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Author Topic: Equipment What to buy  (Read 3736 times)
Brooklyn
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« on: November 19, 2009, 09:36:06 PM »

This will be the first year for us Beekeeping. What should we get?

I am looking at

2) Complete brood chambers with frames and wax Foundations.
2) Medium supers with frames and wax Foundations.
1) Hive Stand
1)) Wooden telescoping outer cover
1) Smoker
1) 10 inch hive tool
1) pair leather goatskin Bee gloves
5 sets of 9 frame spacers
1) top feeder with supper
1) screened bottom bottom board with small hive beetle trap
1) Bee brush
1) Wood Bound Metal Queen Excluder
1) metal Mouse guard

1) Frame grip ??
1) Ultra Breeze Jacket
I live in Sc where the summers are hot and the winters are mild

Is this enough equipment for a first time beekeeper, or is it to much? What would you suggest.
Any suggestions on were to buy quality equipment
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doak
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 10:44:05 PM »

A good bee keeping book.
If you can start with at least 2 colonies. This means double the boxes and frames you have listed.
Two colonies verses one is you have some comparison. If one is not doing so well you can see it and have some extra brood to give a weak colony.
You can do with out the hive stands if you want to use building blocks and either treated land scape timbers or treated 2x4's.
I have never tried the frame grips, I would think they would take some getting good with.
My notion is you may not be able to manipulate the frame as good as with hands.
some one who uses them may know different.
I have never used frame spacers.
You need two hive tools, one to use and one to loose. Wink
You can get a lot of info from here, but I don't think you will go wrong with a book.

One thing to remember, every thing you get here or form a book may not work exactly the way we or the book says it does.
There is a lot in bee keeping that is not a right or wrong way to do it. What works best for your set up and for you and your bees is the "way" to do it.
Like Mr Deleplane says, "you will get the feel for it.
Hope this helps some.
doak Smiley
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sc-bee
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 11:01:00 PM »

I would X the following items: but just personal preference


1) Hive Stand
5 sets of 9 frame spacers
1) top feeder with supper
1) Bee brush
1) Wood Bound Metal Queen Excluder
1) metal Mouse guard

1) Frame grip ??

Spacers to me are a waste of time and you want 10 frames in a super when first drawing foundation.

If cost is a factor feed with jar top feeders. If you want a super type Top feeder Dwight Porter makes a good one (porter bee farm in Easley) As a matter of fact all of Porters equipment comes assembled and painted for the same price or close as catalog unassembled. Call him if going to a class consider a group order to save on pick-up etc he will usually deliver large orders to clubs... I don't like assembling and painting equipment if I can get it finished for the same price. www.porterfarmbees.com/

Bee brush to me a waste @ first and maybe always. a turkey feather works just as good for a brush.

I do not run excluders as such sometimes use them for other purposes. I like free roaming queens grin

I have not used mouse guards in five years -- never had a mouse in our parts in active equipment. May have mice in all of them now, since I made this statement grin

Hive stand--- I use concrete blocks under the bottom board. Hive stands are pretty to look at but sometimes an added cost and an extra piece of equipment I don't need.

I would buy an Italian hive tool from the start --- worth the money. I guess your brood chambers will be mediums if your super are. If not it is the way to go --- standardize everything from the start. I would even strongly consider 8 frame equipment. Wish I had!!! Only draw back to mediums is buying nucs which are usually deeps in our area unless you make special request.

I'm sure you have already found the Midstate Beekeppers: www.midstatebeekeepers.com/ They will be offering a short course soon!





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indypartridge
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2009, 07:05:31 AM »

This will be the first year for us Beekeeping. What should we get?

First, I recommend reading everything at Michael Bush's site, beginning here:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm

As for your list, a few of my opinions:

Hive Stand - skip it. Concrete blocks, pallets, etc. work well.

Smoker - make sure to get one with a guard

hive tool - get a Maxant or Italian

9 frame spacers - skip. You'll need to start with 10 frames.

Queen Excluder - I've never used one.

Frame grip ?? - I thought these looked cool, bought one, used it one time...

Quote
Any suggestions on were to buy quality equipment

Get involved with a local bee club and ask there. I've known a number of beekeepers who were spending a fortune on shipping costs because they didn't know about a local supplier/distributor.
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2009, 09:16:04 AM »

I am a first year beekeeper with only one hive, so I don't pretend to know more than these other posters and I would definitely listen to their advice over mine.  My only thought is on the frame grip, I like mine.  I don't wear gloves and for me using the frame grip to pull the frame up is nicer(?), safer(?), less scary(?)  than sticking my fingers right into the bees.  I'm sure (hope) that with time and experience, I will just use my fingers, because it is easier to turn and inspect the frame using your hands and you do have more control, but that first pull up, well, the grip is nice for me.

