First bee set up. What should I get

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Brooklyn, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Brooklyn

    Brooklyn New Member

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    This will be the first year for us Beekeeping. What should we get?

    I am looking at

    2) Complete brood chambers with frames and wax Foundations.
    2) Medium supers with frames and wax Foundations.
    1) Hive Stand
    1)) Wooden telescoping outer cover
    1) Smoker
    1) 10 inch hive tool
    1) pair leather goatskin Bee gloves
    5 sets of 9 frame spacers
    1) top feeder with supper
    1) screened bottom bottom board with small hive beetle trap
    1) Bee brush
    1) Wood Bound Metal Queen Excluder
    1) metal Mouse guard

    1) Frame grip ??
    1) Ultra Breeze Jacket
    I live in Sc where the summers are hot and the winters are mild

    Is this enough equipment for a first time beekeeper, or is it to much? What would you suggest.
    Any suggestions on were to buy quality equipment
     
  2. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    The list looks fine.

    I would change or add.....Get a flat plastic queen excluder.

    I don't use a frame grip.

    And I did not see "Get Bjorn's Bees" anywhere on the list..... :thumbsup:
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    My suggestion is always start with two hives. I could write a paragreph or more on why, but let's just say it's by far better.

    Here is my modified list......

    1 local beek to show you in his hive and to talk to...... VERY important.
    1 local beek club, if available.

    4) Complete brood chambers with frames and wax Foundations.
    2) Medium supers with frames and wax Foundations.
    4 cement blocks for Hive Stands
    2) Wooden telescoping outer cover
    2) inner lids
    1) Smoker
    1) 10 inch hive tool
    1) pair leather goatskin Bee gloves
    No nine frame spacers the first year
    2) top feeder
    2) screened bottom bottom board, or solid bottom, with small hive beetle traps
    1) Bee brush
    No Queen Excluder
    1) metal Mouse guard

    1) Frame grip ??......Personal choice
    1) Ultra Breeze Jacket.........Or other hooded jacket
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    When starting out with foundation don't use the nine frame spacers until they pull comb completely outto the edge of the frame. There will be too much bee space and they will build burr comb.

    Just personal preference......................
    The hive stand I can live with out, I sit mine up on two 4 x 4 that are sitting on some cinder blocks.
    I don't use frame grips, they are OK but just something else to keep up with, I can't find mine is the real reason.
    I am not a big fan of queen excluders, but sometimes an evil necessity

    I did not see inside covers on the list, get them also.

    The list looks good to me.

    I think I saw something on the ultra breeze, they are on sale right now if in stock.

    Good luck in the coming spring.

    G3
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a brookly snip followed by tecumseh (>) response:
    2) Complete brood chambers with frames and wax Foundations.
    2) Medium supers with frames and wax Foundations.
    >go with one depth of boxes and buy frames by the hundred and at least 5 boxes per hive.
    1) Hive Stand
    >lot of cheaper alternatives and if you have fire ants these stands are worthless.
    1)) Wooden telescoping outer cover
    >you will also need an inner cover but a migratory cover would likely work just fine for your location
    1) Smoker
    >get the smaller one with a shield.
    1) 10 inch hive tool
    1) pair leather goatskin Bee gloves
    5 sets of 9 frame spacers
    >my finger accomplish the same function and they do not keep you from placing 10 frames in the box if you desire.
    1) top feeder with supper
    >there is a ca-zillion alternatives that are much cheaper (approaching $0) that do just as good a job.
    1) screened bottom bottom board with small hive beetle trap
    >screened bottom boards may be good or may be bad the jury is out on those here.
    >hive beetle traps... some work and some seem to not work.... choose wisely.
    1) Bee brush
    >a good investment if you need to take off a frame or a single box of honey.
    1) Wood Bound Metal Queen Excluder
    >a good choice if you are in an active shb area (I use the plastic ones also but you need to take them off fairly promptly)
    1) metal Mouse guard
    >again a bunch of alternatives that cost little and work just fine here.

    1) Frame grip ??
    >I have one that is almost never been used.
    1) Ultra Breeze Jacket
    >pricey buy they are very nice on a hot day. if your inspections are going to be infrequent on not so long in duration then a pollinator's jacket work just fine and they are easy to get into and out of and provide fairly adequate protection.
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I'm thinking iddee meant 4 cement blocks per hive ...for a total of 8 if you are going to set up 2 hives. I got the "half blocks" (8x8x8) because they are easier to carry around.

    I also second "no queen excluder." My bees refused to cross it, so I removed it and have had no problems. It does make a dandy cooling rack for baked goods, though.

    If you are just taking a small amount of honey from a small number of hives, I find the triangle bee escape very useful. It takes longer to clear the bees from a super than other methods, but is less labor intensive and I'm in no hurry.
     
  7. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I type this out in case anyone has never read this before...

