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Author Topic: Where to purchase my stuff?  (Read 1513 times)
watercarving
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« on: January 24, 2008, 03:43:09 PM »

Where should I by equipment and stuff. For 2 hives - hives, bees, and minimal stuff for myself is a little over $500.00 from what I can find. Is there a good discount supplier out there?

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Kimbrell
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2008, 04:59:14 PM »

I would contact your local beekeepers association.  They would have information on the best prices in your area.  In my association we all place an order and one person goes to pick it all up.  This saves on shipping charges.  The shipping charges can sometimes cost you more than the item itself.
Just to be safe I would buy new hive bodies and frames.  But you might be able to buy some used equipment such as a smoker or suit.
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pdmattox
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2008, 08:13:46 PM »

Rossmans is in south georgia and are great people to deal with. I use Dadant because they are very close to me but have to buy some things from rossmans. You could do as mentioned above and contact your local association and you could look in the georgia market bullietin and to see if any used stuff is available.
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2008, 08:49:00 PM »

[Is there a good discount supplier out there?]

Each kind of has their own specialty.
But most have a bit of everything.
 
When considering just two hives, compatibility will not be a huge factor.

Just be cautious as you buy items that you try to buy the same product from the same supplier.
Then you know what product quality to expect and how everything fits.

Some vendors offer free shipping at the year's end (to move product to avoid inventory taxes).
And shipping and make or break the value of the items when you start dealing with lots of hives.
It also helps to think about the year ahead and buy in a little larger quantity if you will consume it in the short run (items like wax) .
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Moonshae
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 08:53:34 PM »

I got some miscut super boards from Betterbee, the short side was 1/8" too long on the bottom, creating a gap along the long sides when stacked. Since I said it's not a big deal to shave off the extra, they gave me a gift certificate for my trouble, but they clearly would have replaced them if they were unusable. I didn't really want anything from them, I just told them about it so they wouldn't sell any more without checking.

Other than those few boards, though, I've had no problems with quality. I took advantage of Brushy Mtn's free shipping to get my extractor...saved me $150.
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Hopeful
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 10:19:01 PM »

A reputable local beek is good for used stuff, which will save money. My mentor is selling me hives and supers for $5 a box, with frames. But for new I have found the best all around for price appears to be Mann Lake, with Brushy Mountain a close second.
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dpence
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 12:01:08 AM »

I like Dadant, again because I am close.  I have had good luck with Walter T. Kelley too.     
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wtiger
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 12:19:22 AM »

I'd buy from the closest place that has what you want to cut down on the shipping charges.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 04:17:11 PM »

Quote
But for new I have found the best all around for price appears to be Mann Lake, with Brushy Mountain a close second.

I really like Mann Lake also.  I agree that they have the all around best price.  I like to get wired small cell foundation from Dadant.  Seems they have the best price for that.
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 05:04:01 PM »

I buy all of my wooden ware from a local commercial beek who manufactures his own equipment. Save ooddles of $ on shipping. The comm beek is also a drop site for Mann Lake and ( hive top feeders and beepro)i buy some stuff from there as well. When i do use a catlogue, I try to buy from Betterbee(particularly their slatted racks). They are awesome on shipping issues everything is as advertised and i have had no problems at all. Look locally first save on shipping! I also buy vented covers from Honeyrunapairies. Like them a lot too.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 06:11:18 PM »

Shipping is what kills you.  Go as local as you can and you'll usually save some money.  If you can pick it up, even better.
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Michael Bush
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 07:33:04 AM »

Screened bottom boards from Brushy Mtn., protective clothing and accessories from Betterbee, woodenware and smokers from Walter T. Kelley!  Packaged bees and emergency bee equipment (surprise honeyflows or replacement parts) I buy locally from Trees n' Bees in Auburn, Wa.
To echo everyone else, shipping is what kills you.  But mail order you don't have to pay sales tax and Washington sales tax sucks.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!

Sean Kelly
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2008, 11:20:06 PM »

Generally speaking getting your equipment from a local supplier is cheaper, however there are exceptions.  All the local outlets in my (1 hour drive time) area a rep for a large supplier such as Dadant, Mann Lake, Bushy Mountain, or Walt Kelly.  The prices reflect that in the prices are basically the catalog price plus a distributed shipping charge.  I would pay more for the same equipment than the catlog list price.  As a result I have gone to buying quanities that qualify for a discount to offset shipping and from regiional suppliers so that the shipping is less.  The cost of getting something shipped from Bushy Mountain is twice that of having the same item shipped from Western Bee.  I also go for the factory 2nds, cost less but has a few blemishes.  Paint covers most of those and neither I nor the bees mind a few imperfections. 

I can buy 10 medium 8 frame budget supers from Western Bee for less than I can buy 6 from Bushy Mountain when the shipping and discounts are figured in.  Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where I buy my equipment. 

I should mention that area reps for major bee equipment manufacturers do not offer 2nds and most don't offer 8 frame equipment. 

Then there's the fact that some of the equipment I use is my own design and not commercially available--that I have to make myself.  The hive stands, bottom boards, slatted racks, and top entrances I make by hand and have gone through a few refinements over the years.  I have decided that the best possible hive stand is the one designed for a bottomless hive as descibed in an January BC article, but even then I'm making a few minor modifications because it will assemble easier.
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watercarving
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2008, 01:44:54 PM »

Thanks for the advice. I've basically decided to do TBH. Looks way fun.
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