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Author Topic: New beekeeper Equipment question  (Read 3980 times)
Brooklyn
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« on: December 03, 2009, 10:16:16 AM »

This will be my first year at Beekeeping. Everyone tells me to start with two Hives.
I will use all medium 8 frame equipment.I will purchase the first two setups and then try to make my own next year.

Equipment list for two hives.
Huh Commercial 8 frame supers
Huh Small cell 5 5/8 wax crimp wire foundation
Huh  6 1/4 wood frame grooved
2 Frame Entrance reducers
2 8 frame telescoping tops
2 8 frame inner covers
2 8 frame screened inner covers. very hot in my area?Huh do I need this or just inner cover OK?
2 8 frame IPM bottom boards
2 8 frame bottom boards        I want to be able to service the IPM board from the back of the hive
1 Bushy MT Hive tool
1 Bee brush
1 Manipulation Cloth
1 pro smoker
2 8 frame top hive feeder with floats

My first question is
Is this the proper equipment ? Is their anything that I am missing or that I do not need?

How much of these three items will I need for two complete hives near Columbia South Carolina?

Huh Commercial 8 frame medium supers
Huh Small cell 5 5/8 wax crimp wire foundation
Huh  6 1/4 wood frame grooved

 
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 11:08:16 AM »

you can probably skip the bee brush and screened covers and cloth.

you probably won't be doing things like shaking out hives in your first year, and that's about all you'd use a bee brush for.

you can prop open your cover for ventilation, or just place a small piece of  screen over the center of your inner cover. 

i hear the manipulation cloths are nice.  have never used them.  take an old dish towel or pillow case and some fishing weights and you'll have made your own in about 10 min.

i would skip the small cell.  if you are concerned about giving your bees the correct size cells, let them draw their own.  look up foundationless and starter strips on this site for pics and ideas.
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 11:30:16 AM »

2 8 frame screened inner covers. very hot in my area?Huh do I need this or just inner cover OK?

I agree with Kathy, just prop the telescopic cover up.  I wouldn't screen the inner cover hole though.  Let them use the inner cover as a covered porch.  They will take full advantage of it and will keep the hive cooler.

Quote
1 Bushy MT Hive tool

I find this hive tool to be the best for me.  My old style hive tools are just used to scrape paint now.
http://betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=1526
Quote
1 Bee brush

Save your money, they just piss the bees off (and you).  A good brisk shake of the frame is much better.

Quote
1 Manipulation Cloth

They work good if you use them,  unfortunately I'm not that dedicated
Quote
1 pro smoker

good choice.  stay away from the dome topped smokers,  the lids never stay shut.
Quote
2 8 frame top hive feeder with floats

Wouldn't be my choice of a feeder -> http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/feeder-compare/

Quote
Is their anything that I am missing or that I do not need?

I'd highly recommend slatted racks

Quote
How much of these three items will I need for two complete hives near Columbia South Carolina?


I'm not from your area, but if your going with 8 frame mediums,  I'd think you would want a minimum 6 boxes for each hive, which would roughly be equivalent to 3 - 10 frame deeps.
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 11:53:41 AM »

I agree with Kathy on the small cell foundation. I let my bees draw out whatever they want. I start with 1 inch starter strips on the frames and they draw out the comb themselves.

I am not sure what you mean by screened top cover??? I use a top cover by Honey Run Apiaries that is unbelievable in keeping the hives cool in the summer and insulated in the winter.  It is a luxury item and as Kathy said, others just prop up the top with a stick. Also don't think they are made for 8 frame hives. Although they have plans to make them and you could figure out how to make them for 8 frame. I just love them so have to mention them.

http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/store/season-inner-cover-p-50.html?osCsid=1712c7cb32f7d7ca8396bfbe7004187d

Another thing about the bee brush.  I find this a handy tool to brush away the bees when I am placing the supers back on top of each other.  Sort of gets the bees out of the way for a moment so I do not crush to many.  I also use it when taking frames of honey out for myself. I use the brush to brush all the bees off the frames and them I place the frames into a super into my car.

I do shake the bees off the frames of honey first, but many will cling to it.  The brush helps at this point

I have never used a manipulation cloth, but have always been sort of interested in them. Not really needed, just seems nice.

One item that you did not mention and that I always use, is the frame holder.  Prior to purchasing one of these, I always placed the frames onto the ground and they would get sort of dirty sometimes. Not totally necessary, but keeps the frames secure and clean.

http://www.bee-commerce.com/products/Handy-Frame-Perch.html#

I also like to have a frame grip around. I wear gloves and sort of hard to get that first stuck together frame out of the hive. the frame grip makes it easier to just pick up that first frame straight up and I don't have to worry about any bees getting crushed.

Not sure how bare bones you are going. Just wanted to share the things I use.

Good luck and enjoy the new hobby.

Annette


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Brooklyn
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2009, 12:40:34 PM »

Robo,
What is this? I'd highly recommend slatted racks, and what is it used for?
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Hethen57
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2009, 01:43:04 PM »

I thought the bee brush was a bust too, until I started my honey harvest...then I found it invaluable for flicking the stragglers off the frames after shaking....(I did not notice any additional aggravation of the bees over shaking frames).
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2009, 01:48:25 PM »

Quote from: From BetterBee.com
Better wintering and swarm control. A Slatted Rack is installed, as pictured, between the bottom board and the bottom brood chamber. In the winter, it keeps the brood chamber warmer so the queen can lay right to the bottom of the frame. In the spring and summer, when hive populations are at their largest, it provides a cluster space in the hive which can reduce swarming.

