Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall pictures

As the Goldenrod is just getting started I decided to take some pictures of the Hives going into the fall. As I said in the beginning I started with two Hives both with Russian / VSH they seemed to be doing OK . Then the next thing I knew the bees did not care for them so they changed them out and things started to really get going. Those two hive are three mediums high going into winter and real strong. the days are starting to only get in the mid 80's. So I was not surprised when one of the hives started to slow down before the goldenrod started. Then a friend gave me a hive with a Russian queen they were doing well until that great day when 18 came to meet me and say hello like only a honeybee can. So I decided to replace that queen with a Minnesota Hygienic x VSH stock. from Olivarez Honey Bees. What a great Queen.

This is the Queen I added in Mid August I think she is doing Great. What do you think?
Boy can these girls bring in the goldenron.




It was like a snow day for the girls.


I wounder if they do have fun while they work???











Family does not understand how I can watch these girls fly and do there thing.
 Well hope you all enjoy the pictures. We still have some warm weather to come so I will take more in the next two weeks.







Monday, August 30, 2010

Late in the season

It is getting late in the season but I wanted to try some things out for next year. The first thing I tried was how do I want to feed the bees if I have to. I tested three ways. The top hive feeder, open feeding, and the front entrance feeder or boardmen feeder.

Boardman (Entrance) Feeder
This feeder fits in the entrance of the hive.  It is simple to use without disturbing the bees much, but care should be taken so as not to cause robbing because of it's proximity to the entrance.  It is also not good for cold weather feeding as the bees won't break the cluster to access the feeder.   One other good use of this feeder is to supply water to the bees when the weather is hot and dry. Not my favorite feeder bees are everywhere and until the feeder is empty you can not get near it. This could of been because at this time of year 8/30/2010 in SC there is very little of anything around for the bees other then pollen.

The second feeder I tried is the open feeder. don't try this feeder unless you are in an area with very little traffic. Not a good feeder for the home bee hive. It was like putting out the old spot light to get people to come to your store bees came from everywhere all day even when the feeders were dry the bees still came. I was like I was an air traffic controller at a very busy airport  like Chicago. Neighbors stood in wounder staring at the sky filled with bees every were bees. if you walked in the yard they would just bounce off you.
These bees are alive some where under all those females there is a wooden doughnut and a screen and every type of bee that likes sugar water.



The third one was the top hive feeder from brushy mountain. This one was the hardest to maintain but worked the best for our purpose. We have three hives on a 1/2 acre with a built in pool and a small wild flower nature area and we love to be and work out side the top hive feeder gave us that. It is hard to fill because you need to lift the top off each time to check it and fill it. But after you do it a few times you get the hang of it and spill less and lees all over the bees but they do clean it up. We had very little bees gone wild and no robbing for the most part, other then the crazy things the beekeeper did everything went well. I will add some pictures.

The hive in the bottom Right is very very hot. I will be changing the queen out this weekend. The other two Hives you can work them some with out any protective clothing . This one I was walking over to it the other day took the lid off for just a peak and pop 18 stings before I had if lifted an inch. 4 days latter was about 15 feet away and 18 more stings. This is the crazy hive. Hopefully the new queen will fix that.
This is the top hive feeder which we think worked great for what we have
Friends Paula and Ed looking at all the bees in the air

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This is the new top entrance I started using with a landing . It is working great so far.

I checked the bees today last week I did my first news paper combine and after I finished I received a desperate phone call from the person that gave me the bees . He thoubht that I might have the Queen in the 3 pound package he gave me.Did I start to worry because the Queen I had in that hive was doing great. So on to the internet I went to a chat romm called Beesource http://www.beesource.com/forums/index.php
to try and find out how to fix the problem. Well after everyone stopped laughing and teasing me about what I did. Remind you I did not do it on purpose. They told me to try and put a Queen exclude at the bottom of the new package I introduced. I went to do what they told me and I found that they had already started to combine. So they told me that the two Queens would fight it out and the strongest would win. I should also leave them alone for 3 to 5 days and then go back and look. I got to tell you that it was the hardest 5 days I can remember. The first night was like a bunch of crazy bees flying around the hive making all kinds of noise . Did not get much sleep that first night. Seems crazy to me loosing sleep over a bunch of bugs that I just met. So every day I kept feeding them and each day they calmed done more and more Well in five days I did go back in and sure enough there was only one Queen and it seems she was doing well. I would like to mention one thing about doing a newspaper combine remember to put the old bees on top and the new bees on the bottom, they tell me it works out better that way, not sure why. I was also told that if you do put two Queens together  the one you put in the top box is 9 times out of 10 the one that will survive.

