Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)
Presuming Booneville MS is your location, you are about 50 miles NW of me here in Hamilton, AL. My first suggestion would be to visit a local beekeeper and ask them if they will take time to show you a colony and show you the difference between the various frame types.
For your first colony, I would suggest using the wedge top bar divided bottom bar frames. This will be shown as "D Style" on Kelleybees.com. You will have a choice of deep, medium, or shallow boxes. I would suggest getting medium hive bodies to start with because it simplifies most hive manipulations and they are not excessively heavy when full of honey. You will need 5 medium boxes for each colony. Here is a shopping list:
2 - #53 plastic bottom board
2 - #49A plastic cover
2 - #15A inner cover
2 - #55P entrance reducer
10 - #38 medium Illinois supers, cypress or pine available, get them unassembled to save a lot of money. Specify 5/8 inch rabbets!!!
100 - #17-DC medium frames wedge top, divided bottom unassembled.
1 quart - #31B epoxy glue, glue the boxes and especially glue the frames, they will last many years longer. Use LOTS of glue.
2 lbs - #174-1 nails 1 1/4 inch for frames, use 1 1/4 inch nails in your frames to save a lot of hassle later
1 lbs - #168-1 nails 3/4 inch nails for wedges to hold foundation (These should really be 5/8 inch nails, not 3/4, but Kelley does not show the 5/8)
100 sheets - #124-SC-B small cell foundation with wires
20 sheets - #140-A thin wax foundation for cut comb honey, use this as starter strips and let the bees build most of the comb
300 - #79 support pins, used to hold the foundation straight until the bees draw it out.
Purchase locally 10 pounds of 2.5 inch galvanized spiral deck nails to assemble the hive bodies. Do NOT use the standard steel nails that Kelley will gladly sell you. Galvanized nails are much more durable in our climate. I pulled some galvanized nails from rotted out 30 year old hive bodies a few days ago and the nails were still as good as new.
Purchase locally 1 gallon of semi-gloss exterior latex paint, white is best for beehives, but you can paint them any color you like. Dark colors absorb too much heat so I would suggest light colors. When the medium boxes are fully assembled, paint them with 3 coats of white paint and be sure to paint the upper and lower rims and frame rabbets of the boxes. Do not paint the interior. You will see a lot of discussion about using primer before the latex paint. In tests 30 years ago, it was found that primers tend to seal the boxes too tight to let moisture escape which leads to premature decay of the wood and/or blistering of the paint. In a dry climate, primer may be a good idea, but here in the Southeast, it does more harm than good.
If you do not have a beginners kit including smoker, veil, suit, hive tool, etc, I can give you part numbers to purchase from Kelley or if you are willing to drive to Hamilton, AL, I have a spare set that I will sell you at a very reasonable price. I would be willing to show you how to assemble your wooden ware if needed.
Some might argue to put in the metal frame rests, but in my experience, this is wasted time. If properly cared for, the wood in the frame rests will last 30 years or more, so long as the box is maintained and painted every 5 to 10 years.
I don't really like support pins and would suggest not using them if you were going to get an extractor. The frames have to be wired to stand up to the stresses of spinning out honey. But for a beginning setup, you can easily produce comb honey or squeezed out honey with the above hardware. If you choose to get an extractor in the future, it is easy to add frame wiring at that time.
Last but not least, call in your order, you will get personal service and they will assist with ensuring everything is to your satisfaction.
Last edited by Fusion_power; 12-25-2013 at 09:40 PM.
NW Alabama, 47 years, 22 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest