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Aspiring Beekeeper needs help:
I am looking to purchase the Beginner beekeeping kit from betterbee products, www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=219 is this to much equipment for just starting out? I am wanting to do this for my kids whom are 10 and 11 to get them into it for thier 4H project as well as to teach them a little about nature and make a little coin in the process. I am not overly concerned about making alot of money if any, this is just a hobby I have really wanted to get into for a long time. I also live in a subdivision out in the county on Half acre tracts. Yes I checked to see if there was anything in the HOA which there wasnt but any ideas of how to reduce my beehive's visibility so as not to alarm people (my neighbors all for it he is retired and has a huge garden so its a plus for him). I was thinking about putting them near some bushes would that be a bad idea as long as I am not blocking their ventilation?.....sorry I have a ton of questions.
 

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Re: b) First equipment & supplies to obtain

I am looking to purchase the Beginner beekeeping kit from betterbee products, www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=219 is this to much equipment for just starting out?
No, in fact it's too little for your situation. You need at least 2 more hats, veils, and pairs of gloves since you're doing this with your two boys... other than that, it's a good setup for a single hive, but the usual recommendation is to start with 2 hives because it's actually easier to manage 2 than just one.
 

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hello,its better to start with two hives i agree.too much self stress with one for survivability after one winter.As far as cost i figure shipping is always the hard part for me.seems shipping little product for big cost its average i guess.
 

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When I started I didn't buy a kit because they are selling you what they want you to have. Hopefully you’ve done some reading/research and will come to a decision of how you want to proceed and what you want to put in your hives. They’re selling you plastic frames. You may decide to go foundationless and never use them, which translates to wasted money. I did find the hobbyist smoker didn’t hold enough fuel and burned out before I finished those slow beginner inspections, although I did start with 4 hives. I guess my point is do your homework and have an idea of what you want, not what they’re packaging up for you. Look through the catalogs and web sites and you may find you can get exactly what you want at a better price than the kit they put together for you. You will probably end up buying things that you don't like or use, but make them things you picked out. Good luck…..DD
 

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I am not advocating any particular supply company here... but as a thought on a way to save a little money, check out the Beginner Kit from "Brushy Mountain Bee Farm" that comes with only 1 brood box, associated components, and equipment. Then purchase "unassembled" boxes and other components/items you will need seperately. I believe you can save quite a bit of money this way. If you add it up, for 1 hive, you will save approximately $ 80. Use that saved money to get the components and protective equipment for the 2nd hive.

10 Frame Beginner Kit (1 Box) $140.00 (Includes Smoker, Veil, Gloves, etc.)
1 Deep Brood Box with Frames 25.00
2 Shallow Super w/Frames 40.00
 

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Before you jump out there and start buying equipment, I would suggest you get with another beek in your area or get involved with a club and let them advise you about what works in your area and how you should start. there is a beek in Ennis, goes by the name "Hambone" on this forum. Send him a pm and see if he can give you some advise. There are also some beek clubs in your area, I'm sure he will have information on them as well. Good luck.
 

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I ran a TBH in my backyard because it was easier to hide my first yr. No one knew what it was. You can make the TBH a lot cheaper too.
 

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Find a bee school in your area and purchase equipment there or find out the vendors and order your equipment and they will bring it to the school for free. You will also enjoy the learning opportunity and meeting beeks. I know I do.
 

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Mr Cool Bean,
In the Dallas area there are four clubs, the closest one to you is the newly erected Trinity Valley club which meets on the first Wednesdaqy of the month, this tomorrow evening. This is the best club in the area as it caters mostly to new beekeepers. They meet in Eastfield college at 7PM in room 100C. This months program is about spring management and they will be bringing in two speakers from the Collin County Hobby beekeepers club which meets on the second Monday of the month in McKinney. Another club is in Tyler and they meet on the first Thursday of the month. Another club is the Metro Beekeepers which meets in Burleson on the second Monday of the month. There is also a club in Waco which meets the last Tuesday of the month
Hope to see you tomorrow evening.
Janvanhamont
 

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Give me shout. I will help ya out. My personal opinion I wouldn’t buy a starter kit. I would join one of the clubs if you can make the meetings. There are a few other beeks in the DFW area that I am sure would help you out too.
 

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Agreed (can that even happen tween beeks??) I would not purchase the kit. You will end up replacing some of it with something you like better down the road. Welcome to this crazy hobby.
 

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In addition to all the great advice you've been given, I would suggest getting catalogues from several different suppliers. Then figure out your distance for shipping purposes from each. Specifically, which shipping zone are you in? Because shipping charges eat you alive sometimes. So what if Vendor A is cheaper, but he's in Timbuktoo and Vendor B is one state away. Guess which will be cheaper to buy from?
Welcome, and good luck!
Steven
 
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