Friday, June 4, 2010

 
Some times it is easier to find the court first. Try it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Pictures

We just took some pictures to day of the bees and the back yard. Hope you enjoy.
This is the watering hole. Keeps them away from the salt water pool.

Picture of our garden.
We do not use any harmful Chemicals, All organic.Except for fire ants. We hate those little buggers.


This is a picture of an Experiment  top entrance


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Great Inspection

Today I did an inspection of my two Hives. The last time I did an inspection one hive was doing great. The queen was laying like a machine, beekeepers that have come to help me out said I should start making queens of that one. The second hive I have not found the queen for two and a half three weeks
But today there she was just doing great. She is Golden in color and very long and fat. I do go on beesource chat a lot in the evening and everyone was starting to give me a hard time because I have whined about my missing queen. They tell me I am a worry wart. I guess I am, But missing a queen is a hard thing to go threw for a first time beekeeper. It felt like I did something wrong and she left me. But now I have a new one and she is great. The hives look good. The one with the queen is doing ok, I would of thought that starting out with a Nuc they would be going like gang busters, but that did not happen, I did lose the queen early in the season two weeks after they were installed. So if you look at it that way they are doing just fine, I think a little lite. The second hive lost its queen like I said 2 ½ to 3 weeks ago and have not recovered just yet. I have been lucky have only had maybe 20 SHB and have not seen the verroa Mite yet. But they tell me it is still early. I try to use little smoke when I inspect the hives so this is what I do. Remember I am new at this just a Rookie and this might not work for you. I smoke the entrance and bottom of the hive. I use a SBB. Wait a minute or so, then lift the top and smoke just a little. Wait two Minutes then open her up. No more smoke is used. When I inspect the hives I will mist the bees with sugar water and some HBH,this calms them down fast and lets me work the hive for at least an hour. I am not that fast. Each frame gets a little mist . This could also help with the verroa because the bees are cleaning themselves and others. I was also getting worried because I did not see any drones, but this time there they were with their big bug eyes and fat bodies they do stick out. My next inspection will have a lot of pictures. Also three days ago the bees in the lite hive were in a frenzy just flying every were and making all kinds of noise. I thought it could have been a swarm starting. But lucky me it was not. A big yellow jacket got into the hive and they all attacked it and killed it then they were dragging it out the front door. Me and the wife say them drag it out and toss it over the edge and then giving the team high fives going back to the bar for some more refills. Go home team!!!! It is hard to not root for the home team. We have a salt water pool 75 feet from the hives so we thought we might have some problems with so un wanted swimmers so we set up a small 24 X 12 plastic container with rocks sticks and pine straw on the other side of our garden hopping to get them to swim there, and it worked they love it and very few bees have had any swimming accidents so far. Three of my neighbors have commented that they have seen more bees in there garden this year than ever before. Not sure it is because of our bees but I still take credit. So tonight all is good in bee land. One other thing I did find out just by accident. When I am done with the bees I will go smoke all the shrubs and plants in the back yard and some of the grass area, we have found less mosquitoes and we are now able to sit outside during the early evening and enjoy the yard. Good by for now and remember keep you jacket zipped and your smoker lit and have fun, because they are.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Got a call today asking about the bees

The person who sold me the two NUCS of bees called today asking how the bees were doing . I told him we could not find the queen and some of the bees looked a little lite. He said he will be sending 3 to 5 pounds for me to install. One more thing to learn how to do the news paper install, should be fun. I made this watering hole out of a large plastic bucket, some rocks to fill the bottom, laid pine straw on it . The filled it with water. used some sticks to help keep the pine straw so what out of the water. The bees love it and they stay away from my built in pool.

