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Author Topic: Combination: hive stand, screened bottom, entrance, IPM  (Read 4015 times)
Lupus
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« on: June 10, 2004, 12:36:48 PM »

Rather than get off topic on Robo's post about his IPM screened bottom I thought I would make a different post to run this related idea up the flag pole.

I have been planing to make a large, elevated hive stand or two, big enough to hold 6-10 hives in my new bee yard. As I made plans for this device it occurred to me that a few alterations might turn this device into a much larger version of Robo's IPM screened bottom board.

I am thinking of using treated 4x4 posts, in concrete, as legs and 2x6 boards as the frame the hives will sit on. If the legs are on the outside bolted to my 2x6 frame I should be able to cover the entire bottom with mesh wire very easily. A single or multiple boards attached to the entrance side of the frame would provide a landing platform. Adding fabric or wood around the frame bottom on three sides (short of the ground) should discourage the bees from flying out those thee sides and encourage them to exit in the direction preferred, assuming the mesh in the wire will allow bee passage. Recesses in the 2X6's could provide hive level entrances. 2X2 or even 2x4 cleats on the two sides and back could raise individual hives and leave a front entrance without cutting into the 2x6 base.

I would like some suggestions concerning the construction of this device.
 
1) How much space should there be between hives?

2) Should gaps between hive bodies be covered with: fabric, screen, wire mesh or wood?

2) Should I use a bottom mesh that will allow bee passage? Assuming that I will use fabric or lumber to direct the bees to exit the preferred side.

3) Should I provide a landing board at the front of the hives? Assuming that the hives themselves do not have bottom boards.

4) If 3 was yes how large should the landing board be and should it be flat or tilted?

5) If 3 & 4 should each hive have individual, seperated landing boards or will one long landing board work? I am wondering if one long landing board would encourage robbing. I imagine this decision relates to 1 too.


Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Thanks to Robo for the deep screened bottom idea.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2004, 04:30:52 PM »

My two cents worth. (And hey, if it's good advice, you can pay me more than that.)  Smiley

1) I've seen pictures of people's hives on long tables, and the hives were right next to eachother. I don't know how well it works though. I'd personally give them (and you) about 6 inches. Think about this - how easily can you work a hive, or take off/add on supers if they're so close they're touching?

2) I'd use wire if I could afford it. But wood can give it strength and stability too.

2) I wouldn't use wire any larger than the 1/8 inch - personal opinion.

3,4,5) I would (personally) use slanted, individual landing boards. I think the slanting actually helps them "glide" in better. Think of flying in - would you more easily see a board that's tilted to your face? or just a flat runway?


I'm nearly done with my two hive - screened bottom board hive stand. It's 12 inches off the ground. Has boards on the ends to hang a few frames (2 or 3). Slanted landing boards. Red painted lines and arrows on the landing boards (maybe overboard - but I'm a girl, so we think of silly things). Screen is 1/8 inch, no board under it, but I have slats to slide a board under there in the winter to cut down the flow (I could even use foam board to insulate if I wanted.) The hives will be 6 inches apart, but the space will be basicly a hole rather than solid flooring. I'll put pictures up in a couple days as long as the rain doesn't start up again because one of the pictures just HAS to be of the hives actually ON the stand.

Beth
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Lupus
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2004, 11:38:18 PM »

I would love to see your pictures. I will try to post some too when I get mine done.

I will tell the wife about your painting ideas, she has been showing some interest in the bees and has painted our chicken pens. Maybe she will come up with something for our hives. Hmm do I actually want paisley hives?
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2004, 01:16:06 PM »

Quote
Hmm do I actually want paisley hives?


LOL She probably wouldn't go that far. Smiley I had thought about having a little bit more fun with the painting. I just didn't have enough different colors. But if you don't mind her painting them, it might be a great way to get her into the bees. I'd thought about adding something like vines up the legs. I'd also thought that adding some special touches to my next hives would be nice. Such as - naming each one, a few bees painted on the side, or if I had a round entrance on a super I could put a sunflower around it.  embarassed  Silly, but it would add some uniqueness to them.

Beth
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SageBrush
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2004, 05:46:57 PM »

I'm in Alpharetta also, off States Bridge. We just started beekeeping this year so, I have much learn. I have learned to use pallets for hive stands to ease moving the hives around with a dolly or hand truck. My Father got a look at some and came up with his own variation. My new hives are going to be set on double pallets which also serve as the screen and landing boards. We make them out of 2x4s and 1x4s pressure treated lumber.

We want to create a side business, so, moving these hives during splits will be a regular afair. I'm moving 2 new double hives Sunday. I will have 10 hives on these pallets after Sunday. I've not found the time to weld up a hand truck yet.

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BigRog
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2004, 06:15:43 PM »

I wouldn't put the posts in concrete. I would dig down below the frost line and pour footings. Then go to your local mega home building store and get brackets that you can bolt to your footings which will hold your posts. Concrete holds moisture next to the wood, think about it you just made a concree cup. These brackets hold the pots a half inch off the concrete so they have a chance to dry. And if you have to replace the legs all you have to do is pull some nails and they're free.


