I want it perfect... Re-designing my apiary

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Gypsi, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I am fully aware it will NOT be perfect. BUT, I'd like to have a plan and position before the bees show up - my nucs will come in early april and I have a lot of traps out.

    I need intense ant-proofing. fire ants, carpenter ants, black ants red ants, you name it, I got it, I'm organic. I DO use beneficial nematodes once a year and that helps a lot, but the drought kills them off in deep summer, and we get 6 weeks without rain most years.

    What I have is: 1 rock pallet sitting on 4 horizontal cinderblocks sitting in 4 cat litter pans that might make it through another summer. What I also have is pond liner and lots of space.
    Presently the hives sit about 7 ft off of my east privacy fence, facing the sun, but I can only face 2 hives that direction on this pallet. I was thinking long timbers, 2 or 3, and running my cinderblock supports in a long row, in case I luck out and get 6 hives or so going, again, all facing east. This gives them morning sun, late afternoon shade (unavoidable, giant elm tree that I WILL NOT sacrifice.) the grade is not level, perhaps 5 degrees off of level over a 12 ft stretch. By spreading them out I think it will be easier to level the hives. And if worst comes to worst and the litter box ant guards give out (and I can drape screening under the hive, above the brick, to keep the crash landing bees out of the water/oil), I can use pond liner and bricks and build an above ground moat.

    Now, what am I forgetting.

    Gypsi
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I have found that metal stands build from standard 2" pipe with just a bit of axle grease smeared around the legs are about the most reliable ant protection you could devise.

    the legs in a container idea should work just fine. water alone will not however work so well. anything that does (generally old crank case oil) will wash out after each rain and make something of a mess. ALL vegetation must be totally controlled around the hive since any blade of grass will make the entire set up fairly useless.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Could I build a strong enough hive stand with 2 inch pvc verticals, and smear them with axle grease?

    (I keep the vegetation down. Scrap pond liner is amazing stuff...)
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would think yes. do use the heavier schedule 40 stuff and not the thinner schedule 20 stuff <likely more important for the cross member than the legs I would guess.
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have always been afraid of metal, not being a welder, then I remembered the 2 metal fence posts I picked up last fall that are sitting in my driveway. Maybe I could do metal pipe. I don't want to "spill the bees" by overloading weight. If I do threaded metal pipe, that should be pretty easy to put together.
     
  6. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Gypsi,

    I have a buddy of mine who showed me what he does for ants. He's in South Bay in the woods were Argentine ants have there way. Directly under his bottom board, he has screwed in upside down tuna cans filled with Tanglefoot. He then has short 2"PVC pipes centered in the tuna cans and at the other end the PVC pipe rest on his hive stand. Since the tuna cans are upside down, rain never washes anything away and the ants can't get up to the bottom board. The Tanglefoot doesn't come out and stay's put. I suppose you could use axle grease instead.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    What ever you use, test it with 250 lb per hive you plan to put on it. Leave it for a few days with the ground well saturated. IE: After some heavy rains or run water on it for a few hours.
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I did 2 inch pvc into plastic jar lids with olive oil, screening over the pvc legs, old cd's over the screening, hive on top. The hive did NOT blow over.
    but I tipped it (and ticked off a lot of bees) at least one time when doing night beekeeping. We do get a lot of wind down here. Those metal poles are sounding better and better. Positively elegant. Since I do keep the grass down, something not over a foot high would let the hives get tall with supers and it would take a while before they got out of my reach.

    But then they are vulnerable to skunks and possums. Which I have PLENTY of.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Gypsi snip..
    But then they are vulnerable to skunks and possums.

    tecumseh:
    I have never heard of possums being a problem. I would guess they might eat up dead bees and larvae at the front entrance. Skunks on the other hand can pose a problem to the adult population of a hive. You can eliminate this problem by placing the bottom of the hive 14 to 16 inch above the ground... or simply closing off the bottom entrance and using the top entrances.

    a good base is essential... the quality of the dirt here in Texas is always a thorny problem and extremely variable from place to place. here when it is absolutely dry almost any kind of base will work since the ground is a bit like brick and when wet some kind of significant feet to keep anything from sinking into the muck and mire is essential.
     
  10. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    I built my stand out of 2x4 treated lumber, which I will paint before I put hives on them. They have leg 18 inches high which I may may cut a little lower. I set the 2x4 legs on concert pavers ( per iddee sugestion) which was a great idea. I have tested it buy standing and jumping on it and it proved to be what I was looking for in a stand. I builted it for 3 to five hives, 8 ft long. oh yes there are 3 sets of legs. If I see there are proablems with ants or other crawling bugs I will put grease on legs.

    Kebee
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I like foundation pavers, with sturdy legs on them - 4x4's or metal post. Have a few floating around, left over from the fish room foundation & floor project, easy to level, and re-level if the ground shifts. But Charlie, what is Tanglefoot? Because whether I put grease on treated wood or on metal, the heat will melt it off, my hives are in sun, I don't have time to re-grease constantly. I don't want a tippy situation with little legs under the bottom board. I want a nice solid support that is bug proof. .

    I am going to close gaps in my fencing with hardware cloth to try to keep the skunks out of the apiary, I haven't seen one climb a fence (unlike possums, which climb everywhere apparently).

    Going to work today - will check back this evening
    Gypsi
     
  12. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Tanglefoot is like tree sap. It's really sticky and works like tar. It will lose it's consistency in extreme heat though.
     
  13. RayMarler

    RayMarler New Member

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    I use 1 1/2" pipe driving into ground with 2" pipe T's slipped over the top, to give a short pipe "T" in the ground. I do another one 7 feet away. Then I make 2x4 rails to set on top of the T's and secure with 2" pipe strap clamp. The rails are 10 feet long. this gives a rail stand ten feet long with two small leggs holding it up and it will hold 5 top 6 hives easily. The ant proof is high temp disc brake grease spread on a section of the T standup legs. Very easy and effective and gives a nice manageable stand that is easy to mow under and around and gives a long lasting stop for ants. See pic here...

    http://s679.photobucket.com/albums/vv15 ... T0297s.jpg

    Oh, it works great on slightly unlevel ground like what I have on my place. I get close to a one foot drop over ten feet of distance so these worked great. I drove the T's in 18" minimum on the low ground side and drove the other T in to match level to the first. Also, making the T's in 2 parts makes them very easy to put in ground and setup. I used a T post driver to drive the 1 1/2" pipe into the ground.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    howdy Ray... good to see you here.
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ray - my bee lot is over my drain field for my septic tank. This is a moist area - I love the design but I think I'll put it in a foundation block (heavy concrete with the X) - so I can re-level easily and the pipe won't rust.

    Thank you!

    Gypsi
     
  16. CharlieB

    CharlieB New Member

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    Ray,

    That looks interesting. Can you post a close up of the actual T as it sits on the railing?
     
  17. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ray, I'll second Charlie's question. I'd like to see the T on the railing a bit closer.
     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    has anyone every tried using the hardware used in the pipe post and rails of chain link fencing?
     
  19. RayMarler

    RayMarler New Member

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    OK, here's more pics. It's just the welded T, slipped over the ground pipe, attached to rails with pipe clamp available at your favorite hardware store.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I had better get the hive stand built pretty quickly.
    All of a sudden, I have BEES..... (and my nucs won't come til mid-april)

    Gypsi