The backyard beehive pad is an easy weekend project to do before you buy your beehives and Bees. It can be done basically anywhere not necessarily just your backyard and does not take up a lot of room. The reason I did this is because I wanted even leveled floor to put the Bee stand on, but I also wanted it to be clean and functional. As you know, is important for beehives to be leveled as they are building out comb. In addition, on the floor around the hives to be clean so that I can see any bugs or other critters with the naked eye. I understand that of course the microscopic ones are little harder to detect. I hope you enjoy this Instructable. Javier
Step 1: What You Will Need
For this instructor will you will need:
- A good sturdy shovel
- A patch in your backyard or garden space at least 6' x 6'
- About six bags of place and whatever stand you can find.
- Between 10 and 12 12 x 12" pavers whatever's cheapest ( sometimes you can get these donated through craigslist or Freecycle)
- About 8 to 10 edging bricks your choice
- About four bags of white marble chips usually found in a home goods store
- A spade or other edging device
- A level
- A rubber mallet
- Two used or new terra-cotta chimneys
- A pitcher of lemonade or your favorite beverage
Step 2: Clear the Area to Be Worked
The first thing you need to do is remove any garbage or debris from the area you want to turn into a honeybee pad. as you can tell from the picture. I chose is 6 feet wide as one section of fence is 6 feet wide. It just made it easier and I only have two hives. I basically dug out the area, removed any large rocks and rake the soil.
Step 3: Line Your Edging Bricks
The bricks I chose are the kind that interlock. If you look closely you can see how one round and interlocks into the other side of the brick. On the outer edge of the brick trying to have a wall of dirt so day down about 3 inches extra so the brick will fit down into the ground. That way when you fill it in sand, pavers, in the marble chips that weight will compress it against the dirt wall. You should use a level to make sure that all your brakes are aligned properly. It is up to you how far you want to go with the edge, I believe I use three or four bricks. once the bricks are in place use your rubber mallet to tap them down. Take five have some lemonade.
Step 4: Pour and Level the Sand
This is probably the most important part of this project. If you take your time here you will definitely save time later ( the lesson I learned the hard way). If you are doing this on level land it will be a lot easier. However, we have the land we have. I had a slight slope to deal with therefore, I poured a majority of the sand on the left side an the rest on the right and then leveled. Once it is leveled I used the actual paper to tamp down the sand and dirt. you want to make sure that it is well tamped an firm. If You have one of those heavy-duty Tampers that would be even better, I don't.
Step 5: Set Your Pavers
Align your pavers making sure to leave a little bit of room between each one to fill with sand or crushed stone. Try to check the level as you go as opposed to waiting till the end. You really want them to be flat and levele. When you put the Beehive stand on them it needs to work perfectly. Once the pavers are down walk on them and press down, you may want to spray them with water to push down more. When they are where you want them, fill the cracks in the sand or crushed stone. Make sure you push down between the cracks and keep filling so there isn't much room left. This will make your beehive pad stronger.
Step 6: Fill With Marble Chips Add Decorative Chimney Pot
I filled the remainder of the cracks with white marble chips. Push down on them quite a bit. I basically for them everywhere then push them into the cracks as well as around the bricks in the front. I used to bricks basically for stepping on. I used a lot of marble chips just to pad things down more and to improve water the drainage. Then, I dug a hole about a foot down and insert it the terra-cotta chimney I bought in a building supply store. I liked it because of it's natural look. I filled it halfway with regular dirt from the project, than the remainder with quality topsoil and manure. Afterwords, I planted some flowers in them. I put one on each side of the two front pavers, acting like a like a small entrance and giving me the ability to block it off if I have guest.
Step 7: Finally a Place for My Beehives
That's it! I now have a perfect place for my two beehives. It worked great all summer I was impressed with the fact that I only had to pull a few weeds from the area. I use cinnamon powder all over the marble chips and pavers to keep ants and other critters away. In the winter, it was easy to clean around the area and the snow melted a lot faster. It really works! It is almost spring again and the pavers are holding in there. Have a the great build.