All the reading and instruction received tells me the hive should be raised off the ground to keep the hive dry from water seeping in and for protection from predators.
By raising the hive off the ground, a predator must reach up to the hive to gain access. This exposes the underside or belly of the invader to bee stings.
The chosen hive placement area is made level and amended with ground cloth, a leftover cement pad block, leftover 4 x4 timbers, and then mulch for the weeds. I think the red mulch plays nicely with the colour of the hive.
At the opening of the hive there is a wooden insert called a reducer. This restricts access until the hive is super “buzzy”.