Migratory beekeepers began using pallets to transport their hives in the mid-20th century. The exact date of the first use of pallets in beekeeping is not clear, but it is known that the practice became more widespread in the 1940s and 1950s as beekeepers began to transport their hives over longer distances to take advantage of different floral resources in different regions.
Before the use of pallets, beekeepers typically transported their hives by loading them onto wagons or trucks. However, this method was often time-consuming and labor-intensive, as each hive had to be individually loaded and unloaded.
The use of pallets allowed beekeepers to stack multiple hives on a single platform, making it easier and more efficient to load and transport the hives. Pallets also provided better ventilation for the hives during transport, which helped to reduce stress on the bees and improve their overall health.
Today, the use of pallets is a common practice among migratory beekeepers, who transport their hives across the country to take advantage of different pollination opportunities and honey flows.
How Palletised Beekeeping Works
Palletised beekeeping involves placing up to six hives on wooden or metal pallets. The pallets are then stacked on top of each other optimizing the number of hives that can fit onto a standard truck.
One of the main advantages of palletised beekeeping is that it allows beekeepers to move their hives quickly and easily from one location to another. This can be particularly useful for commercial beekeepers who need to transport their hives to different locations to pollinate crops or to produce honey. Moving hives using pallets also reduces the amount of physical labor required, as the hives can be easily lifted and transported using machinery.
Benefits of Palletised Beekeeping
- Improved Hive Management
Palletised beekeeping makes it easier for beekeepers to manage their hives. By stacking hives on pallets, beekeepers can easily inspect and maintain each hive without having to bend down or lift heavy hives. This can reduce the risk of back injuries and other physical strains associated with traditional beekeeping methods.
- Improved Honey Production
Palletised beekeeping can improve honey production because it enables fast and efficient transport of beehives to new pollination and honey flow opportunities. Honey flows are often very short in duration so every day counts.
Palletisation enables beekeepers to quickly relocate their hives to areas where there is a higher concentration of nectar-producing plants. This can result in higher honey yields and better-quality honey.
- Better Bee Health
Palletised beekeeping can also improve bee health. By moving hives to different locations, beekeepers can ensure their colonies are in bee flight range of high quality nectar and pollen foraging conditions. It can also reduce the risk of pests and diseases building up in the hives, resulting in healthier bees and stronger colonies.
- Space Saving
Palletised beekeeping can also be a space-saving method for beekeeping. With the hives stacked on top of each other, they take up less space than traditional beekeeping methods. This can be particularly useful for urban beekeeping where space is often limited.
In conclusion, palletised beekeeping is a modern beekeeping technique that offers several benefits. By stacking hives on pallets, beekeepers can easily move their hives from one location to another, which can lead to improved hive management, better honey production, improved bee health, and space-saving. For commercial beekeepers, palletised beekeeping is a practical and efficient method for managing large numbers of hives.
The HiveIQ Hive Stand and Hive Pallet
The HiveIQ next generation hive stand, and pallet are constructed from premium corrosion-resistant sheet metal to withstand the demands of commercial beekeeping. The pallets are engineered to be lightweight, modular, and robust, making them ideal for migratory use. All parts are precision laser-cut and secured with high-quality stainless-steel rivets.
The inclusion of integrated retractable folding legs as standard in the design elevates the hive entrance to a comfortable working height of 12 inches/300mm, minimizing the need for repetitive bending and alleviating the risk of fatigue and injury for the beekeeper. The elevated entrance height also reduced the risk of pests such as rodents, cane toads and ants accessing or attacking the hive.
Finally, the HiveIQ pallet is designed to fit 3 wide and on a standard width truck and for multi-layer stacking ensuring the truck deck space is optimised to carry the maximum number of beehives per load. This allows more hives to be moved faster with lowers labor, diesel and operating costs.