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How high do you place your hive


#1

Still waiting, hence more questions.

I am just curious to know if there is any science behind how high the bee hive should be above the ground.
From the hundreds of hives I have seen, just about anything goes. I’ve seen them near the ground on bricks and there is a photo of a flow hive head high with Cedar. Would seem that about 75-80 mm (24" or so) is convenient for commercial hives and this is what I am aiming for my single hive,.

I’ve also thought about sitting the legs of any hive support in shallow water to deter ants. We have some nasty little sods that get into everything. Get rid of them here and they start over there and I don’t like chemical means of getting rid of them. Could also serve as a water source for the bees.

Cheers
busso


#2

How did I miss Roddericks great post here Beehive Stands - Are they necessary?.
I think all the questions answered there.


#3

Hi busso, I have my hives about 150mm( 6 inches ) above ground with the legs in recycled bean tins filled with water to deter ants. BIG NO NO had a heat wave for two weeks & I wasn’t able to service the hives, bees went searching for water got themselves caught in the bean tins & drowned. In future I’d still put the legs in bean tins but I’d have a small amount of oil or similar in the tins to catch the ants but not attract the bees, then I’d make sure there was a good source of water nearby for my girls.
As a semi newby on Virgin land I’m still trying to work out the best for my girls in remote Western Australia .
Cheers TonyN


#4

I don’t know of any “science”. The number one reason given for putting them high is skunks. But there are other solutions for skunks My reason for putting mine low (my stands are 3 1/2" (9 cm) tall) is that they blow over in the wind when they are taller and that the supers are hard to get on and off in a bumper crop year. But after going lower, I had to go to top entrances to deal with the skunks. Which also dealt with the mice and other issues.


#5

I have all mine sitting on pallets, which are about 5-6 inches tall. Only problem I’ve had this year was antelope or deer trying to get the top off when I had a feederbox filled with water under top. I went out to field and found top had been pushed up on one corner but jammed up and deer or antelope wasn’t able to get to water. Remedied that with Cinder blocks on top. The blocks will also keep boxes from blowing over in strong winds we get in Wyoming as well.


#6

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#7

My hive stands are around 2 feet high so that I can check the boxes without backache but not so high that I can’t get supers off.


#8

what I like about pallets is that you can get four hives on one pallet and they look pretty uniform that way as well. (my ocd kicking in). I did buy one hive stand and I suppose it worked okay, but it’s only good for one hive. Main reason I bought that is I wanted the extended rods that work real well for putting removed frames on while checking bees, but I also just lean them against the hive box too. Bees don’t seem to mind leaning on each other. I just bought some bee cozys from NOD out of Ontario for my winter. They will sell direct if you buy at least four or more, other than that you have to buy from a distributor. I like the way they go on and I think they will work well for Wyoming winters.


#9

Heavens they are expensive.
I can get two covers made from PIR ally backed insulation for $30.


#10

I bought a 4 pack, but I didn’t get the top cover packs as they really made them expensive, but $65.00 for 4 two story covers didn’t seem so bad to me, but I had not heard of PIR before now. I’ll have to check them out I guess. NOD does say their covers are good for at 10 years, so if you look at it that way and it goes the 10, probably not to bad a price. Shipping sucked though because they are shipping by FedEx. Had I bought them from Mann Lake they would have been more but shipping might not have been too much cheaper. Let me know how PIR are compared to NOD’s.


#11

Esttile Try washing up liquid just a small amount down the legs or the on inside of your tins ants can’t/won’t go on it. Just one drawback is you my need to reapply if it rains


#12

Thanks all.
Where abouts are you estile? From my nic you may have guessed I am in the Busselton Shire about 20K out of town.

From what I read height is more in the eye of the beeholder. Convenience and wild animals being the main factors.
Fortunately we live in a fairly ideal place with no extremes in temperature and weather all year and apart from foxes have no animals to worry about. Except for the tractor, that is, which seems to bump into things more and more the older it gets. Mind you, stern words from my wife usually gets the tractor behaving again.

From the above I have lowered my sites to 500mm (20")… thinking inspections and maintenance of the hive needs to be convenient. Probably stick with a shallow water trough, say an 12mm (1/2") with a dripping tap much as the same as we do with the chooks.

Thanks again all for your input.

busso


#13

I’m re-examining my current arrangement – hive entrance some 350mm above ground – in anticipation of using the Taranov method of artifical swarming to create my second colony next year. I want to make sure there will be enough room under the board for the swarm cluster to form prior to being lifted away to its new home.

I had originally based my height on wanting to be able to easily lift the uppermost box of a hive with three full-depth boxes (2 x brood + 1 x Winter honey store) under the Flow box (not having to worry about wildlife or similar hazards).


#14

These are all the reasons why I have Beehaus hives…they are long hives the equivalent of 2 Langstroth 10 deep brood boxes side by side.
No heavy boxes to lift. The brood is all on one level at waist height. They have supers which are half size and hold 5 frames each…you can stack these on top. 8 for each colony. The brood size frames in the brood box can also be used to store honey. In total there is enough room to store about 120 lbs of honey…ha ha not that there has been any chance of that this year…a bad year with bad weather. I can inspect these on my own as I can reach the small boxes to move them across easily.
I can only inspect the vertical hives with a helper. I have all of these on stands about 18 inches high. After doing a few of these…my back hurts!


#15

What made you decide on this method, KiwiLad?


#16

Bit risky?? I’d want to have the queen brightly marked to do that


#17

Hi busso, I’m in Mandurah but will be putting a couple of my hives in Bridgetown as well as keeping one or two at home here.


#18

@Valli ~ From the various Taranov experiences I’ve read of and seen, I’m not sure it’s inherently risky. It seems the queen will stick with the ready-to-swarm bees as they form the cluster on the board, rather than re-enter the hive. But I am fortunate to have a clearly marked queen.

@dangerous ~ I have a single hive of Carniolans started in June this year. Assuming I successfully over-Winter them, I am anticipating their enthusiasm for swarming by checking out my split and swarm control options. From what I’ve seen of the various methods (and infinite opinions), Taranov seems to combine my two objectives (creating a second colony & managing the swarm) with a degree of simplicity. I also confess to having a sense of the dramatic.


#19

@Horsehillhoney ~ The Beehaus is beyond my budget, but I (= my back!) like the idea of the long hive. I have heard contrary opinions about the need for a Winter cluster to be able to move up, rather than across, to maintain access to food stores. Nevertheless, I’m toying with adapting a couple of my Swienty poly boxes to sit side-by-side on a suitable height frame, with supers above. A Winter project to ponder…


#20

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