Hive Carts

General Discussion of Diary Posts and Questions on Beekeeping Matters
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Countryboy
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Hive Carts

Unread post by Countryboy »

I am a stationary beekeeper, but I do move hives from yard to yard occasionally. So far, I just use an armstrong loader. (Strong Arms) Single deeps are fine to move by hand, but much more than that and they get bulky/heavy and my back talks to me later. There is a home schooled teenaged Mennonite boy that I can get to help me if he's available - but the extra running around picking him up and taking him home kills a couple hours. He's cheap when he's available, but he's not always available when I want to work, and it can be inconvenient to get him just to move 8 or 10 hives. I hate to hire him when I only need 1/2 hour of help.

I don't anticipate ever becoming migratory or being palletized, so I can't justify getting a forklift or boom truck or anything like that. Ultimately, I don't have ambitions of running more than 200 hives. I think I can make a decent part-time income from 200 hives and still have time for other things in life.

My thoughts are buying/building a hive cart like Mann Lake's, and using an utility trailer with a ramp tailgate. Just drop the tailgate ramp, and one man can wheel hives up the ramp and on the trailer.

http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeeping-s ... tml#MH-105

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/MannLake1.JPG

Are the hive carts like this actually practical, or do they end up being one more 'cool idea' that ends up piled up in the far corner of the shop because it was impractical?

Or are there better ways for one man to move hives?

My bee truck is a 1/2 ton GMC with a cap on an 8 foot bed. For moving hives or a lot of boxes I pull a trailer - either a tilt-bed 4' X 8' little utility trailer or a 5' X 10' utility trailer with a ramp tailgate or a 6' X 16' dual axle flatbed trailer.

I guess what I am asking...
For a sideliner, what seems to be the easiest way to move hives by yourself? What have you seen other sideliners using that you thought was a real slick method of moving hives? Or does everyone just find a buddy to move hives?

I can understand what Allen wrote in the diary once about either being all the way in, or all the way out with bees. The middle ground (sideliner) was a no man's land. With only a couple hives, you can wait around and ask a buddy to help move hives. When you go big, you can justify the cost of a forklift. It's that middle ground that I am finding. I'm still too small to justify a forklift, but big enough that it's a pain trying to get someone to help when needed and my back doesn't like me trying to do everything myself.

Or is it easier to break boxes apart and load them one box at a time and then use a ratchet strap to hold them together during transport? This has been the latest method I've been using. Much easier on the back and and more convenient than getting help, but time consuming.
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Re: Hive Carts

Unread post by Allen Dick »

I have a unit of the sort you show and they definitely do work. The Bush model with the vertical is better because otherwise, the hives can fall over towards or away from the operator. Another thing that these things really need is a way to 'park' the hive between locations so the operator is able to do things while the hive is suspended -- especially if the hive has no floor.

These both use the hive handholes, and that is okay for some setups, like moving between pallets, but what works really well for me for hives on floors is a $39 Costco handcart with pneumatic wheels. I have about five of them.

If the floors are of the right sort, the tongue slips under the hive floor, and lifting doubles or triples, and light 4-storey hives is easy and hives run up the 4-foot ramp onto a small trailer easily. You may have seen my setup in use back in May 2011. The cart shown is the same kind as I use, but has a nose added for improved stability when picking up a hive. It belongs to the beekeeper that supplied the hives.

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/2011/diary051011.htm
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/imag ... IMG044.jpg
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/imag ... IMG062.jpg
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/imag ... IMG099.jpg

I lift sometimes from the back and sometimes from the side if the frames are not likely to swing. The tongue is long enough for either approach, but a strap with a slip buckle around cart and hive could be handy and more secure on rough ground. I've never needed one, though, since once the hive is up and balanced, the ride is pretty good.

Just be sure to smoke the bees in well before moving them, or you will be walking in bees.

The same cart works fine for moving short stacks of supers, too.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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Countryboy
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Re: Hive Carts

Unread post by Countryboy »

I believe that Bush added the vertical support framing to that cart.

>>Another thing that these things really need is a way to 'park' the hive between locations so the operator is able to do things while the hive is suspended -- especially if the hive has no floor.

I use a migratory lid for my hives. When I get into a hive, I don't like stacking supers full of bees on a flat migratory lid. I take along a couple telescoping lids to throw down on the ground and stack boxes on. An upside down telescoping lid on the ground is an easy way to 'park' a hive with no bottom.

I have a handcart. I even rigged up a couple pieces of flat stock to give it a long tongue. I find that it sucks for moving hives. I set my hives on top of a 2X4 hive stand with a homemade bottom board that is flat on the bottom. The easiest way to get the cart tongue under the hive is to pick up the hive and set it on the cart. If I am going to pick up the hive, I might as well just carry it to the trailer. I may try rigging up a hand cart like the Mann Lake on, using a regular hand cart as the frame - that is a lot better than Mann Lake's $500 price tag. Then again, it may just be easier to build bottom boards that are easy to use with a hand cart.

If the driveway back to a bee yard was too muddy to get back in to, I have loaded hives onto a garden cart and pulled the little wagon back to the bee yard. 2 hives at a time, but it works. I used a helper for that though - one guy pulled the cart, and the other guy kept the hives steady on the cart.

I helped a commercial guy a couple years ago. I would set a homemade drip pallet on the tailgate, and stack honey supers on the drip pallet. (The drip pallet had 1 inch runners on the ends of it on the bottom.) When I had 6 mediums stacked up, I would shove the stack of supers in the bed with a pole. We could load 10 stacks like this. When we got back to the honey house, he had a ramp rigged up that he backed up to. He had a hand cart with a long tongue on it that would fit under the drip pallet. That is how all the supers got moved. The only thing they used a skid steer for was loading barrels on a semi.
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Re: Hive Carts

Unread post by Allen Dick »

Yeah. If there are no rot strips on the floors and they are on 2x4 stands, then the carts won't work.

At the time I moved hives that way, I had the hives on floors with 2x4 runners across back and front and they sat on the ground. It worked well.

Now my hives are on pallets and I have the same problem as you.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
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Re: Hive Carts

Unread post by dtompsett »

Bringing this back from the dead... and slightly off-topic...

Allen, what is the stretchy mesh material used on the top of the hives you moved from BC?
Also, I see a single furring strip up the back corner of the hives; is there a strip on both sides? How is that upper rim secured in place?

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/imag ... .48.02.jpg
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/imag ... IMG099.jpg
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Re: Hive Carts

Unread post by Allen Dick »

The material is greenhouse shade cloth. It was supplied by the seller of the hives. Basically any screening works.

The frames on top are spacers made by the same fellow out of scrap wood and just used to hold the screens in place.

We screwed them down with drywall screws.

I have used duct tape and window screen with equal success when selling hives.

A battery drill and drywall screws are really handy for many purposes.

No hammering to attach things, and easy to remove.

Lath, available cheaply at lumber stores and used for stakes, etc. can be screwed vertically to the sides of doubles and the floors to prevent shifting in transit. They are easily removed after.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
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Re: Hive Carts

Unread post by Allen Dick »

I notice I did not post this picture at the time of earlier discussion:
Image
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
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