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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's a list of my beekeeping equipment. I'm building all of my own woodenware, and am not ordering it.

Let me know if there are any crucial items I've missed, or if I'm wasting money on something really unncessary.

1 hive tool - Maxant.
1 Quality hooded jacket with veil.
1 Dadant smoker: 4x10 with heat sheild
1 Bee Brush
8 Metal Frame Rests (90 Degrees)
8 Nine-Frame Spacer Rests
2 boardman entrance feeder (Until I can build hive-top feeder)
2 bee pro pollen patties (to kick-start my nukes)


thank you
spock out
 

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Spock,

Looks like a good list to me. I don't use frame rests so can't comment on whether or not they make things any easier. My frames just sit on the rabbit. I did get a frame rest that hangs on the outside of the hive that will hold about 3 or 4 frames for when I do inspections. It's kind of pricey, but it's convenient and I use it all the time. You could do the same thing with an extra deep and put frames in that while you're looking. I also use nitrile gloves. The bees have stung me through it when I've pinched them, but they don't really try otherwise. They will make your hands sweat!

Good luck!

BB
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Spock,

Looks like a good list to me. I don't use frame rests so can't comment on whether or not they make things any easier. My frames just sit on the rabbit. I did get a frame rest that hangs on the outside of the hive that will hold about 3 or 4 frames for when I do inspections. It's kind of pricey, but it's convenient and I use it all the time. You could do the same thing with an extra deep and put frames in that while you're looking. I also use nitrile gloves. The bees have stung me through it when I've pinched them, but they don't really try otherwise. They will make your hands sweat!

Good luck!

BB
A local beek told me that he finds the metal rabbet-rests to be much easier to get the frames off of... says he beats up his hive scraping all of the prop off of the wooden ones.

You suggestion for an external rest is a good one Oddly, my local supplier, beemaidstore, doesn't sell them. Something I'll have to get eventually though.
 

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Spock,
You forgot a frame grip, buy the frame grip from Walter TKkelley, all the other one's are a pain in ..... the hand.
You also forgot screws, I prefer screws with a square recess (sold by Mcfeely's), much easier to install. Why screws, some dealers pride themselve that their equipment is screwed together and not nailed or even worse stapled together, The quality of equipment screwed together is superior and longer lasting.
You forgot glue, if equipment is not glued together it falls apart in a few years time.
Why I take the time to write this message?
I was at an equipment auction recently. The owner was deceased and his equipment went to the auction block. Most of the woodenware was home build. I was going to buy some for some beginners of our club, I walked away with nothing although everything went dirt cheap, more then 1000 boxes. Some boxes were oversized so that the frames would fall through the box, some where undersized so the frames would not even fit. I will not buy nor recommend the purchase of homebuild equipment. I did it in the beginning of my beekeepers life , 40 years ago. I bought a board to make a deep hive body and was one inch short. For that money I could have bought a deep with the nail holes predrilled.
Then nails, screws or staples., I recently bought a pollen trap. Because the wood was wet when it was assembled, the drawer could not be removed as the site walls shrunk. The site walls where stapled to the screen support and drawer supports and the pressure of the shrinking wood , the side walls moved outward and opened up an opening next to the screen leaving a big enough gap through which the bees could pass. Luckely I met the owner of the company at a recent event and pointed out all the problems. He would get with the head office, discuss the problems and sent me another trap. I received a new trap , not a corrected trap, and when I removed it from the box, parts which had been stapled on had already fallen off.
I am against home build equipment in general.
Janvanhamont
 

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use a frame rest but never put more than 1 frame at a time on it.I had bees for 2 years before I had that tho.Just set the first frame on the ground when I did my inspections . Work good for me
 

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I would dump the frame rests and spacers. After the first time working in your hive you will be able to gauge the space by eye. If there is pollen when you get your nucs the bees won't work the patties much, but you will need to be pouring on the 1:1 in the feeders. If you have an empty super you don't need to build a top hive feeder. You can just place a bottle with punched lid directly on top of your inner cover, place the empty super around the jar and pop on the lid. No robbing, the 1:1 stays warmer and it is right over the cluster so they can feed longer, easier and quicker.
 

