Many people have asked for more information about our hive tables. So, I’ve decided to do a post just on the hive tables we made. Building a hive table is a great winter project.
When we first made the tables, our plan was to have one hive on each table and use the extra space to set equipment during our hive inspections. However, we quickly became addicted to beekeeping and decided to expand our apiary! It was easier to put two hives on each table rather than have to build three more tables!
The overall dimensions of the tables are 14″ high and 24″ deep by 48″ wide. We used a 3/4″ x 24″ x 48″ piece of exterior grade plywood for the top. The legs are green treated 4x4s and the apron is made from green treated 2x6s. If you are lucky, you can find scrap pieces for the 4x4s and 2x6s in the discount bin at your local home improvement store. I think we paid only a couple of dollars for the green treated lumber pieces, while the top was left over siding from our house.
We first screwed the 2x6s to the legs. If you are using green treated lumber, make sure you use screws that are made for using with green treated lumber! Then screwed the top onto the base. We added a support underneath (a 2×6 on edge) where each hive would go. Since a hive in mid-season can weigh over 300 pounds, we wanted to make sure there was plenty of support to hold the weight. There is only one support on this stand so far.
We then cut out a hole in the table top where each hive would sit. This would give maximum ventilation and help with integrated pest management (IPM). When the varroa mites get dislodged from the bees, they would fall straight thru to the ground and not be able to climb all the way back up to hitch another ride on the bees.