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Author Topic: items u wish u didn't buy  (Read 5206 times)
LoriMNnice
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« on: August 07, 2011, 11:25:21 PM »

Since I am a total newbie and won't start bee keeping until next year and I am buying my bee keeper items piece by piece, I thought it would be fun to ask everyone what items did you wish you DID NOT buy and what items were you glad you DID buy that you can't live without.
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 12:18:39 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesoptions.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm

Basically there is NOTHING in a typical beginners kit I would buy.

It will come with deeps, I want mediums.  It will be ten frame and I want eight frame.  It will come with just a veil and I never use one, I wear a jacket with a zip on veil.   It will come with a small smoker which is hard to light and hard to keep lit, I prefer a large smoker.  It will come with shallow supers (if it comes with supers) and I want mediums for everything.  It will come with a ten frame solid bottom board.  I want either an eight frame screened bottom  board or an eight frame solid bottom board that I will convert to a feeder.  It will come with a boardman feeder which causes robbing and I would never use.  It will come with a standard hive tool.  I gave all my standard hive tools away and have nothing but the Italian hive tools (Brushy Mt doesn't seem to have them anymore but Dadant does...) it will come with those big Gauntlet gloves that are hard to put on and off and I wear regular soft leather gloves tucked into the sleeves of the bee jacket.  It will come with an inner cover and a telescopic.  I want a simple homemade cover with a top entrance.

So basically there is nothing in the kit that I have any use for...
 
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 03:31:25 AM »

Zip up jacket with veil is awesome.  It goes on and off fast.  No messing around with strings, trying to tie a knot behind back, blah, blah.  When its time for a break, the jacket is off in seconds.  Time to get back to bees, it on in seconds.  You dont need a full suit.  Jeans, boots, jacket veil combo, and gloves are all you need.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 06:08:19 AM »

I prefer a large smoker and Italian hive tool.

<items did you wish you DID NOT buy >

This lists is to long.


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
 
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 08:14:32 AM »

Zip up jackets are awesome, but are CRAZY HOT (granted, I havn't had an ultra-breeze suit, which is on my to get list). For that reason, in the hot summer days I find the veil alone useful. At least I did until mine broke Smiley Now I barely use "protection"

Looking back, I would never get those gauntlet gloves again. Too big, hot, and bulky. Too hard to pick things up and clean. Go with neoprene gloves.
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Francus
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2011, 10:09:18 AM »

I bought a frame lifter and used it once. It is too bulky and you can't put it in your pocket. I just use the hive tool to lift the frames out a bit and then my fingers to pick up the frame.

I also have a full suit and would probably just go with a jacket in the future and some elastic bands to keep bees from getting up my pants leg. I do like the zip on veil, though, so consider that.

I also concur with the larger smoker. I bought some of the smoker fuel from Brushy. I like it and it burns cool. Using 1/4 of a disk lasts about 30 minutes, so if you have a couple of hives one package of the stuff will probably last a couple of years...even with going in the hive every week. Still, newpaper or pine needles work and probably light a bit easier.

I also agree with Michael (above) forget the kits. I use all 8 frame mediums, the gauntlets are worthless, and I like a hive top feeder.

As for gloves, I bought the goat skin gloves from Brushy. They are nice, but after a couple of months the seam in one of the fingers broke allowing bee stings. I have since gone to the cheap rubber dishwashing gloves from the supermarket. $5. I can feel things better and they are cheap. And the propolis doesn't seem to stick to them as much. Your hands will sweat buckets, though, but you won't really notice it till you take the gloves off Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2011, 10:12:35 AM »

wouldn't bother buying an excluder.  you may not want one in the first place, but you also probably wouldn't need one the first year.  i would buy a LARGE smoker and not one of the smaller ones.  

i do use the jacket veil combo and like it.  we are not so hot here.  i also use the long gloves, but buy the more expensive gloves that fit well.  leather gardening gloves work also.  and...you may be one who ends up going without gloves or just the blue nitrile gloves.

if i were starting over i'd probably go with all mediums, but i like being able to pull the whole shallows of honey and the mediums are much heavier.  

you beginning needs are simple.  as MB says, much of what they sell in the beginners kit is either no needed, or not the style you want.
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2011, 10:51:09 PM »

A frame rest is invaluable in the bee yard.