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You'll find lots of opinions regarding almost any choice of equipment, so the best you can do is try what you think you will need and see if it works and makes sense for you.

Frame rests and spacers: Never used them. Guess I don't need them.

Frame grips (suggested by others.) Never used them. Don't think I need them.

Bee brush: Always have one handy, often use it. Others hate them.

Hive tools: I like both types as I said elsewhere. Paint them the most garish colors so you don't misplace them as easily.

Boardman feeder: Some will say they are not suited for the chilly North. I use gallon plastic baggies on top of the frames. (Make or buy a 2 inch spacer to raise up the inner and top cover.)

Other stuff I want to have with me, not stuff to order:

A bucket of dry material with which to stuff the smoker.

Matches. (Hate it when I have to go back for them.)

Tooth picks: To dig drone larvae from cells to check for mites. Or to pick my teeth with while my helper goes back to the house for matches.

Cloth sheet: I keep a piece of cloth or two about the size of a pillowcase to cover boxes when they must remain exposed for any amount of time.

Thin wire: for quick repairing those frames that remind me to be more careful and less stingy when nailing them together.

Notepad. To immediately write down those astute observations that gleefully hide in the nether-regions of my mind when I sit down to chronicle them later.

A pencil. Helpful when using the notepad.

Sharpie pen: for marking quick notations on frames or inside the top cover if necessary. Especially helpful when I forget the notepad and pencil.

Frame stand/table. An extra hive body with legs (or just a plywood box of the same dimensions) to set frames in. (Hate it when I kick that frame I just set on the ground leaning against the hive.) Hinge a piece of plywood to fit across the top and it doubles as a small work table.

Bench. One that I can sit on while doing a close inspection of a frame or wire up that frame on which I missed that critical nail. Having the frame stand/table at a complimentary height is helpful. Kind of like a Hobbit-sized dinette set that resides in the bee yard.

Big magnifying glass. (New to my list), so I can finally see an egg or day-old larvae. Might also be helpful in lighting the smoker when the helper is taking too long in getting the matches I forgot.

Benedryl tablets. Just in case I kick that frame on the ground leaning against the hive.

I'm sure I'll think of other critical items to have at the hive the next time I'm out there without it.

Wayne
 

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The front feeders promote robbing more than any other feeder. Frame rests and frame spacers are redundant. Why have both if you want metal frame rests? For a quick and easy feeder cut a one to two inch hole in a cover (20 by 16 1/4) and set a jar or pail feeder on top. You can put a super around it if you think it will get knocked off.
 

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Another opinion.

I'd say the spacer rests might cause you more trouble then they're worth, & the same goes for the entrance feeder.

I like the metal 90 degree rabbit protectors.
 

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Here's a list of my beekeeping equipment. I'm building all of my own woodenware, and am not ordering it.

Let me know if there are any crucial items I've missed, or if I'm wasting money on something really unncessary.

1 hive tool - Maxant.
1 Quality hooded jacket with veil.
1 Dadant smoker: 4x10 with heat sheild
1 Bee Brush
8 Metal Frame Rests (90 Degrees)
8 Nine-Frame Spacer Rests
2 boardman entrance feeder (Until I can build hive-top feeder)
2 bee pro pollen patties (to kick-start my nukes)


thank you
spock out
Im sure you are ordering them but I dont see gloves on your list.

If you are building your own boxes then just use a jar over inner cover hole to feed you bees. Easy and cheap.

I am going to get one of those magnifying glasses my self. I really dont like wearing 3x reading glasses to see eggs because after I wear them I feel like I have a migraine in my eyeballs.

Ankle straps are cheap and its really nice to know the girls wont be crawling up your legs.

If your bees are not in your yard and you are not a smoker, have matches in you glove box. Have a couple smokes in your glove box too (bum em from somebody). You can light the smoke with cig lighter (don't inhale like Clinton) in car and rip off the cherry and put it in the smoker puff away to start it in an emergency with no light. I smoke but sometime even I find myself without a light.