I have to be one of the luckiest first time beekeepers these two NUCS are so gentle that the neighbors, my family all just walk up to the hives and watch the bees, they should not stand in the flight path and don't go closer then the white fence and so far everyone has been fine , even my two boxers the older one cleio lays under the plum tree and they do not bother her. 

we don't even mind that the blue birds fly and catch some of the bees for there young
I do a hive inspection every Friday afternoon We do no treatment any synthetic chemicals. I will do a bee drench, powder sugar, etc.... The bees I am using are Russian/ VSh . I would love to get some bees from the Purvis brothers in late summer ( The Golden Bee Line ) after reading about the success with this bee I want to try two.If I start two Nucs late summer.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

Another newbe mistake

I decided to look at my bees today after work. A beautiful day sunny and 87. First hive was very active bees bringing in everything . So I got the jacket on and started the smoker I need to keep this thing lit this time, so I started with some shredded phone book and pine straw. Got her going and it staid lit for the first hive inspection. I was looking for the queen, any signs of SHB or mites, tried to find some larva our anything that looks like it. But that is not the best distance for my eye  site so I settled on finding the queen. Found her on the next to last end frame. I think I need  jewelers glasses to see those tiny little eggs. This hobby keeps sucking money from you everyday. but it sure is fun and relaxing. The other good thing about having bees is that if you need some time alone you just need to suite up light the smoker and go spend time with the girls.
Well back to the girls I did not see any SHB or Verroa that is a good thing. I did see capped broad, caped honey, and watched one of the bees bringing in pollen and other bees packing it in tight. this was on 6 of the 8 frames. Wish I had workers that worked like that. The two out side new frames had no activity other then bees walking all over them.Everything looked good to this rookie so I closed it up and went to the next hive . This is were all the fun started. I followed the same steps for this hive as I did for thefirst one. I smoked the entrance. Then I lifted the top and smoked it let it sit for a few minutes. Then opened up. I took of the top hive feeder I only had it half full of sugar water and HBH just in case. about half was taken in a weeks time. I went into the second supper no activity just a bunch of bees hanging out this was a new super only on for about 5 days. So I took that off and was into the main broad Super. Every frame had something going on bees everywhere doing something. Pollen, nectar, drones, workers, But did not see the queen. like I said before, my close up eye site is not that great but I still tried to find larva, or eggs with no luck. I did find a lot of caped broad so I took that as a good sign. Well the bees were getting a little aggravated and started to make a lot of noise so I did what I thought was smoke them but boy was I wrong, all that came out of the smoker was a 3 foot yellow flame, that got my heart pumping and also fried some bees about 12 or so. But that is not the worst part. As I continued to work the bees and try to find the queen I started to smell this ripe banana smell and buy this time the bees were really get riled so as it says in the books and what everyone tells me, I just stopped what I was doing and put the hive back together. I did open each entrance to full open. It looks to me that a super full of bees should be able to take care of that entrance. One other thing both my covers started to warp . Someone on Beesource told me to turn them up side down and they would fit. I did and it worked. So things look good in the hives except for one hive that I could not find the queen.I did not see any queen cells and all seemed to bee working . The last time I looked there was a queen with a blue dot. But as I said the bees cleaned some of that off. So may be she is there but I did not see her. I will check again Saturday. I hope this little blog helps some other rookies so they learn from my mistakes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

