Bee Tree Hives Eco-Floor & Stand
The bottom component of a Bee Tree Hive is the combination Eco-Floor and Stand.
A honey bee colony is not designed to live as a solitary organism in a sterile environment. In the wild, they live in symbiotic relationship with thousands of other organisms - from yeasts, molds, and fungi, to many other insects... including several varieties of mites!
This component is compatible with conventional 8-frame beekeeping equipment and can be added directly under a screened bottom board. Simply remove the solid debris board in the screened bottom board. The legs on the Eco-Floor are optional; you can leave them off if you are already using a hive stand. With help lifting the hive, this component can be added under an occupied hive. (This component is also available in a 10-frame version.)
The Eco-Floor is open on the top and screened on the bottom. This allows you to fill it with detritus from the ground in the region where the hive will be located. This adds indigenous organisms to the hive environment, which brings health to the colony in ways that we have yet to begin to understand.
Because the Eco-Floor is screened on the bottom, it allows a slow movement of air, up through the detritus, that provides year-round ventilation. Because the air moves slowly through the detritus, where countless biological processes are occurring, the detritus also provides insulation. There are no drafts of cold air blowing in a bottom entrance or up through a screened bottom board. The temperature, humidity, and pH levels inside the hive stay much more consistent.
The detritus is also hygroscopic. It absorbs, and then slowly releases, any excess moisture that may drip down from inside the hive. This also helps to keep both the temperature and the relative humidity more consistent inside the hive. The bees will therefore consume fewer resources to regulate the hive's micro-climate.
And, in conjunction with the top entrances in each hive body, the Eco-Floor makes a bottom board completely unnecessary.
The Eco-Floor/Stand, with its cedar legs, gets the bottom of the brood nest 16" off the ground. That is twice as high as a concrete block with a conventional bottom board. Plus, the cedar legs act as an insulator from the cold ground. (Concrete actually conducts cold.)
The Eco-Floor/Stand comes fully assembled except for attaching the legs (which saves on shipping). But the screws are supplied and started in the legs.
Here is a video by Phil Chandler that explains the how and why of an eco-floor:
Shipping is not included in the product prices. Being a one-man operation, I do not have the scales, software, and supplies to pack and ship myself. So, I use a pack-and-ship store as my shipping department. I will deliver your hive components to them, provide them with your phone number or email address, and they will work directly with you on the packing, insurance, handling, speed-of-delivery, and carrier options that best meet your needs.
Bee Tree Hives are a solid, well-built product of substance. As such, shipping is not negligible. But, the folks at the pack-and-ship store will work with you to get you the best possible shipping price given your needs and location.