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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I want 10 medium. is the grade difference between commercial and budget worth the $30 savings, or should I just stick with commercial?

    Any of you veteran shoppers out there want to give tips, I have GOT to place an order now, so I'm not chewing my nails as nuc delivery time gets close. (never mind those swarm traps of mine.)

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,496

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    You should check Westernbee.com I can't believe you can't pay shipping with the price differential. It is large. Especially if the order is largeenough to go surface freight and you pick it up at the terminal. You have a business, so it might be the same to your door. For me, they charge $50 for liftgate and $50 for residential delivery so I go back my pickup up to the dock. Their budget woodware is ok it just takes more time and care to assemble and some of the frames are unusable so you include some extra top bars in your order. They have a good on line catalog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    While I have never bought boxes from Mann Lake, I ONLY use budget grade woodenware. There are defects, but none should detract from the usefullness of the box. I'm sure that budget grade Mann Lake boxes will fill the bill and you can use the extra money in your pocket to put towards better nutrition for your bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,820

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    Budget grade from Mann Lake is fine IMO.
    I've never had an issue assembling.
    I've mostly ordered deeps but do have 10 mediums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Clinton County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    299

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I bought 10 budget grade deeps from Mann Lake last year. They took forever to put together because the box joints didn't line up perfectly, so you really had to hammer them hard which then breaks off the box joints. Plus you will be nailing into knots. Maybe this was a bad batch, but I won't be buying the budget grade from them again.

    This winter Northern Bee ran a special for medium mill run boxes at $4.90 each, 40 of them went together faster than the 10 Mann Lake deeps.
    6th year beekeeper, about 20 hives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    This is stuff I needed to know. If not from Mann Lake, who are you buying from. Will be checking websites when I get home. I want the best stuff for the least price - don't we all? and no assembly hassles.

    Thank you
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    Gypsi,I have watched your posts with interest.You won't have any trouble with the Mann Lake boxes.Just keep your sharp chisel and a container of Titebond 3 handy.The savings are well worth the little extra assembly trouble to me,but then,I have more time than money.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I have more money than time, at least in the spring. I worked til 11 last night by the time I got orders packed, hitting the road this morning, it's gonna be a long one. No chisel work in it.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    Gypsi, shipping is definitely a deal maker/breaker. I see that Dadant has a store in Paris, Tx. You'd have to burn gas, maybe sales tax? Price on 10 commercial mediums is $11.25 each. It might be worth looking into. Of course, the four-letter word TIME comes into play. Just a thought.

    Ed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Rankin County, MS
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I buy budget Mann mediums and have never had problems.

    My girls do not know the difference between high class wood and low class wood.
    Fannbee

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I buy from Western Bee and their budget woodware fits fine. Save your money, the bees won't know the difference.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    Most often, when someone has trouble asssembling box joints, it is because some of the parts have shrunk in width due to sitting around in a very dry place. I allways recomend that boxes be assembled immediately upon receipt. This is true for all grades.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    Well, I've bought everything so far from Dadant, and the shipping, even though it is in Texas, is quite high plus I'm paying sales tax. The time to run to Paris is non-existent, and at 11.25 a medium, with the number I want, it is not much of a cost-savings once I tack on the shipping and tax. For quick service Dadant can't be beat. If it is in stock, it is here the next day, and it is usually in stock. But for a bulk wood order, by the time I pay UPS, unless I had time to drive up there, I am looking at all options. If I can get boxes for $5 a piece, and pay the shipping, I think I will save money. And I've been diddling this decision for a month. So tonight, having read all of your wonderful replies, I shop. Western Bee is looking pretty darned good. I need a couple of hundred wedge frames for foundationless, 10 medium boxes, a frame hanger (so on my wish list after I saw one hanging off the side of an open hive, and remembering my adventures in setting frames on the ground last year....) Hard day at work, the great 34 minute shopping spree is about to begin.

    Thank you all
    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Arcadia,Fl.
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I bought 5 of there med. budget boxes and they looked fine. Only 2 nail holes were in knots, i just left them out. I will order budget boxes from them next time.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    So Gypsi, did you load your buggy up? Best wishes on your project.

    Ed

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,618

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    Quote Originally Posted by SunnyBee View Post
    I bought 5 of there med. budget boxes and they looked fine. Only 2 nail holes were in knots, i just left them out. I will order budget boxes from them next time.
    Slather the glue on, nail where you can, works for me!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I buy all my stuff from ML because I wait till I need $100 worth of stuff and I order, which comes with FREE shipping! I buy the budget boxes and although some of them dont look pretty, the bees dont care and the boxes function as they are meant to. Ya, some of them dont line up perfectly. maybe a 1/16" off, but if the purchaser wanted it perfect they could hand plane it down with a couple strokes and be done. Myself, I let the bees propolise the gap, as they do on perfect boxes anyhow!

    The savings between budget/commercial/select can be used to buy other things like extra frames, an extra box or two, a book or whatever you want.

    They are budget boxes, but I havnt had one come apart after they are glued and nailed!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Arcadia,Fl.
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    I priced from westernbee. 10 med. 10 frame budget $59.50 + $61.62 shipping = $121.12 . Mann lakes $89.50 total. I nkow it has to be a $100.00 for free shipping, so buy more. Northern bee is $6.85 but i do not know there shipping, it would have to be $21.00 to equal ml . Shipping may very per location.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pope County, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    You might want to check out Beeline Apiaries and Woodenware. Their budget boxes are super cheap, and they work just fine. http://honeybeehabitat.com/BuyWooden...5/Default.aspx

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Are budget grade Mann Lake boxes OK?

    beebabys.com has medium boxes for $7.85, the more you buy, the less they cost. I believe they also have free shipping for most orders. You would have to call them to see how fast they can get you the boxes out. These are not budget grade from what I can tell.
    Nick Hubbell
    www.findlaybee.com

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