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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This will be my first year at Beekeeping. Everyone tells me to start with two Hives.
I will use all medium 8 frame equipment.I will purchase the first two setups and then try to make my own next year.

Equipment list for two hives.
??? Commercial 8 frame supers
??? Small cell 5 5/8 wax crimp wire foundation
??? 6 1/4 wood frame grooved
2 Frame Entrance reducers
2 8 frame telescoping tops
2 8 frame inner covers
2 8 frame screened inner covers. very hot in my area???? do I need this or just inner cover OK?
2 8 frame IPM bottom boards
2 8 frame bottom boards I want to be able to service the IPM board from the back of the hive
1 Bushy MT Hive tool
1 Bee brush
1 Manipulation Cloth
1 pro smoker
2 8 frame top hive feeder with floats

My first question is
Is this the proper equipment ? Is their anything that I am missing or that I do not need?

How much of these three items will I need for two complete hives near Columbia South Carolina?

??? Commercial 8 frame medium supers
??? Small cell 5 5/8 wax crimp wire foundation
??? 6 1/4 wood frame grooved
 

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Very close, however you'll need at least two more things.

A good vale. One that reaches down to the waist.
And two, a set of gloves.

Personally, kelleybees.com is the place to call & order from. Tell them what you need and they'll make sure you have the proper starting equipment or package. Shipping, I've found out is the most reasonable.
 

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With screened bottom boards you don't need screened inner covers. For the supers 6 per colony is probably good, allows room for some honey stores and a good-sized broodnest (though I don't have experience with the 8-framers). Frames needed then would be 8 times # of mediums. Note that if you're aiming for small-cell, the bees will likely need to be regressed meaning you'll need to rotate out the foundation to allow the bees to draw progressively smaller cell size. Also don't forget to leave some (I'd say all :)) foundationless frames in the broodnest so they can draw drone comb. If you don't give them places to draw it, they'll make places. Like between frames and between boxes :doh:.
 

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Hello Brooklyn! Welcome to one of the most fascinating hobbies you'll enjoy!

In addition to the equipment you're considering, subscribe to Bee Culture. Also search for and read the thread here on Foundationless Beekeeping. Go to Michael Bush's web site and read about that also... http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Get yourself at least one beginner's book on beekeeping... Kelley's "How to Keep Bees and Sell Honey", the one by Dadant, and many find invaluable "Beekeeping for Dummies". Your bee library will grow over the years.

Ask yourself: Am I getting into this for the bees? For honey? For pollination? All of the above? The reason is, by going with 8-frame medium equipment, you are limited the size of your brood nest. Some will argue that for weight considerations, 8-frame deep, or 10-frame medium gets you the best results for colony size, honey production, etc. But that is your call. Just consider all the advantages, and disadvantages, of each type of equipment. And there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Next, get some catalogues! Dadant's, Better Bee, Kelley's, Mann Lake, everyone you can think of, and have fun drooling and working up your wish list. As you compare prices and quality, also compare shipping costs from them to you. That adds considerably, a very unpleasant surprise.

Good luck to you!
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Everyone thanks for the great advise. Please keep it coming.

Great question. What am I getting into beekeeping for, The answer might help with they type of equipment I choose.

:applause:
 

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Brooklyn,
If you are starting two new hives in the Spring, I would start off buying enough equipment for four basic hives. This takes into consideration the fact that, when you are absolutely covered up with work, with no possible time to yourself, your hives will swarm. I started two new hives last May on a piece of farm property. I thought that those two swarmed three times. When the leaves fell, I discovered that they had actually swarmed two more times for a total of five swarms. You will kick yourself when you see a swarm sitting perfectly still on a tree branch at eye level, and you have nothing to put them in. You'll need at least two more screened bottom boards and telescoping covers. In the summer, I don't use an inner cover. Last year was a very odd year, and next year will likely be different, but SBB's and Covers are not so expensive that a couple more will break the bank.
 

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Another thought,
Sometimes the screened bottom boards come with entrance reducers, so check before you buy; bee brushes generally just annoy the bees; and I have no idea what you want a manipulation cloth for. Anything you could do with one of those you could do with an old pillow case.
Screened bottom boards usually also come with a piece of plastic/cardboard that you slide in from the back to do a mite count. If this is what you're talking about when you reference "2 8 frame bottom boards I want to be able to service the IPM board from the back of the hive" that may not be an extra expense.
 

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Buy much more than you think you will need. I did not and paid a LOT more than I should have.
 

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I know one thing you're gonna get here in the south free of charge and with no shipping or handling costs - SHB, so you'd better make plans accordingly. I like the west design (or similar bottom oil trap below #8 screen) cause it's big and I can monitor & maintain from the back of the hive without protection - but 3 drawbacks 1. not sure if it comes in an 8-frame size, 2. mine doesn't have a slot (like most SBB) for a sticky board, which is a must for mite management & 3. the oil pan essentially negates most of the ventillation you are expecting with a SBB.

I resolved the vent issues by constructing both bottom & top screened vent boxes that I can control for winter use (not sure how well a screened inner cover would work if you have your outer cover covering it). My hives never beard any more. Before adding my top vent, the bees were still bearding.

Whatever you do, try to work it out ahead of time - making equipment changes and modifications after the fact are painful. Also don't leave one tiny crack into your hives, or spaces in your hive that aren't meant for bees to exist or come & go - critters will get in and then hide.
 

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If you are decent at woodworking, you may want to buy an old hive (mostly to use as a model) and try making your own hive parts (with the exception of frames). I found this to be a cost effective way to expand from a little to a little more.
 

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your list look ok except for a few items. you want a good bee suit and gloves. i use a sherriff style jacket, with good gloves and a pair of jeans tucked into my boots. it is good idea to feal safe and to get confortable around your bees before you go with out some protection. I learned this lesson the hard way and belive me thay can smell the fear.if you insist on a bee brush the first thing you should do is glue a quarter to the handle and then throw it as far as possiable. the quarter is so some one else will have a reason to pick it up and cary it off. i was a new beek this spring and i took the advise of some local old timers and only bought the stuff i needed, not what comes in a "beginers kit".
 

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.if you insist on a bee brush the first thing you should do is glue a quarter to the handle and then throw it as far as possiable. the quarter is so some one else will have a reason to pick it up and cary it off. ".
MAN THAT IS THE TRUTH...jeez, I made that mistake one time. Now I use a goose feather, and the bees brush gets used for cleaning out my hair clippers after a good marine haircut....LOLOL....:lpf::lpf:
 
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