To get me started as a new beekeeper, my local club supplied me with a load of hive equipment. The club had been asked to remove the hives etc from the estate of a beekeeper who had recently passed away. The equipment was offered to me, and any excess stuff (like spare foundation) was given to other members of the club. In this way, the entry barriers for beginners are almost completly removed. They provided a brood box, supers, lid, excluder, foundation, and varroa strips. This really gave me a good start. For the club, it's a good way to maximise the chances of gaining new members, as the only remaining costs for me, really were a smoker, and my protective gear.
The hive was delivered by a colleague from work (also a beekeeper and the person that sparked my interest). This design is a British "National" the most popular of the designs in the UK.
A quick check inside reveals the castellated spacers, and the fact it's quite heavily propolised. This isn't a problem though. I've got the winter months to finish any maintenance, and blow torch the inside to reduce any chance of disease.
The excluder looks a bit squashed, but it's got no major damage, so should be fully functional
The brood box has frames - although only 9, about 2 short of the required number.
As a result, the bees have built plenty of brace comb. I wonder if the hive may have been unused, and a swarm moved in? Anyway the frames are in such a state, their isn't much to do other than melt them down
Here I'm using a pan in a water bath, to keep the temeperture just right. I noticed a couple of wax moth larvae whilst doing this, so I must have got to it just in time.
It's really melted down now, so ready to filter. (Sorry, forgot to rotate this picture)
And heres some of the wax. I make a lot of furniture, so actually have a use for beeswax.
I was also donated a cardboard box full of stuff, so though I'd better have a look through it. These frames have already been wired with foundation - that'll save me a job!
And just in case the varroa get too much, theres even some treatment strips
Finally, a good selection of foundation for the remaining frames. In the end most of the frames were in such poor condition I decided to buy new ones, all hoffman spacing, but I did manage to use all the foundation.
Well, I thought that was a pretty good start, but decided I needed to have a bit more equipment, as I hoped to obtain a swarm later in the season.
See my next post!