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Author Topic: what not to forget when starting out in beekeeping  (Read 2524 times)
PLAN-B
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« on: February 13, 2013, 07:17:07 PM »

I have my hives, a hive tool, smoker, top feeders on their way, veil, frames and foundation. If there is one thing you as a seasoned beekeeper would add to this list, what would it be? Don't want to get the girls and need something and not have it... Thanks  Undecided
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Marshall
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 07:32:24 PM »

If your foundation is plastic, IMO it really helps to roll on a little more bees wax. 
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goatmanbees
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 07:47:10 PM »

I like having a frame perch. I don't need it but I like using it.
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10framer
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 08:02:26 PM »

benadryl just in case. 
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PLAN-B
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 08:21:42 PM »

I am using wax foundation blue. I was looking at the frame perches and do think its a great idea, if anything so i'm not clumsy with the girls and need that benadryl sooner rather than later. LOL Thanks for the input Blue, Goat and 10...
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Marshall
edward
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 08:25:06 PM »

If there is one thing you as a seasoned beekeeper would add to this list, what would it be?

 bee Have fun with your new friends  bee

mvh edward  tongue
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 08:43:56 PM »

A cheap digital camera to take pictures when doing inspections. Looking at the pictures later, you can observe things you overlooked when doing your inspection. And when you look into the cells keep the sun to your back, it makes eggs easier to see.
Video cams on a tripod are grat too for posterity. Smiley
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bailey
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2013, 09:06:00 PM »

Each hive can grow to 5 or so boxes this year.  Have supers ready. 
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
johng
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 09:15:20 PM »

I was gonna say more boxes too. It is always a good idea to have a couple extra hives ready to go. Especially in the spring time. Once people know you keep bees you will get swarm calls. 
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iddee
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 11:38:02 PM »

If you are using deeps, cross wire the foundation. If using mediums, I still wire, but it may not be needed. If shallows, wiring isn't needed.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2013, 12:27:55 AM »

I would add a couple of bee keeping books if you don’t have any.  There is often too much confusing advice on the forums.  I recommend buying a couple of modern bee keeping books and then download some of the free old Google books for more references.  The free Google books are out of copyright, so they’re like 100 years old.  However there is still a lot of good information in them. 
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edward
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2013, 05:17:35 AM »

A helpful mentor  Smiley

mvh edward  tongue
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2013, 05:30:10 AM »

Propane torch
Extra frames and hive bodies
And a can of Copenhagen to calm your nerves (optional) but its what I use-just remember that you have a veil on before you try to spit  cool
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indypartridge
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 06:17:31 AM »

Practice with your smoker before your bees arrive. Experiment with different fuels, figure out what works best for you. When you can light it without much fuss, and can set it down and leave it for 15 minutes and still have it lit, then you're ready for bees.
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PLAN-B
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2013, 07:31:06 AM »

I never thought about practicing with my smoker, but thats a great idea, thanks... As far as a mentor i am adopting Bailey ---shhh he doesnt know it yet   grin ...lol... I had my neighbor cut me some 1x 8 on his sawmill and plan on using this to make extra boxes... Thanks for all the great advice-
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Marshall
Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2013, 07:57:18 AM »

Bees.  Don't forget those... Wink

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesoptions.htm#recommend
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm
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Michael Bush
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goatmanbees
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2013, 08:33:04 AM »

One good thing I learned practicing with the smoker. If you have paper wasps around your house, shed, etc.  Smoke them!!!  In my experience, they fly away and don't come back.
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10framer
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2013, 09:05:41 AM »

if la. is like alabama and georgia you've got plenty of free smoker fuel.  i use pine straw. 
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Joe D
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2013, 10:41:37 AM »

Something I use a lot, some people don't, is a good dolly.  One that has good size tires and a set of wheels that can be put down at the top end.  When I do inspections I will stack the boxes I have gone through on it, with it on the 4 wheels.  And when you move hives or are taking full supers off for harvest it comes in handy.



Joe
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mikecva
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2013, 11:16:06 AM »

I like having a second hive tool in case I drop the one I am using (they never seam to go straight down), a good spray bottle (I use a light spray for quick work rather then smoke) and a drape to put over an open colony rather then messing with the inter cover. 