    The reason I suggest a flat plastic queen excluder, is that if you rotate it 90 degrees, you allow a one inch space in the front and back of the box, where bees can cross between the boxes without actually going through the excluder. You can not use the wood bound excluder in this manner. The queen almost never goes to the edge of the frames and crosses over.

    Coupled with an upper entrance above the excluder (a hole in the super), and you will never have problems with bees not putting nectar in the supers.

    Using excluders, or keeping the queen from laying in the supers, allows you to store the supers after use, with almost no problems with wax moth damage or even SHB damage. So you eliminate aditional expenses replacing destroyed comb, putting nasty chemicals in the hive to fend off the wax moths, or other time consuming practices.

    I don't always use excluders. But in recent years, I take my honey off after the main flow. With summer splits, I leave anything after July first, going to the bees. Taking off that honey at that time involves knowing the queen is not laying in the supers.

    I hear lots of people who go to take honey off later in the summer, after using no excluder, then ask what to do when the queen is still laying in the honey supers. In poor honey years, it may take all summer for the queen to be pushed out of the supers.

    Plastic excluders turned sideways, coupled with upper entrances equals management options and control, while eliminating comb damage. No better than that... :thumbsup:
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    that is a dandy idea, never heard of doing it that way.

    G3
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That is good for the commercial beek, or for some one trying to get maximum honey, than feed the bees for the winter. If the broodnest is still extending up into the super, there isn't enough honey left for the bees to winter on. I only take a super off if the honey dome is below the super and the super is fully capped. I get less honey, but also feed less.

    You are right about the moths, tho. They don't bother comb as bad if it hasn't had brood in it.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    hobie writes:
    I also second "no queen excluder." My bees refused to cross it, so I removed it and have had no problems. It does make a dandy cooling rack for baked goods, though.

    tecumseh:
    I have always used queen excluder to some degree for queen rearing although my two commercial mentors were pretty much 'a queen excluder is a honey excluder crowd'. the more educated of the the two was a bit more thought out in that he also recognized what a huge problem such a fragile item as a queen excluder would be for a reasonable large migratory operation.

    now I use excluder more and more and for lots more than queen rearing. a good deal of this change started upon reading an article in one of the old bee magazines on a very well designed test which was designed to answer the question specifically... 'is a queen excluder a honey excluder?' the level of work that went into the experiment was quite impressive.... over the season they not only measured honey produced but during the season they measured brood area (several times). over the season measurements internal to the hive pretty much told what was happening insider the hive.

    to cut to the chase somewhat.... whether a queen excluder is or is not a honey excluder is how the excluder is deployed and the set up of the hive. properly used the honey excluder will not only yield benefits in regards to storing supers but can also increase honey yield (since the surplus is all above the excluder and is not distributed all over the hive) and a reduction in swarming tendencies (due to less congestion in the brood nest). it also has the side benefit that since you know exactly where the brood area is located you can limit dirsturbing the brood area in simple inspections which tend to make the bees less defensive (stingy).

    after reading the article I performed my own test on 12 hives (all in one yard).

    the trick (if you wish to call it that) is to close off the lower entrance altogether and allow for an entrance above the queen excluder (I used standard construction building shims just above the excluder). the most obvious benefit of this set up is that the field bees no longer need to pass thru the brood nest to get to the area where honey is stored and thereby they also do not crowd the brood nest (as they come and go). over the season these same hive also tended to not backfill the brood nest early (which along with crowding are two prime factors contributing to swarming).
     
  11. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Good info, Tec! :thumbsup:
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Well, Tec, we all have opinions. Mine says the results of the trials you speak of came from upper entrances, rather than queen excluders. The same results, I think, would be obtained with no excluders while using only upper entrances.
     
  13. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    most of what I would use already stated:
    Telescoping outer cover
    Inner cover--to prevent bees from propolizing the outer cover to supers/ brood chambers--and possibly damaging the outer cover, while prying it off.
    2 brood chambers with foundation in 10 frames
    2 deep supers ( personal preference )
    Queen excluder to prevent queen from laying in supers and delaying removal of honey supers, bees absolutely won't abandon brood. If you take a brood frame with nurse bees and place it in the middle of the super above the brood chamber the bees will readily cross into the honey supers, as the brood hatches out the bees will clean it up and store in the now vacant cells
    reversable bottom board with slatted rack to encourage bees to build comb all the way down to bottom bar of frames
    bee escape for removing supers--bees will vacate supers almost entirely within 24 hours if brood isn't present.
    10 inch hive tool
    smoker. bee suit--with gloves the suit is somewhat hot but provides false sense of security so you work smoother and easier--infact if the bees are nasty not much of anything will prevent you from having a bad hair day.
    hive top feeder when feeding bees for early build up and drawing frames, is easiest and surest way to feed and avoid robbing. Also as Iddee stated--I would also provide a upper entrance particularly when the weather get hotter--better ventilation, bees go directly to store honey rather then congesting the brood chambers : lastly mouse guard thumbsup:
    Barry