in place and do not support any weight.

The other advantage is the wider footprint providing more stability at a given stand height.

The struts can be of minimal cross section to do the job. Most of mine do not have any.

My first lot were 300 high, the recent ones 315mm. Height depends on other things than those that have been given. The 'standard' concrete paving slab adds at least 50 mm, the varroa floors are made in various heights, different height broods are used. These things all make a difference, so my advice is find out your own optimum and make them to that height.

I think I would likely suggest 'replaceable feet' for the stands, unless really well sealed, to avoid rotting - although my first batch have been going nine years and are as good as new.

Regards, RAB
 

BT Beekeeper 

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On the basis of all this useful comment and sound advice I will keep mine at 17" (425 mm) for next year and see how I get on. This will place the top of a single brood box or a double at a comfortable height for me. Then manage the supers as you suggest so that I am never lifting heavy boxes too high.

I hope to move my 2 colonies onto the new stands during the next cold spell which looks like it could be later this week.
 

buzzin 

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Same here.

I'm 6'1" and 20" (500mm) is perfect for me with jumbo b/b.

Double stands are stable at this height.
I'm only 5' 6" so I've dug a little hole to put mine in!:D
Regards
buzzin
 

Black Comb 

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I know someone who uses a plastic caravan step when the supers get a bit high.
 

Onge 

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Mine are about 12" at the moment I will probably lower them to about 6".

I do my inspections on my knees (insert joke) and there for have a straight back.

Paving slab with concrete blocks laid on there side. they were formerly on there edge.
 

oliver90owner 

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Looking back at the OP, the thing that really comes to mind is the lack of space for removed hive parts.

I often have another stand adjacent, or a spare box, for standing boxes on as they are removed. Empty boxes are easy enough early in the season - just park them on the up-turned roof, but removing a couple or three fairly full supers and parking them at or near ground level, is ergonomic rubbish! Little wonder beeks often suffer with bad backs!

I would think that many who have 'double' hive stands really have 'triples' but use that 'third' space for parts during inspections?

Regards, RAB
 

fincaazul 

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Looking back at the OP, the thing that really comes to mind is the lack of space for removed hive parts.

I often have another stand adjacent, or a spare box, for standing boxes on as they are removed. Empty boxes are easy enough early in the season - just park them on the up-turned roof, but removing a couple or three fairly full supers and parking them at or near ground level, is ergonomic rubbish! Little wonder beeks often suffer with bad backs!

I would think that many who have 'double' hive stands really have 'triples' but use that 'third' space for parts during inspections?

Regards, RAB
It seems that it is the comfort of the keeper that is the issue here. I have kept colonies at ground level but have also dealt with bees in hollow trees 30 feet above ground. If they are thriving then height of hive is that which is best for you, there are no rules.
 

Poly Hive 

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The stands I put up pics of, see the pic thread, had enough space on them so that if wanted and the hives were truly at each end there was enough room to put a roof and parts between them.

The weight was truly through the legs, and they folded flat for transport, for which I just strapped them on top of the hives on the trailer.

PH
 
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