The jury still seems to be out on whether a hive stand is necessary for a beehive. Being new to the art of beekeeping, I DO know one thing………… MY CHICKENS LOVE TO EAT BUGS!!!!!!!! There’s not an insect that is safe in my backyard when my 3 hens are free ranging for protein. The last thing that I want is for them to develop a “taste” for my bees so I decided to make elevated hive stands for my 2 hives.
The inspiration for my hive stands came from Beekeeping for Dummies but I made 2 changes to the plans. First, I increased the height of the stand to 18″ because the original height would still make it easy for my hens to “pick off” those tasty treats. Second, I created a design in the front of the stand because I’ll be looking at the hive every day and I want it to look nice.
So…..lets get started. But first, lets talk about safety. Make sure that you read and understand how to SAFELY operate your power equipment. In some of the pictures below, the safety guard has been removed so that you can get a better understanding of the photo. NEVER operate your equipment without a guard in place!
I used 4×4 cedar for the legs. It’s a bit more expensive than pine, but it will last a whole lot longer because it is more resistant to rot. Start by cutting the legs down to 18″ in length. I used my miter saw with a stopper on the fence to ensure that every leg was exact. Next, cut a rabbet 5-1/2″ wide by 3/4″ deep along one end of each post. This rabbet will accommodate the sides of the stand. I found that the safest way to make this joint was to “nibble” the waste away by making many cross-cuts on the table saw with the miter gauge. This way is going to take a lot longer, but it is way safer! * Note: When using the table saw, never butt the lumber up to the rip fence when cross-cutting. Make sure to have an axillary fence or scrap of wood clamped to the fence for this operation. This will definitely prevent the wood from binding between the blade and the fence preventing dangerous kick-back.
Using 1″x6″ pine, rip and cross-cut these pieces to size. The front and back are 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 24″. The sides are 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 22 1/2″. If you want to use my design on the front, you can make a template from the photo below. A scroll saw is essential for these cuts.
Next, pre-drill the screw location holes with a counter-sink drill bit. Each holes will be later filled with a wood plug and trimmed using a flush cutting Japanese saw. If you don’t want to go to this trouble, than just screw your fastener in so that the head is flush with the surface of the wood. If you choose to do the later, I recommend that you still pre-drill the screw locations in order to prevent splitting the ends of your pieces.For the front & back, measure 3/8″ from the end of the boards and intersect this line at 1″ from the top of the board, half way across the width and 1″ from bottom of these boards. These locations will anchor these pieces to the sides. Next, pre-drill 2 holes on each side to anchor these pieces to the legs. Now drill a few screw locations for the side pieces that will anchor to the side of the legs.
The top of the stand is made up of 2 wider pieces ( 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ x 24″). These 2 pieces will be attached to the front and back of the stand. The 2 center pieces (3/4″ x 2″ x 24″) should be spaced out evenly in the middle of the top. All pieces should be ripped to width on the table saw and cross-cut on the miter saw or table saw. Once again, pre-drill screw locations 3/8″ from each end and along one edge of the front and back. These locations will anchor the top to the sides. Next, make a screw locations for the top to be anchored to the leg.
Completely seal your hive stand with your favorite exterior paint! If you’d like to see how I built my honeybee boxes, please CLICK HERE. If you’d like to see how I made my ventilated gabled roof , please CLICK HERE.