Hive stands that defy the wind
After last week’s post about wind-toppled bee hives, lots of beekeepers explained how they managed to reinforced their hive stands, and a few sent photographs. I’ve gathered the photos together below so you can take a look and “bee” inspired.
This is my summer set up. During hurricane season and through the winter storm season the hives have one ratchet strap going around each hive, side to side, and one front to back holding the hive to the stand. A local beekeeper makes the brackets that hold the 2 x 6 stringers to the t-posts. The t-posts are well set in the ground. This set up has withstood 20 MPH gusts and 30 MPH sustained winds. In our area most beekeepers anchor the hives to the ground in some form or fashion as we get at least one hurricane per season.
I live in the high plains of Colorado. It’s very windy sometimes. I kept adding heavy rocks and bricks to the tops but the covers would still blow off. I now strap them down through the holes in the concrete blocks I use as a stand. I have the bottom board centered on each block so I have a strong base and can also use the block to set down a frame, hive tool, or whatever. It’s been working well for several years now.
I have a hive stand design that I use for my hives that will solve the problem of hives blowing over. It involves a 4-by-6 or 4-by-4 post set in a post hole, sanded in to set. The post is cut at a 16- to 18-inch height and two cross members are lagged on the front face and back of the post. Over the two cross members I nail (2) 2-by-4’s the length of the hive for direct support. Set the hive over the 2-by-4’s, strap down as needed and let the wind blow.
That thing on the hive lid is a LED light with a photo cell that comes on at dark for illuminating the local skunks. I have noticed them poking around and it seems to put them off. Also fun to look at the hive in the backyard garden from our deck at night. The hive stand idea was originally about the clean look and how it looked in the landscape. I couldn’t help it with my architectural training and all.
I built a bee shed. I am in Northern Michigan so the weather here is a bugger at times. The rain turning to ice and the wind and snow have been an issue. And near the ground there is a lot of dampness.
We happened to have some lumber getting old so I put it to good use. The shed has four 4-by-4 foot windows facing east, with 3 hives per window. The bee room is 14-by-20 feet. So wind rain, dampness, skunks, and ants are hopefully taken care of. I did see bear track at the shed, so now the way up is barb wire and nail boards.