Another vote here for large smokers.

IMO every bee keeper should have at least 3 queen catchers with them in the bee yard at all times. Clear ones are best for videos. Wink

When I do use gloves its the blue ones from Home Depot from the clean up section. They are sting proof and give great dexterity. The large leather ones that come with kits suck wind but are great at absorbing alarm pheromone which they will do as they give terrible dexterity and bees will be smooshed!

Avoid hand crank extractors unless they can be easily converted to operate wit an electric drill.

I love, love, love my Maxant 20 frame extractor and uncapping planer.

Dadant's jacket with veil is hard to beat for $50.00 but my Golden bee jacket is better, cooler and more sting proof albeit a good bit more expensive.

I like one deep on the bottom, the rest mediums.


...JP
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2011, 12:00:49 AM »

I would not purchase a queen excluder, a hot knife or extractor again. I am doing crush and strain for my 5 hives. Also would never go with deeps.

I believe Brushy Mt has the best quality supplies around.

Also I will never use the Walter Kelley foundationless frames with bevel ever again. I will start another post later on to explain this.

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Francus
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2011, 09:40:01 AM »

I'd like to add that you should consider getting one of those torches with the blue tank used in plumbing. It makes lighting the smoker much easier. I tried matches to no avail, and those grill lighters with the long stem won't stay lit down in the smoker.
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 09:50:06 AM »

I'd like to add that you should consider getting one of those torches with the blue tank used in plumbing. It makes lighting the smoker much easier. I tried matches to no avail, and those grill lighters with the long stem won't stay lit down in the smoker.

IMO this is the best info so far!
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 10:11:36 AM »

Alot of beeks use the jacket only but I am pleases with my full suit for a couple of different reasons. Taking stings, anywhere, is not pleasant to me. I had rather sweat a little more and be sting proof than itch, scratch and swell for a couple of days. Dont get me wrong, I'm not scared of my bees, but I do respect them. Secondly I appreciate the suit for taking the abuse that it takes along the lines of propolis stains, dripped syrup, etc...Propolis is next to impossible to wash out. Go for a big smoker-the bigger the better. The small ones are hard to keep lit irregardless of the fuel used. Im not real particular of hive tools-any is fine by me-even a painters scraper will work. I, on the other hand, would purchase a queen excluder and a queen catcher. A plastic excluder is less than $5 and is great for locking in a swarm when/if you catch one-same for a queen catcher. I would also shy away from any type of wooden hive top feeder. I have several and everyone requires some caulking at some point and time. I also use gloves. I bought the soft, gauntlet type made out of goat, snow seal, or something Smiley j/k I wear them for the same reasons as the suit. Ive got 3 hives that are incredibly pissy (great brood patterns and my best honey producers this year). Everyone has their preferences, just find what works for you and go with it. I dont think I have anything that I dont use or havent used at some point and time though.
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2011, 10:52:57 AM »

For me...
Don'ts: excluders, gloves with gauntlets and excessive amounts of foundation (mine are foundationless), hive top feeder, but thats just me.
Do: Large smoker, extra hive tool or two (mine has a tendancy to hide from me) I also agree on the torch.
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 12:49:51 PM »

you can never have to many hive tools.   I dont know exactly how many I have but every time I place a order I have one thrown in.  I dont know how many times I have gotten to a out yard and remembered that I left my hive tool at the previous yard.  I keep a couple in the door of my pickup and 1 or 2 in the back.  One stays in my woodshop and at least one in the honey house. 
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2011, 02:23:41 PM »

The bee brush: useless, bees get stuck in it, banana smell after 1-2 brushes, etc. Can be replaced with a chicken feather, big leaf, etc

Deep supers: I used them as brood boxes as well as honey supers the first/second year. Never again as honey supers. Nowadays, I use them as brood boxes only.