I like my nine frame spacer. Even if you think you eye em up good, you cant be sure they go exactly the same way the girls had em, but with the frame spacer you don't have to worry about it.

I was going to get a frame rest, but the price is insane. If you can build boxes you can make one of these too.

I highly recommend that you have professionally made equipment for a template or you may end up really, really frustrated in the future with all the money and time you wasted. I personally could not justify building my own frames for 70 cents a piece.

waynesgarden gives great advice.
 

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>1 hive tool - Maxant.

I prefer the Itlaian ones or the Walter T. Kelley one with the hook.

>1 Quality hooded jacket with veil.

Ultra Breeze is hard to beat.

>1 Dadant smoker: 4x10 with heat sheild

Sounds good.

>1 Bee Brush

Helpful at times.

>8 Metal Frame Rests (90 Degrees)
>8 Nine-Frame Spacer Rests

I'd skip these, they force you to use a particular spacing and it's nicer to be able to adjust as you need to and have all the boxes the same.

>2 boardman entrance feeder (Until I can build hive-top feeder)

And these because they cause too much robbing.

>2 bee pro pollen patties (to kick-start my nukes)

And they make short lived bees... and by the time you get nucs there will be real pollen and they probably won't eat these anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>



>2 bee pro pollen patties (to kick-start my nukes)

And they make short lived bees... and by the time you get nucs there will be real pollen and they probably won't eat these anyway.

Pls explain... I thought these were necessary to give colonies a kickstart during dearth, particularly newly established ones...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'd just like to thank everyone for their suggestions. I've removed several unnecessary items from my list, and in the course, saved money.

A few additional comments.

gloves-> Gloveless will work for me better, I think.

Building own equipment -> A local beek also expressed this concern. Were I a large commercial op, compatability would be a concern, but being a small scale beek, I can afford the luxury of making better quality than I can buy. Resale value is far less important than having things just as I'd like them. The financial cost has been minimal, and should the worst happen, they are cedar and will make nice firewood.

Entrace feeders, spacers, patties -> Gone.
 

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Not sure when your nucs are arriving. I'm assuming mid-May. You will probably not need patties at that time, unless we get three feet of snow in late May (has happened) and the bees are confined for a week or more. Then they will pay off. Otherwise, I have found the bees appreciate them even in summer as they supplement and complete the proteins in natural pollen. Usually our spring pollen is our best, but with monoculture and freakish weather (This is Alberta) a little insurance never hurts.

I'd say the patties are always a good idea in Alberta as long as you don't deed them too early. They are intended to supplement natural pollen, not replace it. In Alberta, generally, the middle of March is plenty early enough to feed patties. I often wait until April, since we are not in willow country and can't rely on reliable pollen until the third week of April. I like to start about three weeks before the pollen becomes reliable and the weather begins to settle..

And, no, BeePro patties will not shorten the lives of your bees. If that is all they had to eat and were raising brood, it could be hard one them, but used properly, they will actually extend the lives of the bees and you will not see the stunted emerging bees you would otherwise see. By feeding patties properly, you will see improved bee health, and the beneficial effect lingers for months.
 

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If you have a decent table saw, you can build most of your own woodenware except frames, which I would never attempt to make myself anyway. If you have a store bought hive box, whatever depth you are making at the time, you can use it for getting all your measurements from. I've been building mediums lately, the only size I use for brood and honey, and they are turning out real nice and accurate, first time I've ever built my own boxes. Just take your time and be sure the frames fit the boxes just like they're supposed to.
 

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peacekeeper,

where do you get your wood at a decent price? I build my boxes cheaper than what you can buy them for, but not much.
 

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your first year don't space out the frames run all ten first for comb to be drawn out then next year space the frames in the supers to nine. Frame rest that sit out side of the hive to place the frames in as you inspect are great, Love mine and don't worry about buying the spacers you will have them for next year.
 

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Compatibility is only an issue if 16 and 1/4 is plus or minus 1/4 and not exactly square vertically or horizontally. You will be fine and interchangeable. If these beeks could cut boxes they would not buy them all nailed and painted. If you cannot use a hammer without hitting the wrong ten nails, you sure don't need to be near power tools.
 
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