Welcome to beekeeping and the forum.  cheer -Mike
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Evan W
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2013, 12:12:07 PM »

MITE TREATMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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PLAN-B
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2013, 12:33:39 PM »

Since Evan brought it up. hope yall dont mind if i go off subject for a moment... I would like to take a very minimal approach as far as chemicals are concearned. Is there better ways to stay on top of mites other than just bombarding them with chemicals... or is it a necessary evil? I am a firm believer that even in humans , Antibiotics etc are used way to often---leading to the (disease)(Mites) to grow resistant to treatment... If i need to start a new post thats fine but just thought i would ask... Any/All comments appreciated
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Marshall
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« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2013, 01:22:05 PM »

I think your personal philosophy is important:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesphilosophy.htm

If you are interested in not treating for mites:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursimplesteps.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm
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Michael Bush
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Moots
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« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2013, 02:34:58 PM »

Plan-B,
My "Plan-A" is to go treatment free!  I've learned that always and never are two words that one should always remember never to use.  grin

So, I'm not saying under a particular situation that I "might" not resort to a treatment of some type to try and help them out, if needed.  However, I prefer to try and go the natural selection route and "assume" if you have good hygienic bees (which I believe I do....and so will you  Smiley) and take good care of them, nature will run it's course.  If they don't survive, maybe it's best they don't!

I realize that's a lot of bold talk for a newbie a little over a month into being a Beek.  But! It's where I'm at for now.  Plus I know others doing it with success, so I do believe it is possible.
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nella
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« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2013, 04:14:00 PM »

I don't believe hive stands were mentioned. Site preparation and weed control.
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T Beek
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« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2013, 04:35:05 PM »

OK, here goes;

Watch out and always beware of the 'experts' who will tell you that their way is the 'only' way to keep bees. 

Read and observe EVERYTHING you can, including the experts.  I know that's a lot, but beekeeping has an extremely sharp learning curve for beginners and if its a passion for you (and I hope it is) it'll be an enjoyable time for life. 

The learning never ends.  That's the reality of keeping honeybees.

Follow your heart, always trust your bees and "know" that you will develop your own style and method of keeping bees that "most makes sense to you and for your bees."

I apologise to the experts  grin
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2013, 05:45:00 PM »

When I got my first hive, I was determined to be as all natural and no treatment.  Then i got a fairly big infestation.  I agonized until a very wise lady beekeeper reminded me that there are no absolutes and sometimes it's better to treat than not and not to kill myself over it.  We're beekeeping here, not saving lives Smiley (well, in the short run).  Since I only had the one hive and didn't want to lose it, I ended up treating with api-guard and it seemed to work.

Then I got my second (and then shortly, my third) hive.  I decided that now the risk was worth it, as I had back up hives and could see what happened and I decided not to treat any more.  I didn't even sugar dust.  ( I was lucky to be able to introduce some good feral / hygienic genetics into my 'yard').  That was 2 years ago.  I just pulled out some drone brood and NO VARROA!!! Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy.  Not a one! ( I know I know, it's just after the brood break, but still - happy happy!)

Now, i'm not arrogant enough to say I've 'beaten' varroa or that I think i'm free and clear of the risk.  I am well aware that many who don't treat go many years with no varroa and then can have catastrophic losses.  But I am happy with my decision and please with the results so far.  As I said, for me, right now, the risk is worth it.  Will I NEVER treat again?  I can only say, not if i can help it.  But if it got to the point where i felt needed to, I probably would.

It's a hobby and a love.  you make the best decisions you can at the time.  Keep an eye on them, watch the counts,  find good genetics when you can , and make your decisions based on what you see, what you think they need, what feels right and what you're willing to risk. Like everything in beekeeping, there's really no absolute right or absolute wrong, just different strokes for different folks.  And in the end EVERYTHING is a learning experience. 

Hope you enjoy your new hobby as much as I have.  If you had asked me 5 years ago, I would never have told you that I would love diving into a hive of buzzing stinging insect as much as I do now!

love,
ziffa
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Frantz
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« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2013, 05:53:21 PM »

Rolled up Cardboard in your smoker and or some burlap... That is the best stuff I have found..
Good luck and have fun!!
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T Beek
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« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2013, 05:57:10 PM »

My bees have been 'treatment (man-made chem) free' since 2007, never going to poison my bees again, no, no, never, at least not by me anyway.

The hardest part is when the time comes to BUY bees and relying on the seller to provide treatment (chem) free.  You're gonna pay more but they're worth every dollar IMO.

But hey, do what you want, they're your bees  cool.

Yes indeed; Rolled cardboard (raw, no print) is the best smoker fuel I've ever used.  Widely available, cool smoke, lights easy, lasts a LONG time. 
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derekm
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« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2013, 05:58:54 PM »

Ignore bee keepers, take notice of your bees and bees in the wild. Bees can survive up to the limit of decidous trees, if you let them.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
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« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2013, 06:02:49 PM »

Ignore bee keepers, take notice of your bees and bees in the wild. Bees can survive up to the limit of decidous trees, if you let them.

At least as long as Beek (havers) keep letting them swarm away  grin
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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2013, 06:05:10 PM »

As far as treatment is concerned, bees that are not treated are the best ones because only the ones that handle the mites and diseases survive. Our ferrel hives are starting to come back. They are doing real well because they are the survivors. They have developed the right genetics survive with the problems in this area. If you are buying bees from some who treats their bee then you will have to treat your bees because they have not needed to develop the genetics to survive on their own.
I agree with T. Take everything we are all telling you in and decide what is right for you.
Jim
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bailey
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« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2013, 06:20:54 PM »

Ok. Since I was adopted as mentor I guess I should say at this point your getting treatment free survivor bees
They are all that I have.  I don't treat mites or use foundation anymore.  Never treated and went foundationless about 3 years ago.  Mite count dropped.
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
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« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2013, 07:05:12 PM »

Ok. Since I was adopted as mentor I guess I should say at this point your getting treatment free survivor bees
They are all that I have.  I don't treat mites or use foundation anymore.  Never treated and went foundationless about 3 years ago.  Mite count dropped.
Bailey

Thanks DAD!  grin LOL!
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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PLAN-B
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« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2013, 09:23:46 PM »

I appreciate all the responses and advice so much Thanks a bunch... Of course thanks to my soon to be mentor, also known as DAD by Moots and myself... grin lol   
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Marshall
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« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2013, 04:17:16 PM »

I appreciate all the responses and advice so much Thanks a bunch... Of course thanks to my soon to be mentor, also known as DAD by Moots and myself... grin lol   

Plan-B,
On second thought, "DAD" sounds a little formal...I'm thinking maybe we should go with "POPS" instead!  Smiley

Bailey, feel free to let us know if you have a preference.  Wink

On the "what not to forget" front, I think everyone has made a lot of good suggestions for you.  The only thing I might suggest is use your "waiting" time to give some thought to those things which may not be an issue for a while, but yet you don't want them sneaking up on you.

You know, things like Where and how are you going to extract your honey?  What are you putting it in? What are you going to do with it? Fume Board, Bee escapes,Bee-Go, leaf blower? etc. etc.

If the opportunity to grow presents itself....Do you?  How? With what? Extra woodenware, Nucs, etc. Where? etc. etc.

At least, these are the types of questions that keep my head spinning!  grin


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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
                                                                                                                   - Ronald Reagan
PLAN-B
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« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2013, 05:26:23 PM »

thanks moots... I always appreciate your responses because i know you are a few months ahead of me in the learning curve. I do not have an extractor or means of storing honey at this point, but i do plan on building some boxes this weekend. "not that i need them yet but i just like working with wood  grin... what about you moots, have you already taken the plunge in to purchasing an extractor or thought of other methods? As for "POPS" i think that is perfect... I am probably one of the younger guys on this forum so i will just go with the flow and hope to absorb as much knowledge as i can.... cool 
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Marshall
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« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2013, 11:12:31 PM »

Plan-B,
I originally built 21 boxes (all mediums) planing on starting with 3 hives.  I got my two Nucs from Bailey (Oops! I mean Pops!  Smiley) with plans of a local Beek catching me a swarm for the 3rd.  Since then I've built nine more boxes, part nervous that I might be caught short, part b/c I enjoy the woodworking.  Smiley

I took my two Nucs that I originally had them in and put them out as swarm traps.  This weekend I'm going to build 4 more Nucs for possible future growth/swarm traps.

I've decided that for both experience and cost savings that I wanted to try and build an extractor.  Granted, I soon discovered that I was in above my skill/resource level.  Luckily, I have some friends with both talent and equipment that were willing to lend a hand.  Almost got it done and think it will suit my needs for a while....We'll see.  It's just about done, I'll post some photos/video when it's done.

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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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PLAN-B
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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2013, 11:07:04 AM »

Awesome i would love to see the pics of the extractor... Maybe i could get a few ideas from them...
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Marshall
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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2013, 08:29:11 AM »

All I can add is boxes, boxes and more boxes. Oh yeah and more frames. I started last year with what I KNEW was plenty of equipment and promtly ran out and had to scramble for more. Ended up with some boxes I'm not proud of and will cycle out this year.

 
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bailey
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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2013, 11:20:54 AM »

Woodenware and space.  The two big limiting factors! 
Boxes and frames when extra time is available. 
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
buzzbee
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« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2013, 02:43:35 PM »

The second hive tool is a good idea. So is painting them a bright color that does not blend into the grass or dirt when you drop them and forget about them.
Black and red do not show well in the grass.
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PLAN-B
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« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2013, 08:34:09 PM »

Started building some boxes today bailey... Made a jig/sled for my table saw to cut out the hand holds. Actually spent more time figuring out my jig and working out my dado blades for my saw than i did actually building boxes, but i think i have a little better system now... As far as space is concerned i'm guessing your referring to land to put the bees...?... I have three acres and a friend that has 10 real close to me...hopefully the girls will have everything they need... Thanks to everyone for the advice as i know i need it... Wink   
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