Gloves: No need for it. If a hive get aggressive or for formic acid treatment, I get the blue or white ones that doctors use.

Queen excluders: I don't use them anymore. No need for them; sometimes I get a little drone comb on 1-2 frames on the odd hive.

Wax foundation:  I went the foundationless route.
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« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2011, 02:32:44 PM »

I pretty much agree with everybody else, so I’ll add something else. 

I regret ever buying and using wax foundation.  I will never put that stuff in my hives again.  Plastic is so much less trouble, at least for the bee keeper.  I like the piecro plastic foundation in wood frames.
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2011, 02:46:01 PM »

I got a great deal on a Dadant bee blower once.  $50.00    At least it was a great deal for the guy that pawned it off on me.  Tried it once then put it in the barn where its lived ever since
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AllenF
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2011, 04:45:36 PM »

Nicot Queen System.  A lot of money for something I never used.   Queen castle and nucs are easier for me to make queens.   
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marbleella
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2011, 05:02:52 PM »

Hive tools.  The one thing you can never have enough of. 
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mikecva
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2011, 05:30:52 PM »

Most everything listed above is correct for them but not for everyone so I will just suggest a light weight container for all your small tools. Do not put your hive tool in your back pocket unless you want to risk ripping up your car/truck seats. Also consider carrying duct tape and a strong stapler for quick repairs. -Mike
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2011, 03:29:45 PM »

Must haves for me.

table saw

air braid nailer ( makes life so much faster and easier ) for around 20 bucks you cant beat it with a stick

good battery operated drill with extra batteries.

And exterior grade screws with the torx head all sizes

then smoker WITH CAGE !!!!!!!
 larger one might be nice I have found how to keep mine lite and to just carry extra fuel if it will be hours worth of work a must is a smoker with a cage I have a old nasty looking smoker with a cage around it works great I have a new looking one that was given to me with out the cage
you will not realize how many times you will bear huge a smoker toting all the junk we need in the bee yard till you work with a cageless smoker and burn the crap out of your chest.

I have a full suit because I knew I would be doing removals but I would love a jacket too. But the staining is correct you will stain anything you wear my suit is a rainbow of color Or you could just buy a sowing machine and add it to the must haves I had to add one to my list this year I have worked on my suit 4 times this year and my first year I used a veil I made from window screen and will still use it from time to time.

Then a way to luge that crap around the bee yard be it a wheel barrow or little red wagon you stole from you 3 year old you want a way to tote junk over rough ground.

Now I run 10 frame thats what I have what I built and what I run right now. One thing I can say for 8 frame I find a lot more free wood that will fit 8 frame hives than I find will fit 10 frame. Free wood is wood you find at construction jobs scraps there is a lot more left over 14 inch pieces of lumber than there is 17 inch pieces and a lot more 1 by 8 chunked off reconstruction jobs than 1 by 12s so mediums have the same advantage.

But I am a weirdo that makes most of his own junk or I am just to broke to buy the nice stuff lol.

I had to add this mis tint exterior paint 3 to 5 bucks a gallon any color they got.
 



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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2011, 10:27:13 PM »

ok here goes the stupid question of the week. how do i know if i have a small smoker or a large smoker ? ( feel free to laugh at me, but at least offer an explanation, once the chuckling subsides please ). i only ask because  i had a hard time keeping mine lit early on.
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2011, 11:02:47 PM »

I just happened to have a Dadant catalog in front of me when I read your post.  If you look in there, it has pictures of their different smokers, with dimensions in the descriptions.  Look at that and compare the dimensions to the one you have.
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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2011, 11:20:09 PM »

