How to Build a Metal Beehive Platform with Folding Legs and Adjustable Feet


Cinder blocks are good for starters, but eventually it is nice to move on to real, sturdy beehive stands. This is the second version of hive stands for my friend that has bees as a hobby. Check out this post to see how I built a batch of them with folding legs and adjustable feet.

Here is a rough guide on how I made version 2 which is a folding metal beehive platform. With my original beehive platform build Version 1, it was a little too tall and very bulky. This second version is simpler and folds up to become quite compact. I was able to retain the adjustable legs so that it can be set up on uneven ground.

Parts Needed Per Stand

Tools Needed

Dimensions

The outside dimensions of the bottom board of a 10 frame Langstroth hive is 22″ deep by 15 3/8″ wide so the inside dimension of the frame needs to be slightly larger (about 1/2″ total) than this to allow for some wiggle room. Make sure you double check it will fit before welding it together! (even better if you have a hive frame that you can use to test fit)

The overall height of the stand I built here is ~12″ adjustable +/- 1″ with the legs which seems like a pretty solid general height (this is about 6″ shorter than version 1 which ended up being too tall for my friend). You might want to build yours a little higher or lower depending on your circumstances.

Cutting the materials

Each hive stand needs:
Qty 4: 10″ 1×1 angle
Qty 2: 17″ 1×1 angle
Qty 2: 21 1/4″ 1×1 angle

It all starts by cutting angle iron at the chop saw.
Each side is made of 3 pieces so I used a speed square and magnets to get everything straight and square
Here is a close up of one side of the legs. The 3×3 plate with holes in it will serve as the hinge. Don’t weld across the top of the angle iron at the top of this picture, you will see in 3 pictures that is where the cross bar will sit when the stand is up.

Drilling for the hinge bolt

Clamping the crossmember in the vice then holding the leg in place so I can mark the location for the hole.
Here is a close up of how I used my transfer punch to mark the hole location to drill for the crossmember. This is the hole for the bolt that the hinge will pivot on.
Hole drilled and loosely bolted together to check the fit. With this design I need to notch the end of the crossmember so it sits flat on the leg brace.
Bolted together with legs folded. Here you can see the notch in the crossmember
Marking and drilling the hole location on the other sides.
Welded two bolt on tabs on each long side and one weld on tab on one of the short sides to help hold the hive in place. We don’t want one at the front so the hive can be slid out of the stand if needed.

These little tabs are great to have around the shop. Some of the most time consuming activities in a home shop are cutting tabs and drilling holes. Each one of these tabs probably saves me 10 minutes of labor. They are cheap to just buy a bulk pack to have around.

Paint!

After final fit up and adjustments I took it apart, wiped it down with mineral spirits, and painted it.

Final assembly

Reassembling the hive stand. All bolts used are 3/8″ coarse thread. I used nylock nuts so they wouldn’t loosen while being folded and unfolded. I torqued down the nuts pretty tight so it takes a little umph to get it to fold.
Close up of the hinge joint. Notice I put a washer between the hinge plate and the crossmember. This will help it fold easier and not scratch the paint.
The feet are another 3×3 plate with a 1/2 inch bolt welded to it. The bottom of each leg has a corresponding 1/2″ nut for it to thread into.
Fully assembled hive stand!
Can be folded down very compact for hauling or shipping. The feet come off and can be nested in.
Close up of the hive stand folded.
Stands completed with a hive on them
Completed stand with hive
How to Build a Metal Beehive Platform with Folding Legs and Adjustable Feet
Gertrude approves
How to Build a Metal Beehive Platform with Folding Legs and Adjustable Feet
How to Build a Metal Beehive Platform with Folding Legs and Adjustable Feet
Here you can see before (cinder blocks) then V1 to the left and V2 towards the right.

Want one?

We are thinking about making some for a small production run so send us a message with your contact info if interested.

Conclusion

This turned out to be a pretty cool design. With each version I have been trying to reduce the amount of manual labor (cutting, drilling holes, welds) to optimize cost. This is a fun thing to play with as usually my projects are totally one off and I don’t get any economies of scale. I’m sure there will be many more future versions to come.

Hope this serves as inspiration for you. Yours doesn’t have to be fancy and folding like this. Just grab some angle iron and a welder and try stuff until it works!

Now you, go outside and work on something!

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