Hi, North Dakota here, new to the homesteading scene and beekeeping was definitely on the list but never thought it would come so soon..
Was visiting a nearby homesteader who was selling shares in their dairy cow and the conversation of beekeeping came up,, they recently purchased some hives and had gotten started ,, I asked for any information on where could I get some as some of the bigger commercial apiaries wouldnt return phone calls.
They gave me the number and I made a call,, the lady said she had two deep supers and matching set of lids and shallows with bottoms full of frames some with wires some without.. for 30 dollars each .I said I'd love to have them when could I come get them,,well she was snowed in at the time and we'd have to wait for a good spring thaw.
Needless to say the day came when it was time for me to go pick up my starter hives and before I left the house I made another call to her hoping that she might have some extra equipment or tools to sell along with , perhaps a netting with a hat, gloves or even a smoker I was hoping for and keeping my fingers crossed,, she replied yes I have some I'll show you when you come up.
When I got there she had 12 hives altogether most complete with frames in each super and several boxes of foundation wired and unwired, a nice big box of catalogs and older beekeeping magazines, two suits hanging on hangers and a two frame hand cranked honey extractor on a wood stand that she had built.
When I asked how much she would be willing to part with she replied I'll let it all go for 500 is that too much for you.. NOPE!!!
So we made a deal that day.. we are breaking it all up into 4-5 package trips each payday I go and get more a few hives at a time or what ever until we reach the 500 mark then I bring the rest of it home..
Some of the frames need work and cleaning as well as the inside of each super and lid and so forth
What I need to know is I was thinking to use a lil Shark steamer to clean everything on the inside,, these all came from Colorado.. she decided the winters here were too harsh for her to do it anymore and she is also concerned about her not being able to lift the supers at her age..which I can see as she is more petite than I am and just a bit older,, I"m 53 and stand 5'3"I intend to scrape off all the old paint that is crackling and peeling and need to know should I prime everything before painting and what should I paint them with..
And what surfaces should I leave bare and unpainted..
Before I order bees I want to do a lot of reading and research to minimize mistakes and errors,
We live on a farm in the foothills of the mountains here where there is an overabundance of chokecherries, wild plums, juneberries and a very large alfalfa field nearby..plus several ponds that dont dry up in summer..and a creek that stays pretty full as well.
I've been told its bee heaven here..
I've already gotten the printouts from the county agent here on overwintering bees and how to do it and what to expect..
Am very excited here.. this will add to my ability to be self reliant.. I figger its never to late to start..
We also have 9 horses, 14 grey backed geese, two of which are Pomeranians, one royal palm tom turkey, 7 barred rock laying hens, 26 Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats ranging from does to wethers and two bucks and three babies, three dogs 4 pups several cats..and 4 wild turkeys that love to hang out with our Tom once in a while,, Its heaven here..