I wish I did not buy those first two nucs in October (in the middle of a dearth with no experience). It would have been better to start with packages in the spring. The silver lining is the lessons learned, that adds value. Can't think of any tools or equipment that I wish I didn't buy. I wish I would have joined my bee club sooner!
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2011, 11:49:26 AM »

Small smokers go out to fast for me. I like the tall smokers with a guard around it. I have a 3" x 5/8" bolt with 2 washers that I put on the smoker to put it out safely. I also carry the smoker in a galvanized bucket along with the propane lighter (like you sweat copper pipes with) I use and extra pine needles.  -Mike
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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2011, 01:18:52 PM »

I wish I would have joined my bee club sooner!

 applause  applause  applause


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2011, 09:51:17 PM »

i'm a first year beek. but I gotta admit the brush is untouched in the tool box. Frame lifters are cumbersome, but I still use mine. The long gauntlet gloves are cumbersome too and i'll probally change to nitrile or leather gloves. A tool box, the biggest wally world had at the time is great. All my equipment stay close together. I use a jacket, but I made mine by snagging an old scrub jacket from my wife and putting in a zipper and elastic waist. the frame hanger is on my "to get" list
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« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2011, 10:32:59 PM »

http://www.betterbee.com/s.nl/it.A/id.980/.f

One word: worthless
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« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2011, 10:49:59 AM »

Plastic frame spacing tool. Mine is all bent and bowed from this summers heat. Stick with the metal ones.
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« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2011, 03:59:41 PM »

I really like this thread.  Great info for a new beek like me.  It has been said in other threads that beekeeping industry has businesses with wonderful marketing skills who can sell junk to the newer beeks.  This thread has helped me wade through some of that junk.
thanks everyone
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« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2011, 08:53:12 PM »

ok here goes the stupid question of the week. how do i know if i have a small smoker or a large smoker ? ( feel free to laugh at me, but at least offer an explanation, once the chuckling subsides please ). i only ask because  i had a hard time keeping mine lit early on.
Just ask her and she will tell you.  evil
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« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2011, 08:55:23 PM »

I'd like to add that you should consider getting one of those torches with the blue tank used in plumbing. It makes lighting the smoker much easier. I tried matches to no avail, and those grill lighters with the long stem won't stay lit down in the smoker.
Try to put a few drops of rubbing alcohol in first and use the grill lighter again.
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« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2011, 11:51:53 PM »

A larger smoker will be easier to keep lit.  But you can learn to light and keep a small one lit.  Still the larger one will be more forgiving.
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« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2011, 08:09:38 PM »

I would not purchase a queen excluder, a hot knife or extractor again. I am doing crush and strain for my 5 hives. Also would never go with deeps.

I believe Brushy Mt has the best quality supplies around.

Also I will never use the Walter Kelley foundationless frames with bevel ever again. I will start another post later on to explain this.


annette: how many hives do u have?
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« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2011, 11:17:11 PM »

5 hives!!!
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« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2011, 07:34:00 AM »

3/4 sized frames, none of the other beeks around me use them and alot of my headaches have been caused by not having the right sized box for 3/4 sized frames...those and a cheap chinese plastic excluder that the bees wouldn't go through. Put that in and a new box, went on holidays and returned to find a completely empty box  with the bees trapped in the brood chamber  Sad

Best thing I've bought to date are my thick canvas/leather gloves that go up to my elbows, taping them up as well. I tried normal gloves tucking into my sleeves but I have long arms, every time I reached out to grab something the glove would pull open at the wrist and bees would flock to the hole, and I wouldn't be able to use that hand the next day  Sad \
I see alot of beeks from the US doing inspections with no suit, just a veil, no gloves or just plain clothes! I have to wear a full body suit, tape up my ankles and gloves, wear overalls underneath and the stings STILL get through!  huh
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« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2011, 08:12:42 AM »

pollen trap

My wife got me a cheapie...I put it on a hive that ended up with a raging case of chalkbrood...yuck!! I never tried it after the first year, and haven't had a need for pollen since.
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« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2011, 09:28:20 AM »

glad to hear about the cheap plastic excluder. I was considering putting a cut down one on my supers next year. Now I know better. I know I know, a lot of ya'll don't use any.
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« Reply #38 on: September 21, 2011, 01:25:52 PM »

