Just what the news media is waiting for, a hurricane! I agree with the guys above, a hive loaded up with honey can take a lot of wind before blowing over. You’re talking about a couple hundred pounds of weight or more. That’s like a fat weatherman. How many fat weathermen do you see blow over and go rolling into the woods?
If you want a little math, the forces on the hives are pretty simple to compute. You just need to know the surface area exposed to the wind and the wind speed. Let’s assume you’ve got a deep and 2 mediums.
That’s going to give you a surface area exposed to the wind of about 1.66 square feet.
Next you need to know the pressure from the wind. There’s a calculator for that here:http://www.cactus2000.de/uk/unit/masswsp.shtml
Let’s assume a Cat 3 with 120mph goes directly over your hives. This is very unlikely since the peak winds only hit a small geographic area, and die down quickly after they move inland, but let’s suppose you’re having the opposite luck of the guy who just won the lottery.
120mph winds = a pressure of 38.836 pounds force per square foot.
So the force from a Cat 3 exerted on the hive = 64 pounds of force.
That’s about like a 9 year old boy running into your hive. Is that going to tip it over? It might if it’s not loaded with honey and propolized together real well. If loaded with honey, the hive doesn’t budge.
If I was concerned about a Cat 3 going directly over my bee yard, I would cut some vertical strips of wood and screw them to the hive bodies so the only way for the hive to move is as a single unit. I would screw down the top if possible and then throw a couple of cinder blocks on the top cover just for good measure.