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Bee Hive Equipment Reviews

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Post as of, January 22, 2023. Boxes, I have used many brands. I like the boxes that are dipped. Better Bee boxes, I really like. $66 for a 10 frame deep, with waxed foundation, from amazon. There is an off brand on Amazon, Dipped and waxed foundations for $ 55. They are nice. Vevor has hives cheap. You can buy with or without frames, free shipping. The hives are under $200. I think it was 4 or 5 boxes. The equipment is pretty good, you will have to paint the boxes and wax the foundation. These come from China, but they are cheap and work well. Vevor also has great prices on extractors. 4 frame electric extractor for about $200. I've used this one for 2 seasons. You can get a bottom board, inner and top, sold as a bundle for $39, from Mann Lake. Free shipping if you spend $150. For honey bottles, I found the cheapest price at Webstore online. Some places have cheaper prices, but the shipping is crazy. I have to buy most of my equipment online, because it 150 mile round trip to the nearest beehive supplier. I also make a lot of equipment.
Hope this helps, buy early.
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Similar opinions here.

I really like betterbee woodenware, at least the hive boxes. I think they are a good value.

I recently bought some vevor equipment because the price was insanely cheap. I think it was 175 for a complete 10 frame hive: covers, bottom board, two deeps, two mediums, and all frames and foundation. I haven't put it together yet and I am sure the quality will be less than betterbee but I was curious to try it.
 

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I ordered a couple Vevor hives last year during a sale. With a Honey/Cently coupon they came out even cheaper. After staining and sealing they still look great today. The foundation is unwaxed so that could be a disadvantage to someone without the setup for waxing them. The boxes went together really well and I love the dovetails. I glued every part of the joint and they seem a lot tighter than the box joints I've run into.

They had another sale a few weeks ago and I picked up 4 more, the combo with 1 deep and 4 supers. I'm slowly converting all my production hives to 10f and these came out at least 50% cheaper than doing it from a major bee supplier. The boxes alone would cost more than I paid for these kits.

I used a spar urethane sealant that I've used on my hive bodies in the past. Those bodies are pushing 10 years old, and still look great, so I stuck with it. That may be a key with this equipment for them to hold up, even a high quality exterior paint would help them last (like most equipment) They claim they are cedar but I'll have to give it a good sniff, I'm not one of those who can tell by just looking. They seem lighter in weight than the pine boxes from Mann Lake but in my climate I don't see that as an issue.

If I see anything failing it would be the bottom board or the telescoping cover. Just from handling them I could see water taking their toll. But with the Mann Lake $39 combo I'd be okay if I ever needed to replace any of them.

I have no doubt you can find better quality equipment, pre-dipped or otherwise, but for my needs these have so far fit the need and the price.
 

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They are using fir, not cedar. Unprotected by coatings, fir will have half the life of cedar. Make sure you keep up on the finishes on the boxes as they may need more maintenance than you are used to.
 

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Mutts and Carniolans in Langs.
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North Georgia USA Zone 7b
They are using fir, not cedar.
Think they use whatever they can get. Descriptions sometimes say pine instead of cedar. First one I bought three years ago had a cedar smell, two a year later did not. One I bought a year ago is still in the box... (All from Walmart)
 

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The ones I just received don't smell like pine. Probably a white cedar.

Regardless, they aren't showing any sign of wear after a year in the sun and rain, so for around $100 for a top, bottom, and 5 boxes. I'll take it.

BTW, I'm using the Varathane brand Spar Urethane - Oil based gloss. I still need to stain this recent order, which is quite a chore on its own. But by the look of these 8-10 year old boxes it must work. These are all from Mann Lake so we'll see how the Vevors compare.

To keep the thread on topic. I'd love to hear other reviews, as well as how they've held up with time.

Plant Wood Tree Apiary Rectangle
 
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