How to Assemble an Elevated Hive Stand
Now that you've cut out all the parts, it's time to build your elevated bee hive stand. Remember, you need an elevated stand for every hive.
Attach the two short sides of the stand to the leg posts.
Using deck screws and your power drill with a #2 Phillips head bit, fasten the short sides (those that measure 22-1/2 inch x 5-1/2 inch x 3/4 inch) into the rabbet cut of the posts and secure them with two screws into each leg post. The edge of each short side rail should be flush with each post. Stagger the placement of the screws to prevent splitting the wood.
Consider using a weatherproof wood glue in addition to the screws. It helps make the hive stand as strong as possible. Apply a thin layer of glue wherever the wood parts are joined together.
Attach the two long sides of the stand to the leg posts and short sides.
Use deck screws to secure the long sides (those that measure 24 inch x 5-1/2 inch x 3/4 inch) to the assembly. Put one screw into the leg post and another into the edge of the short side rail. Use two screws for each corner. The long sides match up with the edges of the short sides.
Attach the wide and narrow struts to the top.
The wide and narrow struts attach to the top edges of the sides. Position the wide struts at opposite ends of the stand assembly. The top of the stand is square, so you decide where they go — it makes no difference. The struts align flush with the outer edges of the assembly.
Use four deck screws per wide strut, screwed through the strut and into the top edges of the long and short sides. Now take the two narrow struts and position them centered between the wide struts. Precise placement is not at all critical. Just space them evenly by eye.
Secure them using one deck screw at each end of each strut. Screws go through the struts and into the top edges of the sides.
Protect the wood from the elements.
If you're using pine (rather than cedar), paint, varnish, or polyurethane the entire hive stand assembly. Use two or three coats, letting each coat dry completely before adding the next coat. If you elect to paint the stand, any color will do — it's up to you.
Putting your hive on the elevated stand is pretty straightforward — it sits centered on the stand. Which way you orient the hive on the stand doesn't really matter, but if you're using an IPM screened bottom board, orient the hive so that as much of the bottom board as possible sits over the stand's open slats.
This provides the maximum "open" space under the screened bottom board, allowing mites to fall to the ground. It also assures maximum ventilation.
You have even less expensive options for providing your bees with an elevated hive stand. How does free sound? Consider a couple of salvaged cinder blocks as a hive stand. Or level off a tree stump to get your hive off the ground. Just be sure you securely bolt your bottom board to the leveled-off top of the tree stump.
These two options may not be quite as elegant as building your own hive stand, but they'll do the trick!