Starter Kit

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by dragonmaster765, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. dragonmaster765

    dragonmaster765 New Member

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    Hi! I'm want to start beekeeping this year so I have been doing a lot of research.I've read three books and I want to know if I should buy this starter kit or not. It costs $141 and contains one complete 10 frame hive body, a smoker, hive tool, entrance feeder ( which I plan on replacing with a top feeder), gloves, veil and a book. Unfortunately, it only has one super. I'm young and my parents are giving me a loan for starting up. The kit is inexpensive and seems to have all of the necessary equipment. Should I buy it or keep looking? :confused:

    Here's the site: http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ProductDetai ... dCategory=
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I have not yet seen a starter kit that older beekeepers will recommend. Before you purchase it, add up the prices of the individual parts of a hive, or two, the veil, jacket, or suit you want, a smoker, and a hive tool. That will get you started. The rest can be bought as you need it. You can plan on 350 to 500 dollars the first year. It can be done with less, or more, but that is a good estimate.

    The kits always contain things you don't need and lack a few that you do need.

    About all experienced beeks recommend you start with two hives. There are many advantages that you will see after you get started.
     

  3. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Dragonmaster765,

    I would go with Iddee's suggestion and price individual components. I looked at the kit and it appeared to have 1 deep. With any luck, you'll probably need 2 deeps and 1 or 2 mediums, along with the rest of the stuff. There's lots of online catalogues, and you, being in New Jersey, aren't too far from some of the suppliers.

    Last year was my first year and each hive needed 2 deeps and 2 mediums. I remember changing my mind several times about what to get; finally ordered the component parts and assembled them. I had no problem with the assembly.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. Beekeeping's fun!

    Walt
     
  4. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    Hi Dragonmaster :wave: Before you buy any type of "kit" please contact your local bee club and find a good mentor!!! I can't tell you how different things look inside a hive in reality vs. what you have read in any book. A mentor who has years of hands on experience with the bees will be the most valuable thing you can do! The learning curve is huge with bees and the best way to develop an "eye" for the best practices is to practice with someone who knows what they are doing. No amount of reading or research can replace personal experience!

    That said, I agree with Iddee 100%, all of the kits contain stuff that will just not be needed, or should be replaced with different equipment. You have to remember that the people selling them are doing business to make a profit, not to help you do what is best for your bee yard. Price the items that you really do need individually and add the items you need as you need them.... it worked out well for us that way. Sometimes items you may need later on can be found for less money from other beekeepers in your area (another reason to be connected with a club).

    You must have AWESOME parents to help you finance such an endeavor! Congratulations on having that kind of support!

    Lastly, be careful who you take advice from! There will be lots and lots of people offering their opinions to you who have never done anything more with bees than read a few books and snippets from various websites..... to take information from such people as though it were absolute truth is sort of like performing your own heart surgery. ;)
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    You may be able to start out like I did... with a complete hive from another beekeeper. This will keep you going for a while, and you can get a feel for what you may want. Then, next Nov. or Dec., keep an eye out for Brushy Mountain Bee Farm's "free shipping east of the Mississippi" offer (assuming they continue that wonderful deal.) Woodenware is heavy and this is a great opportunity to stock up on winter projects!

    When I bought my hive, I figured that was that. But then the man opened his garage, which was stacked to the roof with old hive bodies and supers and nucs and frames, most of them home-made. He wandered through, and kept pulling out a thing here or there, saying, "Oh, you'll need one of these..." and "Here, take this." I lucked out.
     
  6. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    I'll third Iddee on priceing the things you will really need. I have never seen a kit that had every thing a beekeeper needs of one year in the north. In the north you will need 2 deep hive bodies/ or 3 mediums ( I don't recommend that) and frames to over winter your bees.

    I personally have never seen a need for a suit. Hat of some sort and veil to cover the face. Fellow who got me into this said you can work the bees buck naked if the sun is shining, and a flow is on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Two of the above hives had just been moved in. Note the grass stuffed in the entrances. They had been about 50 feed down the road where they were going to remove some wood.

    Top bar hive may be a cheap way to get into the hobby. But they have many draw backs for northern climates. they also require a lot of care when handling a frame. Tip it just right and you have a mess all over the ground.

    If you have wood working equipment make your own hive bodies, inner and outer covers and bottom boards. Plains are all over the place.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  7. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    HI,
    for what my opinion is worth, I personally prefer to use all deeps, mind you you need to have a strong back, but never need to worry about mixing up equipment, need a super, no need to find the right one, all are the right if all same. figure 3 deeps two brood chambers, one honey super, smoker, and bee veil w hat white coveralls are hot but I wouldn't not use them, for my comfort, just in case the girls decide to show you the door. a decent knife to uncap the frames, any lare tupperware container for the cappings, a extractor nothing fancy 2 frame extractor works fine and not too expensive, cheese cloth to strain the cappings in the extractor when done with frames.and a few dozen bottles. Ohh forgot to add 0ne 3lb package of bees preferredly before the first major honey flow.
    Barry
     
  8. dragonmaster765

    dragonmaster765 New Member

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    Well, I wanted to buy the kit and buy extra supers within a few weeks. But, you're all right. I found that I could save $30 if I bought everything (including an extra deep super with frames & foundation and a hive top feeder) if I bought everything separately. I'll run it by my parents to see if they are willing to pay. Hopefully, they will agree. :beg: