How to build a Langstroth hive stand

Beekeeping can be tough on your back. Lifting a super full of honey that weighs 30kg or more is not easy. Bending down to lift it is even harder! This article is a step-by-step guide on how to build a hive stand that comfortably fits two Langstroth hives on it. 

The best part about this stand is the ease at which it is built. Simply paint the wood and then use a battery powered drill to assemble it. You don’t need to do any cutting yourself. We first saw this design in Build you own beekeeping equipment by Tony Pisano. This version is raised to better fit a person who is 180-190cm tall. The height and length can be easily change to suit taller/shorter people and more or less hives.

Materials:

  • 3x 120cm lengths of 90mmx 45mm treated pine. We recommend treated in this instance as the bees won’t be walking on the stand a great deal and it will be sitting on the ground (possibly partially submerged if you don’t have level ground to start with). Buying your timber, purchasing longer lengths is cheapest. Go to your closest hardware store, find the sizes they stock and work out the lengths you need. Most hardware stores will cut the timber to the required lengths. This saves you time, the need for expensive saws and allows you to transport the timber in your car without needing to hire a trailer.
  • 5x 40cm lengths of 90mm x 45mm treated pine.
  • 4x 60cm lengths of 90mm x 45mm treated pine. This length is the height of the stand. We find this works for people about 180-190cm tall. This length can and should be adapted to suit your own height.
  • 32x 75mm decking screw or similar. (65mm screws do work but 75mm screws provide additional strength to the stand.
  • Paint – less than 1L is sufficient. While low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint is ideal it is not necessary. As the bees won’t spend much time on the stand any outdoor paint is suitable. If you have leftover paint from a previous project that is even better!

Tools:

  • Gloves and eye protection.
  • Battery operated drill with a drill bit that fits the screw head you purchased. We use decking screws and most packs come with the correct drill bit inside.
  • Counter-sinking drill bit with pilot hole for the type of screw you have purchased. This is not essential but using it does stop the wood from spitting when you are fixing your screws.
  • 1x 100mm paint roller or a paint brush. We use the same sized roller to paint our polystyrene hives and buy the rollers in bulk 10 packs for a few dollars.
  • Paint stirrer.
  • Flathead screw driver or paint tin opener.
  • Clamps – at least 2 although 4 is better as you can complete both sets of legs at the same time.
  • Wood filler and spatula if you choose to cover the heads of the screws for additional weather protection.

Directions:

  1. Stir your paint before opening. Paint your cut lengths of timber. It is much easier to paint the timber prior to assembling the stands. We use up to three coats of paint. Use two or three coats depending on the thickness of your coats. Check the drying time between coats for your particular paint.
  • Assemble the top of the stand by screwing two of the 120cm lengths into 3 of the 40cm lengths, using two screws on each end. Space the first 40cm length approximately 15cm from one end of the 120cm length, the second length in the middle and the third length approximately 15cm from the opposite end. Note: it is easier to screw the screws in if you use a counter-sinking drill bit with pilot hole first.
  • Assemble the legs by clamping and then screwing two 60cm lengths to a 40cm length in the shape of a “U”. Attach the two 60cm lengths approximately 5cm up from one end of the 40cm brace piece in the middle. 
  • Repeat step 3 for the second set of legs.
  • Attach the legs to the top. Lay the top on a flat surface. Hold one pair of legs with the brace piece at the highest point. Clamp the legs on the outside of one of the outermost 40cm end lengths of the top section. Secure each leg using 2 screws into the top section.
  • Turn the stand so one of its long sides is resting on the floor. It doesn’t matter which of the two long sides you attach the brace to. Attach the final 120cm length to the side of the stand. Screw it into position so that it lines up with the leg braces.
  • Turn the stand right side up and it is now ready for use. We use wood filler and cover the tops of the screws for additional longevity. This is not essential.

Thanks for reading, enjoy your journey!

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