First Check of the Bees

Today I took the written exam to get my certificate for a beginner beekeeper. Then I came home and we put up some white lattice just in front of the bee hives to help direct there flight away from the human hang out area. Looks like it worked.We had some clouds in the area ans I was told never to open the hive on cloudy days. I was not sure I should open the hives up and look at the bees. But of course being a new beekeeper I just had to open them up and at least find the queen. So I got all dressed up in the jacket. Got my smoker lite and this time it stayed lit and was still going an hour after I finished. So I started, smoked the first hive and opened the top. The girls ate half of the sugar water not bad for four days. Took the feeder of and there they were. Very calm and just a low buzz and they were going down in the hive, very few flying around. But for some reason I smoked them again and that stirred them up the buzz started to get loud and a lot came up to greet me and started flying, Lesson learned only smoke when you have to.... I started to look in the hive for the queen and found myself just starring in amazement at everything they were doing.Some just had there butts sticking out , others were bringing in pollen, some were even just flapping there wings. and still others looked like they were eating and some just like some of my workers just looked like they were walking around doing nothing . So after I woke up from the daze I moved on looking for the queen. On next to the last hive there she was with that blue dot on her head, Some of the color was missing I guess the girls like a clean queen. after I found her I put the hive back together and put on a second medium because to me this one looked full. Then went on to the next hive. Did the same thing this time the queen was with a bunch of her court so she was easy to find. The same thing the blue dot was half gone. I need to learn to find the queen with out the dot. after finding the queen I put  on the second medium 8 frame small cell and closed it up. They both looked good to me. Next time I will look for varroa mites and SHB hopefully I don't find ether one. I will not use any harsh Chemicals. My list of preventive items is small, powder sugar, HBH, some essential oils. and small cell, screen bottom board, bottom rack. It is amazing at how the bees can live and work in such a complex society with out speech. I wish some of my fellow workers could learn that lesson. LOL !! Have a great day and go out and get BUZZED!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Bees are in

I received the bees today on small cell medium frames. Decided to install them and that went great. Not sure I did everything properly but did not get stung and they are alive. I received two 6 frame nucs so I backed my truck up to the hives used it as a work area and got all the equipment together. Jacket, Hive tool, Smoker,Hammer you know those pesky ones need more then smoke sometimes, no it was to take the nails out of the nuc, spray bottle with sugar water and HBH, .  I read  that if you spray them with that mixture they tend to stay calm. It worked !! started the smoker, not very good at that. It just barely stayed lit for the two installs. The hives have been set up so I just had to open the nucs and put in the frames. The first nuc I opened the bees were black as the ace of spades, just what I ordered Russian / VSH . It had some frames of brood, honey but lite on bees, Did not really look for the queen just trying to get the job done.I smoked them when I opened the lid and sprayed them with the syrup mixture they calmed right down went together with little problems. The second have was a little different . It was a six frame also but had a lot of burr comb on top.So not knowing what to do I took the hive tool and separated the frames and cleaned the burr comb of before placing them in the hive.Once again this one was lite on bees.I also put all the frames in the hive and added two new frames to both outside area's. I filled up half of a top hive feeder with 2 X 1 syrup and HBH. Closed up both hives and went on my way. This Saturday I will do a check for the queen and see what is going on.I think I will all so put on a medium to each hive.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I thought my bees arrived

Well Saturday came and I get a call from the people that were delivering my bees and they said that I should have them by 6:00pm that evening.When they arrived we brought the bees to the area with the hives in the back yard. I live in a rural neighborhood with a 1/2 acre of land Pictures of yard will follow. We got the bees to the area and open the box there were bees everywhere. As soon as I looked at the first frame I knew there was something wrong, they sent the wrong size, Deeps instead of mediums.So all we could do was pack up what bees we could and send them back. The wright bees should show up Wednesday, I hope. Here is the oicture of what is left.
Check out the Stand the hive is on My son made them for me and they are sweet. I do have to say one thing for a person that knows nothing about bees I sure do look good in a bee jacket, as long as the hood is on. LOL!!!
I am not sure the ones that were left behind will make it but I did put in 8 medium frames with foundation and some sugar water in a top hive feeder to see if the will hang around. We will see.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some questions I just do not understand

I just got a question the other day and I deleted it. I should of posted with an answer.The person would not even write who they were.
The person wrote me and asked why I am writing about beekeeping and you have never had any bees? Well that is an easy question. I am writing this as a new bee so other can maybe learn from what I do right or wrong. I am not telling people to do as I am because I know very little about taking care or bees. I know that I am going to do my best and write down honestly what happens during my first year.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Protective Clothing

You can spend some money on these items. Mostly all new beekeepers are fear being stung. A little FYI you are going to get stung. You see some Beekeepers who wear nothing to very little or get dressed up like they are going into battle. The number one thing when it comes to protection is your eyes.......... If you get stung in the eye you can go blind. So at the least wear eye protection. 