Just my thoughts from a (very) newbee.

love,
ziffa
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msully
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 10:35:53 AM »

My 2 cents - skip the frame grip, mine looks really cool sitting in the tool box.  If you don't grip it tight all the time the frame will fall out, nothing like a frame of bees hitting the ground!  Buy the frames spacers next year, when your just starting out you may not get any honey and your bees will need to draw the super frames out first.  Gloves - yes, I only use mine when I'm doing a quick inspection and don't really feel like getting stung.  Bee brush - yes.  Mouse guard - wait until August to buy it, no need to spend the money now..

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kathyp
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 12:51:10 PM »

ditto the above.  i don't like internal feeders.  have tried them and find them to be more a bother than help.  i have frame grips and they have their use, but you can skip those.  

you might want to consider going with all medium supers.  your initial outlay may be a bit more because you'll have to buy more of them, but you'll save work and money in the long run having all your boxes and frames the same size.  check places like craigslist for tool, etc.  you may get lucky and be able to buy someone out.  having extra tools and frames is really helpful.  

two hives for sure and if you want to collect swarms, extra boxes and frames so that you are ready.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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Two Bees
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 02:59:33 PM »

Most beeks start with gloves but you will find it much easier (over time) to do without them.  I only use my pigskins that I bought at Northern Equipment Supply when I'm going into a hot hive.

Frame gripper..................want to buy mine?  I've only used it once and when the frame almost slipped and almost hit the ground, I decided to use my hands!

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BeeHopper
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 03:26:59 PM »

Brooklyn,

Your list looks OK, you may over time find that some of the things will be wasted money, I will not suggest what to leave out, but I suggest that you check out Brushy Mountain Bee in NC unless you have a nice supplier within a few hours drive in SC. To make life easier, forget the leather gloves and sub it with purple or blue nitrile gloves by the box, less likely to drop something because your fingers and thumbs can " feel ".
Don't forget to order/reserve your bees after the holidays, don't wait till spring.  grin

BH
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jclark96
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 03:51:20 PM »

My 2 cents, I ordered a Brushy Mountain starter kit in the spring. My gloves, and brush are still in the garage, never used. I have a homemade frame gipe that was never used by me. My Queen excluded is also brand new in the garage, I hope to use it in the spring, maybe not. Smoker, veil, and italian hive tool go with me everytime. I am running 11 frame deeps and 10 frame shallows at the moment, when I get a little older I might switch to 8 frame mediums. Highly recommend MB's site.
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D Coates
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2009, 05:29:25 PM »

I'd skip the frame grip, the hive stand, the queen excluder, and the bee brush as a first year guy.  Ironically I do use my queen excluders to keep her majesties from laying in the supers.  Last year it was really bad so this year I used them and they made extracting much easier.  This was going into drawn comb though.  If it's just undrawn foundation I avoid the queen excluder.  I also now use my bee brush regularly but only to move the powdered sugar across the screen as I'm dusting a hive.  I used turkey feathers (I usually get a Tom every spring season) but they get generally messed up too easy.  I carry all of my supplies in a homemade nuc box I carry around with a shoulder strap as my bee keeping supply box.  I made it last winter and it keeps me from forgetting thing as I leave the house.  At least have a bucket you keep all of your supplies consolidated in.

I'd also get two hives.  When I started one hive failed quickly (queen disappeared) but the other one kept going fine.  The confidence I gained from the one colony allowed me to keep at it.  That was alomst 5 years ago.
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Sparky
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2009, 06:31:26 PM »

First. Welcome to the forum Brooklyn . Good beekeeping books are good advice. The second edition of Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston is a must have in a collection. To save on some funds I would only get a small hand full of foundation to place just a couple in each box that is starting from scratch and let the bees build the rest. If you would like to gain the experience I would also build it all and stick with all medium equipment throughout as you will find it makes life easier. Bee brush and grip can go either way. The grip has good uses in certain situations but not always needed. The bee brush sometimes just makes mad bees. The smoker is a tool not to skimp on. I like the ones with the inner, removable can that helps to keep the can ventilated and stays lit easier. You may want to consider the BeeMax telescoping cover that is made to fit the wood boxes. It should be painted just like the rest of the hive. It adds insulating to keep the hive cooler in the summer and warmer in winter. Gloves. Do what you are comfortable with until you gain confidence and experience and can take a few stings here and there.
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Brooklyn
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2009, 09:03:03 PM »

What do you mean by keeping everything the same size? Can you purchase medium hive bodies just like the medium supers?

