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Author Topic: items u wish u didn't buy  (Read 4939 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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Michael Bush
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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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bee-nuts
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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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specialkayme
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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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kathyp
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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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JP
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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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annette
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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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yockey5
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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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VolunteerK9
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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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Riggs
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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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danno
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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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mushmushi
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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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BlueBee
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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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danno
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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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