Well it’s finally happening – after 5 years of research, 3 winters of saying we’re going to go do it “this year for sure” – we are purchasing our bee keeping equipment.
Just so happens- we received a 10% off any purchase Coupon from Tractor Supply Co, so we put it to the best use we could think of.
We are now the proud owners of
Bee hives – two complete, two box langstroff hives with ten frames per box.
- 1 kit for -$175
- 3 extra boxes($50 each) -$150
- a solid bottom board -$14
- An inner cover- $15
- A flat telescoping top -$30
Hive tool– for Taking frames out of the boxes (included in kit)
Bee brush– for gently nudging bees off of comb you are inspecting (included in kit)
Smoker – for subduing the bees during inspections (included in kit)
Entrance feeder– for those lean times of the year. (1 included with kit, a second for $7)
Entrance reducer– the best offense is a good defense. These allow the bees to go at enemy invaders dozens to singles because only one insect can fit thru at a time. (1 in kit, a second for .99)
Bees – two three pound clutches with a single queen in each for $200 each, to be delivered to our door in April. We went with Carniolans. ($400)
Carniolans– or Carnies are the second best selling bee worldwide, behind Italians. They are known for their gentle on comb behavior, strong early growth rates, low propolis productions, good defensive behaviors towards rival insects and ability to adjust numbers rapidly based on nectar flow. They are from the Austrian Alps. Known also as Grey Bees due to their coloring, the Queen can be a bit difficult to find for newbies like me, but I’ll adjust.
Head Nets– ok we went cheap here and just decided to use bug nets we already owned. They cost nothing because we’ve owned them for years.
Gloves – nitrile gloves are a beek (that’s keeper slang there folks) approved substitute for the normal bee keeping gloves. They provide protection for stings as their smell is a deterrent to nosey bees, and allow for a lot better mobility. We had to get two sizes for MrGillis and I. Cost $32 for 2 boxes of 200 gloves each from Amazon. This price is variable and will only cease when we feel comfortable enough to inspect without gloves. I’m skipping the leather gloves completely. – $32
So far that’s our investment- a total of $814 before our ten percent coupon. (No lie we bought a lot more then beek equipment. We also got 12 months interest free if that tells you anything…)
We are also going to need cinder blocks, a small electric fence and eventually an extraction and bottling system. But that’s for another purchase.
Until next time- have a wicked good day!