Your first blog post!
Posted by Billie Hiett on Feb 15th 2014
Good morning, all you beekeepers and those thinking about starting to keep bees.
We are Keith and Billie Hiett of Defyant Stands, an owner run and operated start-up.
Keith had some experience with beekeeping before we married nine years ago, but when he started keeping bees again, he quickly ran into the problem of ants getting into our hives. Seeking a solution, he designed a beehive stand to keep ants out of hives.
Here in Texas we struggle with fire ants, but a number of our customers are addressing problems with other types of ants getting into their hives. For years beekeepers, who generally are very resourceful people, have been piecing together ways to try to keep ants out of their hives. Reused plastic cups that break down over time in the sun, various types of containers used as little "moats", miscellaneous items from the hardware store. Nothing of this is new.
Keith wanted to make something sturdy that would weather well, be kind to the environment & keep maintenance low. Who wants to check on their beehives to discover the recent rainstorm has washed away their efforts?
I think he has succeeded. And the stands are not fixed in one place. If we want to relocate a hive, the stand is easy to pick up and move with very little effort. The debris deflectors screw up to make it easier to fill the "moats" with oil. (We use olive oil) then screw back down to a position that still has a gap, but that discourages bees and animals from getting into the oil. And the deflectors help keep dirt and debris from falling into the oil.
An interesting fact about honeybees is that they will construct their comb in a level fashion, regardless if their box is level or not. The threaded rods in our stands can help you get that last little bit of leveling just right, up to an inch.
We sell mostly over the internet, but do some live demonstrations at beekeepers' meetings. Mr. J. Hill wrote the following about us on a beekeepers' forum:
"The inventor (of Defyant Stands) was at our local beekeepers meeting tonight demonstrating the hive stand. They had a drawing for one and I won it. Seems to be well built and easy to set up. It's very adjustable and well thought out."
One customer of ours, B. Dorner of Indiana, wrote the following after receiving his stands:
"Keith and Billie,
The stands arrived, and they are great! The workmanship and packaging were extremely impressive. The welds are sturdy and perpendicular. The paint is thick and glossy. The threads are all very smooth. I can't wait to get out there and use them . . . No more shims or ants!"
We would love to help you keep ants out of your beehives, too. And we welcome your questions and comments. Please send them to Defyantstands@gmail.com