Bee History: Slatted racks were first developed in 1900 by C.C. Miller, author of the classic, "Fifty Years Among the Bees." They were refined in 1950 by Carl Killion, who wrote the bible on raising comb honey, "Honey in the Comb." I learned about them from John Brant, one of the few successful commercial beekeepers in N.Y.'s cold Adirondack Mountain region. John swears they are absolutely essential to good wintering and swarm control in the North.


Quote from: C.C. Miller - Fifty Year Among the Bees
I value this bottom-rack highly. It prevents building down, and at the same time gives the bees nearly the full benefit of the deep space, preventing overheating in hot weather, thus serving as no small factor in the prevention of swarming. It also saves fhe labor of lifting the hive off the bottom-board to reverse the bottom-board and then lifting the hive back again, spring and fall.


I use the C.C. Miller design that slips in through the entrance


But the ones sold by the bee supply houses that sit on top of the bottom board work just as well.


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2009, 06:50:41 PM »

>Commercial 8 frame supers

Check

>Small cell 5 5/8 wax crimp wire foundation

It's an acceptable choice.

>6 1/4 wood frame grooved

Probably you need the wedge top and the split bottom for the wired wax to fit in the frame.

>2 Frame Entrance reducers

I've never bought an entrance reducer.  They are too easy to make.  Any old one by will do.

>2 8 frame telescoping tops

I prefer a simple migratory made into a top entrance, but this is ok.

>2 8 frame inner covers

If you get the telescopic, you will need these. If you get the migratory you won't.

>2 8 frame screened inner covers. very hot in my area?

I wouldn't.

>do I need this or just inner cover OK?

Just prop up the inner cover when the weather gets hot.

>2 8 frame IPM bottom boards

Acceptable.

>2 8 frame bottom boards        I want to be able to service the IPM board from the back of the hive

This serves no purpose.  If you want a solid bottom board, just get a solid bottom board.  If you're not going to get the ventilation advantage from the Screened Bottom Board, it's not worth buying it.  No need to buy two bottom boards.  A SBB doesn't help enough with Varroa to matter at all, IMO.

>1 Bushy MT Hive tool

I love the Italian hive tool.  I hate all the rest and have give all the rest away...

>1 Bee brush

It's nice.  If you have geese or turkeys one of their feathers actually works better.

>1 Manipulation Cloth

I have one somewhere.  I used it once.  I haven't seen it in years and haven't looked for it either.  I wouldn't bother.

>1 pro smoker

Good choice.

>2 8 frame top hive feeder with floats

The disadvantage of these is you can't feed them after dark (a common occurrence when the days get short and I need to feed after work).  The screened in ones you can feed after dark.

If you use the solid bottom boards and convert them to a bottom feeder you can save buying the feeders, and you can still feed them after dark.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#bottom
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Brooklyn
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2009, 04:26:43 PM »

Thanks for all the equipment suggestions. I am off to a great start because of all your help.
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Lone
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2009, 09:30:25 PM »

That is a good list you got together, Brooklyn.  It could help others starting out.   I didn't know what slatted racks were.  I have that extra height under the frames.  It's not a screened bottom board, it's to put the small hive beetle traps in.   I was wondering how to prevent bees building under the frames until Robo explained it.  I have ever only had a very small amount built under two frames in one hive, so I won't worry about making slatted racks just yet.  The manipulation cloth is something I haven't heard of either.  What is this?  I find I use my bee brush frequently.  It helps when transferring all the frames into another super and helping the few left behind to hurry a bit, and it helps when pulling honey frames too.  I borrowed a hive tool and we cut a couple out of steel, using the borrowed one as a template.  This way you can have one and a spare or two, if you have the flat kind.

Lone
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mudlakee
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 08:34:28 PM »

Get more than 1 hive tool, trust me  Tony
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2009, 06:16:15 AM »

I have about a dozen hive tools... one in each vehicle and all the ones I've accidentally scattered about... best to make a habit of never laying it down.
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Michael Bush
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CVBees
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2010, 02:29:23 PM »

Wanted to thank Brooklyn for starting the post I am starting 2 hives myself this spring in Carroll Valley, PA.  The slatted racks were new info and as absent minded as I am I will most likely buy a few extra hive tools. (thanks Mike)  My only additional question is a location for some plan on a good solid rack.  I am putting my hives at a local organic lavender farm that has other crops as well.  Just not in the volume of the lavender (Williow Pond Farms).
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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2010, 03:46:19 PM »

  My only additional question is a location for some plan on a good solid rack. (Williow Pond Farms).
If you are going to purchase slatted racks that will assist in the utilization of your IPM bottom board then I would consider the ones from Betterbee Inc. The slats run the same direction as the frames to let mites fall with a better chance of going through the screened bottom board.
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Brooklyn
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2010, 04:48:03 PM »

CVBees,

Sparky is correct betterbee has the best rack I have found. That is what I got. Also I ordered a few extra Hive tools because when I put something were I will find it. I always forget were I put it.

Keep in touch and we can compare hives. My first year also.

Brooklyn
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