beekeeping kits

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by G3farms, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Hello Sam and welcome to the forum.

    You might look around on craigs list, sometimes there is a beek getting out of it an you can find some stuff real cheap.

    If you are set on buying all new equipment there are several suppliers for bee stuff.
    Do you have any catalogs to look through?
    try these.........
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com
    http://www.kellybees.com
    http://www.dadant.com

    those are just a few that come to mind, there are many more.
    Let us know what you are looking for.

    G3
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Most hives are set up for ten frames as the standard.

    there are also eight, five and three fame hives.

    Then of course deep, madium and shallow boxes.

    Then are you going to use foundation (wax or plastic), or go foundationless.

    There are a ton of choices out there.

    G3
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Keeping bees has a lot to do with location, and as far north as you are located and the winters as cold as they get it would probably take two deeps for the bees to make it throught he winter (others that are in your area will chime in with that info). Seems to me the trend is in favor of mediums all the way, for brood and also for honey production, that way all of the frames are inerchangable. I guess I am old fashioned I like a deep and a shallow for the main hive (in my area that is what it will take to over winter bees) and shallows for honey production.

    A regular hive is ten frames either deep or medium.

    If you are going to buy a nuc from someone local then you would need to see what size frames thay are useing.
    If you are going to buy package bees it is up to you deep or medium.

    G3
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    that just depends on how many times you look inside of them. Some like to play in the bees more than others. You can tell alot just by watching the entrance or landing board after a while. A good spring inspection to make sure you have a laying queen and the brood pattern is looking good, check in on them a couple times a month, super them up in the spring honey flow, maybe a fall honey flow, rob the honey, extract honey, market honey, render wax, make wax products, clean boxes and frames, make repairs to wooden ware, get ready for next spring. Then if you are into catching swarms and doing cut outs.

    It can go from a few hours to full time. There are some commercial beeks on this site also.

    I am just a hobby guy, I have way too many irons in the fire. I don't try to go over 15 hives or they will start to get neglected.

    G3
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    sam:
    the first year as you are learning you will spend more time in a hive. after somewhat overcoming the learning curve (hill) you tend to make inspections and manipulation less time consuming. these inspections and manipulations are typically seasonal in nature so the time spent managing 'a' hive in not evenly distributed over a year. just casually I would guess a typical manipulation requires perhaps 15 minutes max per hive. so in the first year 20 hr might be a reasonable guess but would shrink somewhat to highly as you experience grows.

    for most beginners I suggest they avoid the starter kits. boxes purchased 10 at a time and frames bought by hundred quantity are less expensive way to proceed. even with one or two hives these items will both be fully utilized. for a lot of beginners standardizing to medium depth (illinois depth supers) is not a bad way to go.
     
  6. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    20 hours a year for one hive is perhaps about right if not a bit long in hours, the least interference you provide the bees the better they will perform both you you and themselves. With that said, you should NEVER rush your inspection of a hive or you will surely face unpleasant consequences, keep your motions smooth and calm the bees will respond accordingly. or in another older beekeeper saying:" If you act like you belong to be there the bees will treat you like that--if you act like you don't belong to be there, the bees will treat you like that."

    Barry
     
  7. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    Ohh and as for starter kits, while those sold by the catolog's look good and provide most what you need, as I have often stated I personally run 2 brood chambers ( deeps ) 10 frames, and deep honey supers, primarily for the very reasons tecumseh stated, uniformity. Deeps are alot heavier then medium supers so if your allerigic to lifting heavy weights ( like 60 - 75 pounds ) go to mediums, Also as a beginner use deeps ONLY durning a nectar flow or the bees will likely as not fail to fully draw out the foundation, but then this really applies to all foundation. Ultimately will develope your own style and techniques for dealing with your bees, the timing and frequency of openning the colony will totally up to the situation of that particualr hive, even that particular year depending on the weather.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    If you travel around the country looking at bee yards here and there the first thing that you might notice is the hives tend to be stacked to different heights where ever you might go. this may be partially a reflection of management style (purpose) but does somewhat reflect the differences in nectar flow for a given area. for those places a bit further north (than myself) you have to leave a lot of stores on a hive for overwintering so typically a non migratory hive in New York state is much taller than the same kind of hive in Texas. so the following RULE is somewhat to highly modified by geography and management style .

    As a rule you will likely need to plan on two deeps and two supers per hive. if you are planning on using only mediums then I would say 5 mediums per hive. it is almost always better to have extras than to run short since doing so typically means that a hive will swarm (or at least will try to swarm).
     
  9. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    what you need will vary according to the area you live in, the weather plays a major role in nectar flows, and how strong your colony is when the nectar flows start. As I have stated on previous posts, I personally use nothing but deep supers, and brood chambers ( deep supers ). They are quite heavy when full, but to my personal choices I like it. You may not want to lift 60 to 70 pounds several times between extracting and prepping the supers to be removed alot of heavy lifting medium supers are considerably lighter by about 30 pounds. but in any event, durning a major heavy nectar flow you will have to not only have supers available to store the honey but additional space for the bees to spread the nectar around to start to condense into honey, failure to do so results in less honey, and more swarming as the bees will use brood space for nectar storage if cramped at all for storage space. So the short version is it is better to have a LITTLE more equipment available then to have not enough.
     
  10. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Here is a good sup[plier of equipment.
    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/index.asp
    I do not recommend their frames to people as they are tough and you almost need a air staple gun to put them together. Once together they are tough though.

    I recommend two colonies of bees, for the north area that would bee two deeps and 4 honey supers either mediums or shallows.
    I would not waste the money on a starter kit. figure out what you need and go from there.
    4 Hive bodies, 10 frames with wax foundation, honey supers I like 8 frames with wax foundation here as the bees draw it out and the caps cut off nicely for extraction, (maybe one per colony for the first year with package bees), hive tool, smoker, bee brush, long legged jeans, long sleeved dress shirt light color, hat of some type and veil, gloves if your so inclined.
    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ProductDetai ... dCategory=

    That should get you thru one year.

    My take on the medium brood boxes in the north. YUK 30 frames to look thru when doing complete inspections. Not that much lighter than deep which can be lightened up by removing a couple of the outside edge frames.

    :mrgreen: Al