SRJ, you are not alone.  some of us seem to attract them.  i don't go near my hives without a jacket and most of the time, gloves.
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« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2011, 10:18:59 PM »

Ok, so also a soon to be new beekeeper here, if i'm understanding correctly medium supers, big smokers, and frames are pretty much the only univeral thing people are happy that they bought?
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« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2011, 10:53:49 PM »

You know what they say Dynasty, Ask several beekeepers a question and get several different answers.

So here goes:

I like my frame grip as it helps me to remove the very first frame without squashing bees.
I like my frame holder as it beats placing the frames on the ground, which I did the first few years.
I like my ventilated inner cover as since I started to use it, no more bearding in the summer and no more moisture in the hive in the winter.
I like my veils and suits and leather gloves.

The only things I wish I did not purchase are:

An extractor, because I only do crush and strain
A hot knife because I don't need it anymore since I don't use an extractor
A queen excluder
These metal 9 frame spacers
Mann Lake top feeders, because I only do ziplock baggies now for feeding.

Thats it for me.
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VolunteerK9
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Gamecock fan in UT land.


« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2011, 11:38:33 AM »

One more thing...Honeybees....

Cuz after buying bees you..

will lose all your friends because all you ever want to talk about is bugs, pollen, and nectar flows
spend all your money on obtaining more bugs
your yard will look more like a weed garden than a yard because you refuse to spray a broadleaf killer anymore
will crawl up trees, on top and under buildings to catch swarms
move the wifes car out of the garage because you need the room for empty bug equipment
and get funny looks at the grocery store because youve cleaned out the shelf containing sugar

Enjoy!


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JackM
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« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2011, 09:34:47 AM »

So why is a queen excluder a waste.  I thought it would keep the brood separate from the supers.

So far, that is my only mistake, and I have much left to buy.

I gather if you consider doing swarm or wall removal that you need a full suit over a jacket? 

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2011, 11:22:10 AM »

>So why is a queen excluder a waste.  I thought it would keep the brood separate from the supers.

They are worth having one around.  There are a few things I use them for, but keeping brood out of the supers is not one of the uses I have for it.  It just keeps the bees from working the supers and restricts the queen and leads to swarming.  But if you can't find a queen, and really need to, you can cut the area you have to look in half by putting an excluder in and come back in three days and look for eggs.  She's in the half with eggs.  You can repeat that and cut it in half again if you need to.  You can also shake the bees through an excluder to find a hard to find queen if you are desperate.

>So far, that is my only mistake, and I have much left to buy.

I wouldn't call it a mistake.  It will come in handy sometime or another to have one.

>I gather if you consider doing swarm or wall removal that you need a full suit over a jacket?

Either or will do.  But a full suit like the Ultra Breeze or the Golden Bee Products is nice for a cutout as it's virtually sting proof, and anything else is not.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
JackM
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« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2011, 11:42:28 AM »

cutout.....as in cutting open a wall to get to the queen?  Remember I am a nu-bee here.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #45 on: October 02, 2011, 10:19:18 PM »

Yes, a cutout to get the queen AND the worker bees AND the combs.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #46 on: October 02, 2011, 11:40:02 PM »

>cutout.....as in cutting open a wall to get to the queen?  Remember I am a nu-bee here.

http://bushfarms.com/beesterms.htm#c
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
JackM
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« Reply #47 on: October 03, 2011, 08:13:09 AM »

Thx, this is a great thread for a beginner.
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Country Heart
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« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2011, 03:12:07 AM »

Love this thread - it's giving me the courage to start assembling my equipment.   Smiley
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