The bee hive stand is something you may not know you need until it arrives. While many beekeepers create a makeshift stand out of cement blocks or others forgo them altogether, there are some very valid reasons to invest in a well-made stand. Making due with a less stable set of cement blocks is not always the best way to support a thriving hive.
Keeping a hive off the ground is better for both the colony and the keeper. The hive stays in better shape as it buffers it from the elements and even predators. This includes avoiding things like mold, mildew, and insects. For the keeper, having the hive elevated off the ground can be a back saver. Eliminating the need to bend over so far to get to a hive changes the comfort level of the keeper.
The utility of the bee hive stand has created a unique niche market for a variety of designs. This article will review the Ultimate Hive Stand for Beekeepers made by Bee Smart Designs. There will also be a comparison within the market to other popular designs readily available.
The Ultimate Hive Stand For Beekeepers
Bee Smart Designs started out to design products for the hobbyist and went into production in 2011. The basic idea behind their designs is to give the weekend beekeeper the tools they need to make their hives easier to use, visually blend into their surroundings and also durable. The stand is not a stand-alone hive, but instead an addition to a primary hive.
The Ultimate Hive Stand for Beekeepers is an easy way to elevate a bee hive off of the ground. The stand comes in two sizes, to accommodate either an eight frame or ten frame hive configuration. Buyers need to take care to order the correct size stand as the design does not allow the user to switch from eight to ten frame.
The stand elevates the hive by connecting to the wooden base via screws and metal channels on the top of the stand. The open-air design allows for airflow and easy access to all sides of the hive. The frame swings open to give even more access to the structure. The elevation of the hive off of the ground protects it from both the elements and predators.
The hive stand comes in two sizes, either the eight or ten frames. It is made in the USA out of recycled plastics that are a technopolymer. This keeps the product from rusting or molding. The product can be put together in about 2 minutes with only a screwdriver. Overall elevation for the hive is 12 inches off the ground using this stand.
The design of each size makes them compatible with both flow hives and Langstroth. Hive sets into the bee hive stand via a rail system for stability and durability. The base of the stand is four expansive footpads to distribute the weight of the hive. They also design it to fill each of the footpads with sand to increase stability. Each stand also comes with security screws to attach the hive for extra security. The plastic of the stand in textured adds to the visual value of the product.
The size eight frame retails for approximately eighty eight dollars while the size ten frame is about ninety six dollars. Both are available from major online outlets like Amazon and smaller specialty shops. When ordering from Amazon, shipping for this product runs about ten dollars.
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
The Mann Lake HD-709 Adjustable Stand is a no-frills bee hive stand. They design it with function in mind and little else. It elevates a hive about 6 1/2 inches off the ground. The all-metal frame is zinc-plated steel.
Many users report that the item arrives without instructions, so assembly is done by trial and error. The basic design looks like a smaller version of an elemental metal bed frame. The materials used to make this stand are about the same thickness as a standard bed frame. This design lends itself to being adjustable to work with a variety of sizes of hives. There is no need to buy a different model if your hive is 8 or ten frame.
The base of this stand does not seem to be as stable as some other stands. The feet of the stand is small compared to other stands, and there is no way to enforce the base. While the price is slightly lower than some other bee hive stands on the market, the amount of function lost with this design does not seem worth saving a little of money.
They build the Harvest Lane Honey Plastic Bee Hive Stand to be assembled with a little elbow grease and few tools. They make the plastic design to get the job done but perhaps not be as visually pleasing as some other stands. Four plastic sides squeeze together to form the base of this stand. There are also thin metal reinforcements added to handle the overall weight of a hive. This item does not come with much as far as instructions to assemble beyond the picture on the front of the box.
The tension created by forcing the plastic sides together is what holds everything in place. There is no glue added and very few screws. While some customers reported that the stand was a fine purchase for the price, others stated it was flimsy.
This is another basic looking stand, not one a keeper would purchase because it improved the overall look of the hive. The stand puts the colony over a foot off the ground, so this helps to keep out the insect and makes it user-friendly. Using plastic also means that this stand should last several years as it will not rot or mold.
It holds the bee hive stand up by four relatively small feet. It is not clear how long four plastic feet of this size can withstand the weight of a full hive. Because the stand is plastic and made to fit together around a hive base, the stand has a small level of flexibility as far as size goes.
While the initial set-up of this stand allows for flexibility as far as making any hive fit into the base, there is a limit to that flexibility. This stand does not offer the swing features that make accessing the bottom of hive easier.
The Ultimate Wood Hive Stand is delivered already assembled, so it is effortless to use. It comes to the customer ready to use and basic. The design concept is simple, create a box of sorts to set the hive on top of keeping it off of the ground.
Using a double-walled wooden base, the box design has a screen in place to fight off unwanted mites and other intruders. This model is not nearly as tall as the more traditional stands, so it does not give as much relief for the backs of the beekeepers.
A simple wooden box appears to be more natural than the plastic stands, but it also seems to be more prone to things like rot and mold. The wood is treated to a certain extent, so there is protection from natural elements. The screen design also lends to a certain level of utility missing from an open stand.
Overall the Ultimate Hive Stand for Beekeepers upholds its name. It is one of the best stands on the market. The design works for new beekeepers while being made to last years to come. It offsets the higher price because they build this item to last as it will not rot or need to be replaced anytime soon.
One of the most significant selling points with this model is someone can fill the four legs with sand to become even more stable. The end-user can decide if they want to move the stand or fill it with sand to keep it in place long-term. This gives the beekeeper the opportunity to easily move it away from severe inclement weather if he or she needs to.
This is the product that can work just about anywhere. The larger bases on the legs can help support a massive hive on a variety of surfaces instead of only being able to stand on very solid ground. The materials used to make most of this base also are built to withstand a variety of weather types including a wetter climate like the Pacific Northwest or even dryer climates.
The higher priced stand may seem like a luxury, but it is more of an investment. There will be no need to buy stands each year since this design is sturdy and very hard to damage. Problems with things like mold, rot and insect damage will not be a factor with the technopolymer construction.
Beyond the overall durability of this stand, it raises the hive to a comfortable level for a more natural use is also a big selling point for this stand. While many stands lift a hive inch off the ground to protect them from other insects or moisture, this stand takes the hive a full foot off the ground. This is higher than most other frames on the market.
While the difference between a few inches off the ground and a foot may not seem like much, it makes a huge difference for several reasons. First, the hive is further away from the land where things like ants, mites and small animals may access the colony. Second, a foot of clearance about the ground also gives the hive a buffer in the event of heavy rain and standing water. Last, the increased height also means less bending for the human beekeeper.
The Ultimate Bee Hive Stand for Beekeepers has earned its spot on the top of the list for bee hive stands. The design improves safety for the hive, usability for beekeepers and is also made to last through at least a few years of use.
This stand is also widely available through popular marketplaces like Amazon, so it is easy to order. Even though it does not come already assembled like the low-tech wood stands, the assembly is quick and easy. The instructions are simple to follow, and most users can put it together in minutes with nothing more than a household screwdriver.