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latebee
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2004, 11:49:31 PM »

although i use a screened bottom hive stand i think this poses another problem. If you are ever unfortunate enough to have large colonies of ants invade your hives ,while using the larger mesh sizes,the bees themselves cannot effectively controll the ant invasion-any thoughts or remedies on this? huh
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Robo
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« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2004, 01:52:06 PM »

Somehow I missed your post and came acrossed it today when someone replied.  Sorry I didn't see it sooner cry ,  but here are my thoughts in Blue.

Quote from: Lupus

Rather than get off topic on Robo's post about his IPM screened bottom I thought I would make a different post to run this related idea up the flag pole.

I have been planing to make a large, elevated hive stand or two, big enough to hold 6-10 hives in my new bee yard. As I made plans for this device it occurred to me that a few alterations might turn this device into a much larger version of Robo's IPM screened bottom board.

I am thinking of using treated 4x4 posts, in concrete,
I would recommend not macking it permanent in the ground, but instead set it on concrete blocks/brick.  Although you know where you want it today, conditions can change and next week or a year from now you might want it someplace else.
as legs and 2x6 boards as the frame the hives will sit on. If the legs are on the outside bolted to my 2x6 frame I should be able to cover the entire bottom with mesh wire very easily. A single or multiple boards attached to the entrance side of the frame would provide a landing platform. Adding fabric or wood around the frame bottom on three sides (short of the ground) should discourage the bees from flying out those thee sides and encourage them to exit in the direction preferred, assuming the mesh in the wire will allow bee passage. Recesses in the 2X6's could provide hive level entrances. 2X2 or even 2x4 cleats on the two sides and back could raise individual hives and leave a front entrance without cutting into the 2x6 base.

I would like some suggestions concerning the construction of this device.

1) How much space should there be between hives?
At least enough for the telescopic covers to clear each other, but more is better.

2) Should gaps between hive bodies be covered with: fabric, screen, wire mesh or wood?
Your choice, but if you don't cover it they will use it as an entrance.

2) Should I use a bottom mesh that will allow bee passage? Assuming that I will use fabric or lumber to direct the bees to exit the preferred side.
This is a catch-22.  If you use mesh that the bees can get through, they will use all sides for an entrance, regardless if you provide what you think is an easier access point.  If you use mesh that the bees can't get through, and the entrance is not at mesh level, you need to come up with a way to clean out the dead bees and debris that builds up.

3) Should I provide a landing board at the front of the hives? Assuming that the hives themselves do not have bottom boards.
Bees are pretty adaptive and have no landing boards in feral colonies.  However I like to provide one because I feel it does make it easier on them when they are loaded down.  I even put them on my double screen boards.

4) If 3 was yes how large should the landing board be and should it be flat or tilted?
Your choice, there is no magic size.  I put a 4" on my normal SBB at 15 degrees.

Click image for larger view

And use a small scrap of wood on the double screen boards.

Click image for larger view

5) If 3 & 4 should each hive have individual, seperated landing boards or will one long landing board work? I am wondering if one long landing board would encourage robbing. I imagine this decision relates to 1 too.

Robbing is probably the biggest thing you will need to watch for depending on how open you make the entrance area (previous questions).  I don't think the common landing board is the biggest exposure,  probably more of the ability of the bees to go out the bottom and over to an adjacent hive.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Thanks to Robo for the deep screened bottom idea.


I can share some of my experience to date.  Currently I am not using any mesh on the bottom because the smaller mesh caught all the dead bees.  The hive is on a barn roof (bear deterent), but if it was on the ground I would use 1/2" mesh to keep mice out.  The bees do prefer to come out the bottom as well as use the provided entrance.  This however has not posed any problems.  They have also NOT built any burr comb on the bottom of the frames, which was one of the things I was worried about.  I have also noticed more ant activity at this hive than the others, but nothing to worry about at this point.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2005, 01:47:35 PM »

I've found landing boards to be irrelevant and extraneous.  Since I got tired of the skunks and I closed all the bottom entrances and went to top entrances.  http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/47mmComb.JPG  I find they fly right in these with no landing board of any kind.  Trees don't have landing boards.

My hive stand is two rails of treated four by fours on the ground leveled both ways.  You can put the hives as close as you like.  I have seen where I stopped robbing by moving them further apart, but I've also had many butted right against each other with no robbing.  Put them as close as you like, but enough room to get your hands on each side makes it easier to work.
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Jay
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2005, 10:06:19 PM »

Consider leaving enough space between each set of two hives for one hive. That way when you are working the hives, you have a place to put supers and brood boxes without having to lift them all the way to the ground and then back up again. Just place them beside where you are working in the space you left open (a real back saver)! Cheesy
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