Do not wear dark clothing, fuzzy materials, or clothing made of animal fiber. Unless you are trying to look like a bear. Bees hate that and will sting you. Light colors are best, white or tan. 
I will start out with the Ultra breeze jacket, http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com/suit/suit.htm  . I have read great things about it and how it helps you stay a little cooler in the heat. I will let you know more after I have used it.

Beginners who fear getting stung should look into a good pair of goat skin gloves. Many beekeepers you will see do not wear any hand protection they find gloves to be cumbersome and will risk a few stings for the ease of handling. Form fitting gloves seem to work such as used in lab work they not only help in reducing stings but help with sticky fingers from honey and propolis.

Angry bees tend to attack ankles first because they are at the level of the hive entrance. Do not wear dark socks. Secure pant legs around ankles with Velcro or rubber bands to reduce stings. 
Do not wear any perfumes or colognes when working with bees because strange odors attract curious bees.

Ancillary Equipment


Just waiting for the hives to dry so I thought I would talk about equipment. Just like the Hive you can spend thousands of dollars on all kinds of stuff you think you need. Spend your money wisely. Talking to seasoned beekeepers they all tell me ( one thing they all agree on ) don’t fall for the marketing , buy only what you need because they all say most equipment is either never used or misplaced.

The bee smoker and Hive tool are essential to working bees. The 4x7 smoker is the most widely used.  I ordered a 10 in with smoke and figure shield and a hook. Always get one with a heat shield. Smoker fuel includes burlap, corn cobs, wood shavings, pine needles, etc…. Use what you have around the yard before you order any from suppler.

The hive tool is a metal bar essential for prying frames, separating hive bodies, and scraping away wax and propolis. Cleaning the hive tool is best done in the fire pot of your smoker this helps to prevent the spread of bee disease. Do not use a screwdriver or putty knife for a substitute they may cause frame and hive damage. Get more than one hive tool.

I did get a frame perch so when I am doing my inspection I will be able to keep the frames clean and off the ground. I was told that I will not use that for very long. All you need to do is when you lift off the inner cover turn it upside down on the ground and then neatly place the frames on that.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Putting it all together

Well my equipment has arrived in four big boxes. They are filled with all kinds of cut wood, oh my where do I begin? I separated all like parts, and then saw that it was going to be difficult to put 100 frames together by hand. 


So back to the internet to find something that could help me assemble them in a more orderly fashion. That is when I found this site http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/  Look under down loads then Frame assembly Jig. What a great time saver and also some great Videos and pod casts about bees. After I had a friend build me the jig, my skills at carpentry are non existent. I started putting the frames together. The jig is very easy to use just slide the two removable boards in and place the frame sides in, ten will fit at one time. Place glue all around the area before you place the tops on. I used titebound III Premium wood clue. Then place the tops on and nail. I nail them straight down. Some people say you should nail it at a angle so they do not pull out. But that is why I am using glue, the nail is just to hold it tight the glue keeps them together.
 After you do the tops flip it over and do the same thing to the bottom. Pull the two boards out and the frames just fall out, start the next ten. In no time I was completed with all the frames. I will use 100% bees wax small cell foundation with wire and hooks. Check out this movie on putting foundation in your frames. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwYrT8XhKf4&feature=related

So now on to the boxes. When I purchased my boxes I wanted to use Cyprus commercial grade wood. All I could find at that time was butt Joint boxes. But now that I have read a little more about equipment I would look for Dove tail or Finger joints in  cyprus wood. 
I was only putting ten boxes together so I did not need a jig, just Screws, a battery powered screw gun, a square, and glue. Boxes went together fast just make sure they are square.
If I had it to do over I would of used white pine with Dove tail or Finger joints and put a good outdoor paint on them this would of saved some money and what I read, last just as long. I will try to use three medium or Illinois supers for the brood and the other two for honey. I might end up purchasing two more boxes for honey surplus for me a and the girls for the winter.


