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. Building a makeshift bee hive with the use of 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 cushions it from all sorts of environmental elements and even predators. This includes preventing molds, mildews, and insects from invading the hive. For the keeper, having the hive elevated off the ground can be a back saver. There is no more need to bend over to attend to a hive. No back aches!
The convenience of the bee hive stand has created a unique market niche 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 right tools they need to make their hives easier to use. The design must also visually blend into their surroundings and must also be durable. The stand is not a stand-alone hive, but it is complementary 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 be careful in choosing the correct size stand, as the design does not allow the user to switch from size eight to size 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 hive stand comes in two sizes, either the eight or ten frames. It is made in the USA out of recycled techno-polymer material or plastics. This protects the product from rust or molds. The product can be assembled together in about 2 minutes with only a screwdriver. Overall, the elevation for the hive is 12 inches off the ground together with the stand.
The design of each size makes them compatible with both flow hives and Langstroth. The hive is attached to the bee hive stand via a fixture for stability and durability. The base of the stand is composed of four expansive foot pads that distribute the weight of the hive. They also designed it to fill each of the foot pads with sand to increase stability. Each stand also comes with security screws to attach the hive for extra security. The textured surface of the stand adds to the visual appeal of the product.
The size eight frame sells for approximately $88 each, while the size ten frame is about $96 each. Both are available from major online outlets like Amazon and smaller specialty shops. When ordering from Amazon, shipping for this product costs about $10.
How it Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Featured Product Ultimate Wood Hive Stand for Beekeepers
Ease of Use
Mann Lake HD-709 Adjustable Stand
The Mann Lake HD-709 Adjustable Stand is a no-frills bee hive stand. The product was designed with greater emphasis on functionality. It elevates a hive about 6 ½ inches off the ground. The all-metal frame is zinc-plated steel.
Many users report that the item is delivered to them without the instructions booklet. So assembly is done by trial and error. The basic design looks like a smaller version of a simple metal bed frame. The materials used to make this stand are similar to the thickness of 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 a size eight or a size 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. There is no way to enforce the base. While the price is slightly lower than some other bee hive stands currently available in the market, the lower functionality of this design does not seem worth saving a little of money.
Ease of Use
Harvest Lane Honey Plastic Bee Hive Stand
The Harvest Lane Honey Plastic Bee Hive Stand is meant to be assembled with a little elbow grease and few tools. The material is made of plastic design but perhaps not as visually appealing as some other stands. Four plastic sides are squeezed together to form the base of this stand. There are also thin metal reinforcements added to support the overall weight of a hive. This item does not come with much instructions to assemble as it exactly appears in the picture on the front of the box.
The force created by pushing the plastic sides together is what holds everything in place. There is no glue included and it only uses very few screws. While some customers reported that the stand was a bargain purchase, others have indicated in the customer reviews that the product is flimsy.
This is another simple looking stand, not a keeper that a customer would purchase because it just because of the improved overall look of the hive. The stand puts the colony over a foot off the ground. So this helps ward off the insects and makes it user-friendly. Using plastic material also means that this stand should last several years as it will not rot or mold.
It holds up the bee hive stand by four small feet. It is not clear how long the four plastic feet of this size can withstand the weight of a full hive. Because the stand is made of plastic and built to fit together around a base. The stand has little flexibility as far as size is concerned. This stand does not offer the swing feature that allow the access of the bottom of hive easier.
Ease of Use
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 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.