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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Fairport, New York, USA

    Default What start-up equipment to buy?

    Ok, so my main questions are about the hive itself. If you could answer just one of these that would be great!

    Eight frame vs ten frame/ deep vs medium supers

    Which foundation? (wax, wired wax, duraguilt, pierco, or foundationless

    Is there a specific beginners kit that you found effective for the price?

    Any other hive advice would be great, Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Boston, MA

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    Honestly, you need to do some reading of posts here, and meet up with a local club or beekeeper. Your questions are so broad, as to render any answers meaningless.

    Can you lift 100 lbs.? 60? 48? That'll help figure the box to choose, but these choices are personal preferences.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Tulsa OK. USA

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    Wow, toekneepea pretty much said it, all things in bee keeping are personnal choices, you need to do some studying and learning to decide what you want to work with. Read some of the post in this forum and you will see a wide variety of opinions and good answers, The differences between 8 and 10 frame or between deep or med. boxs pretty much boil down to weight, as far as what type of foundation some outfits run all you asked about and maybe some not even named yet(LOL)Starter kits are mostly a mix of deeps and mediums with various tops and bottoms so again its your choice. Best advise I can give is find a local keeper and or club to mentor you and to give local advise. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Honey Brook, Pa USA

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    I went through the same thing this past fall when I ordered my equipment. I purchased the bulk of my equipment from Brushy Mountain because their website shows if item is in or out of stock. Also if you join a local bee club and they send a list of first year beekeepers to Brushy Mountain shipping on your first order is free. I went with 10 frames because I can lift the weight, and the hives are going into my backyard( I have no plans on moving them). I picked the Pierco frames for there ease of use, no assembly required. Every beginners kit I looked at had one or two items I didn't like, so I ordered everything individually. I got the best equipment that I could afford.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    there is no correct answer as it is what works best for people. I inspected bees 3 years and kept bees for 50(25 commercial) I would recommend med supers for brood and extracting. I am old fashioned and use wired fdn. there is no place in the beehive for plastic in my opinion. med equip requires more equip and wired frames take a lot of time but the outcome is a quality product. as I said to each his own. best of luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Sacramento California

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    You could also consider plastic boxes rather than wood.
    A good source for plastic boxes is Bees Forever Plastics. 530-701-3505
    Price of boxes are $17.25 for up to 42. They are all deep boxes.
    Price break for larger quantities.
    They are ready to go right off the truck. No painting or assembly required.
    Last edited by Seven Hills; 04-08-2011 at 08:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    Most of this is covered here:

    >Eight frame vs ten frame/ deep vs medium supers
    My recommendation: To minimize injuries from lifting and make life simple, buy all eight frame medium boxes. Pick a manufacturer who is reasonable in price and shipping to your location.

    >Which foundation? (wax, wired wax, duraguilt, pierco, or foundationless
    My recommendation: If you don't mind plastic, buy all Mann Lake PF120 frame/foundation so you don't have to learn to (and find time to) build frames, wire foundation etc. These have been the most successful at getting small cell comb right off the bat in my experience. If you don't like the idea of plastic, then use foundationless. Certainly foundationless is the most appealing to me as you can't get any more natural than that. I would buy the wedge top bar frames and rotate the wedge 90 degrees so it makes a comb guide.

    >Is there a specific beginners kit that you found effective for the price?

    No. There is nothing in most beginner's kits that I would buy.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Yuba County, California, USA

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    For a beginners kit, make your own.
    Hive tool

    box sizes? that's a personal preference item, I use 8 frame deeps but am changing to 8 frame deeps on bottom single box with all 8 frame mediums above.

    I use plastic foundation, but bees like foundationless or wax foundation much better. I'll be changing to foundationless, at least some, this year. I am lazy and don't want to spend the time to wire or fishing line in wax so am choosing foundationless as frames need replacing.

    get a box or two more than you think you need and get an extra top and bottom boards. You'll be glad you did.

    Get at least one queen excluder, you'll end up needing them but maybe not for what you might think. They come in handy for different reasons.

    And oh, a map gas torche really makes lighting the smoker a breeze!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Alachua County, FL, USA

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    8 vs 10 frame weight
    foundation - would give Duragilt to someone I do NOT like, Pierco works well for me last 6 years
    beginners kits - have junk you will never need and vastly overpriced
    most important find mentor or local bee club
    get just what you need -
    bottom board, supers with frames for brood and honey, cover, smoker, hive tool and veil/suit

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Cleveland, Oh

    Default Re: What start-up equipment to buy?

    As a fellow newbee, I am currently in to process of building/buying/sourcing my hardware. My swarm traps will get set out this weekend!

    • Build two double-deep hives (10 frame Langs) per plans on this site. Inner and outer covers, bottom board and boxes. One is completed, one yet to go.
    • Build five or six, 5-frame nucs to use as swarm traps. (I am willing to go "fishing" for my bees... ...I'd prefer a feral or locally overwintered queen to a California girl in a package). I finished two last night.
    • I'll build (or buy) mediums as needed to super.

    • Beekeepers Jacket
    • Smoker
    • Hive tool
    • Queen Excluders
    • Frames (I went with foundationless, I might buy 20 or so with foundation to help force straight combs.)
    • Swarm Lure (off of BjornBees on Ebay)
    • Blue Nitrile gloves. Two-layers at a time. I didn't like the leather ones at the shop... ...seemed too clumsy. Most old hands at it don't wear gloves anyway and I don't mind the occasional sting.

    EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed the date of the last post...

    Paul E. Turley
    Last edited by pturley; 05-03-2011 at 11:07 AM.


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