During the early 1980s I kept my bees on the flat roof
of a very large building. This was asphalt covered concrete and to
transport hives and empty hive parts on this roof (which was 600 feet
long) I purchased an ordinary garden wheelbarrow and replaced the
metal trough with a wooden platform that was a little larger than a
BS hive, with a rim to stop the boxes sliding off.
Hive Barrow or Hive Wheelbarrow
The large diameter wheel helps when negotiating rough
ground. The Platform has holes to allow for ventilation when moving
colonies that have mesh traveling screens fitted underneath, or in my
case the floors have mesh panels permanently. If I am using the barrow
to collect full supers of honey I have a thin plywood blocking board
that fits the platform to keep stray bees out of the supers. There are
recesses at both side that allow for easy lifting by hand and these
hand holds are fitted with
"Z" springsso that the
hives can be clipped securely within the rim. Wooden shoes are fitted
to the legs of the barrow so that the area that the weight bears on is
increased, this stops the barrow sinking into soft ground and helps
the general stability.
The view at right shows the clipping arrangement. All of my
hive parts have these clips fitted and huge stacks of empty equipment
can be transported with ease.
If hives with bees are being transported I only carry one
hive at a time, mainly due to limitations in physical strength.
The 30 mm thick plywood base has survived over 20 years of
exposure to the weather, although the metal parts are showing some
rust. The barrow has had some rough treatment and has carried stacks
of paving slabs and piles of bricks on occasions, as well as logs and
bags of coal. I have re-greased the wheel pivot once, after about
14 years of use, and occasionally the wooden parts get a coat of
The wooden shoes were made from off cuts of the plywood base
and have a large base area that does not show up very well in the
The shoes are a loose fit on the tubing and are retained by
coach bolts that pass through the loop of the tubular leg. This
sloppy fit allows the shoes to adjust their position when the load is
put down on uneven ground.
The portly gentleman at left is me, demonstrating that in
use the barrow has a low centre of gravity, which helps with
stability. Close inspection of the picture will show the number 500
on the right hand side at the front, this numbering system is dealt
with on the hive numbering page.
Original photography by my father Albert.
Written... Summer 2001, Revised... 17 Oct 2001, 12 Mar 2002
Revised... 30 Sept 2002