What is the difference between commercial grade , Select, and standard wood?

Is it better to by complete kits or get everything separate.

Are wax frames better the plastic.

I have read several books and just like the internet they all say something a little different

Everyone thanks for your help so far.
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2009, 09:22:49 PM »

use two mediums instead of one deep.

buy the cheap grade.  paint it.

the kit will have some things that you don't need and will give you deep hive bodies.  it's convenient, but probably not the cheapest way to go.

i don't think frames matter to much. i like the wood.  for foundation, wax is better.  for more money savings look up foundationless on this site and on MBs' site.

everyone will tell you different things.  it will take you a bit to weed though it all.  my advice is that you start out really basic, and find out what you need as you go.  that way you are not buying, and buying into, things that you will not need.

we all have evolved our methods of beekeeping as we have gone along.  i find myself reevaluating what i am doing every year.  it's part of the learning process.   Wink
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2009, 04:51:32 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesoptions.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm
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My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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sc-bee
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2009, 09:01:35 AM »

I'm only 45 min or so away if you would like to make a visit.

And as I said above Mid-state beekeepers should be getting ready to start a class soon in Lexington. Probably start in Jan. But they fill up fast! There will also be classes in Greenwood and Aiken. I highly recommend a class for beginners. If for nothing else the contacts you will most probably make and perhaps meeting a mentor.

GOOD LUCK!!!
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lakeman
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2009, 12:57:58 PM »

I took the course in Greenwood last spring, and for someone interested in bees need to take it.
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« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2009, 07:35:34 AM »

I bought two queen excluders and have used both..................... but not in the usual way!

When I caught a couple of swarms last spring, I placed the INcluder between the bottom board and the hive body to keep the queen IN the hive. 

Other than that, I would save my money and not buy them.
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wd
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« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2009, 12:36:46 PM »

Currently, I'm fond of the boardman feeder used with a wood entrance reducer when starting a hive. If you're buying wooden frames, I'd suggest to pick up some extra's. I've had them warp before use. I added pollen and sugar to my list.
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hairyliver
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2010, 08:57:08 AM »

The nitril gloves are a good idea.  I've been using them for years.  Get them pretty cheap from Harbor Freight Tools.

I use hive stands with legs, it saves my back, keeps the skunks away, and for the hives around the house, they look a lot nicer.  Only trouble is that I wind up hauling a short step ladder around to lift the full supers off.

I prefer deeps for brood.  Tried mediums on a couple of hives for two years - They didn't build them out as consistently.  Could have just been me though.

The frame lifter comes in handy maybe once or twice a year when the propolis gets the frames really sticky. but you wont miss it either.
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harvey
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2010, 12:08:32 PM »

I am only in my second year of keeping bee's,  I have learned much from this forum and much from the bee's am really learning right now as this year I am starting two hives with out foundation!

I originally :
 a bee brush,   used it once.  never again, hurts the bee's and was real no reason for it.  A frame grip is a great.  Use mine every time.  I also picked up a frame holder to hang on the side of the hive.  That way I have someplace to safely put the frame when I pull it out.  Specailly to take pictures.  After seeing what the bee's do on foundationless I would buy frames without plastic foundation and just start right out with foundationless.  See Bush Farms web sight.  Michael has a lot of very good and interesting information. 

If I were to start today I would buy:
1. two deeps
2. two supers
3. bottom board
4. inner cover
5. telescoping cover
6. frame grip
7. frame holder (sits on side of hive)
8. j shaped hive tool
9. gloves,  your choice
10.  I like the dadent bee jacket with vail attached
11.  smoker although I have only used mine two or three times and now don't even look for it.  I have been blessed with gently bee's
12.  frames designed to be used without foundation.  I popped all the foundation out and glued in wood strips,  the bees are going nuts building comb on this and they are building comb probably five times as fast as they did on the plastic foundation!!!

I wouldn't buy and excluder although they do fit the top of a round charcoal grill,  only time i have used mine.
I wouldn't buy nine frame spacers,  always use ten frames cept in the super second year and after then space them equally

only my two cents.  but i found i bought stuff i didn't need or use, when i first started.
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Ollie
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2010, 12:03:16 AM »

Brooklyn,
When you get your book, get one that has something on natural beekeeping.
The list... well what ever I read so far all sounds pretty good, excepted the bottom boards...I would strongly recommend a screened bottom board, even better one of those that has a sticky board underneath.
Those darn mites!
in any case, welcome to beekeeping, have fun, enjoy the bees, the honey and welcome all the experiences that they will bring you.


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