Putting the outer cover together was straight forward, just glue and screws It was made with tongue and grove joints . This outer telescoping cover protects hive parts from the weather. The top is normally covered with sheet metal to prevent weathering and leaking. I choose not to get one with metal because I thought it would make the hive like on over in the SC heat.


Now when it comes to the bottom board I wanted a screen bottom board and also wanted a Sticky board for Verroa Mites and a small hive beetle trap. I also wanted to be able to service these items from the back so not to disturb the girls that much. I could not find one for an eight frame hive so I ordered a screen bottom board and an extension kit. Screwed and glued them together.


 I am ready to bring on the bees? Just started looking for bees on the internet and asking questions on the bee forums. http://www.beekeepingforums.com/ . when some one asked me what color I painted the hives. I said why paint I purchased that nice Cyprus wood that  can with stand all kinds of weather. To get the expected life out of the hive you should paint or stain the bodies ( All outside and cut ends ). So off to get some paint. I was trying to find the best outdoor paint I could find, you know I want these Hives to last a life time for what I have spent on them. But I could not decide on the color. Then my wife said let’s look at the return cart and were we lucky. We found three one quart cans of paint, cheep, off white. We asked the paint person what colors we could make out of this and they said what color do you want. I said bright pastels would be great. So he made a peach, powder blue, and yellow. Boy the bees are not going to miss these hives, They can see them a mile away.  Later on I found out that bees do not see colors like us, so whatever color you want to paint the hives is ok. I have heard don’t use red but not sure why. Lighter colors are best


Some of the local beekeepers use colors that blend into the back ground not for the bees. Because people will steal the hives when placed out for pollination. One guy in the local beekeeping association painted his camouflage and to this day he still cannot locate them. We have started to paint today. Well I should say my wife has started to paint. What a great job she does. I will post the pictures as soon as they dry.





I am glade I have the GPS location for these two hives. LOL..


Next I will be starting Bee class and I will give you the buzz on that, next time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where to start? Simple question.

When I started thinking about this new Hobby, I thought how hard can this be? A big box, some bees, and all the honey we can eat, and don't forget $$$ lots of easy Money. Boy was I wrong. Just buying the equipment was very complicated to say the least. Everyone has their own way of doing things. As that old beekeeper saying goes, ask three beekeepers the same question and you will get four different answers. So I decided to join some forums to get some help, and questions answered. Three forums I have found very helpful are http://forum.beemaster.com and http://www.beesource.com/ The great thing about Beemaster is they have this thing called Ventrilo voice chat. Easy to install and use. So if you are not the best and fastest at typing all you need is a mic and speakers and you will be up and talking in no time. Then there is Bee Source it has all kinds of beekeepers from commercial to side liners and Hobby people. Another great site to find out about alternative ways of working with Bess is http://www.biobees.com/index.php . The Barefoot Beekeeper is about Natural, Chemical-free beekeeping in top bare hives. These are only three of the many web sites that pertain to bees and  bee product . Remember keep an open mind and find out what is right for your life style and go with it. All three sites are full of friendly people who, like you care about bees and will try and help with all your questions.

So let’s get back to my things to do list.
EQUIPMENT is my first job to tackle. What and how much do I need, because I don't know if I will like this hobby, or maybe I am going thru a mid life crises like my son tells me. So the first place I stopped was Google search and put in Beekeeping equipment. There are so many beekeeping equipment sites on the internet that I did not know where to start. So I found the closets one's to my home and ordered Catalogs from each. But I also looked on their sites. What do I need? I back tracked back to the forums with more questions. By this time I figured everyone would be sick and tired of my Rookie questions, but to my surprise they still were willing to help. So I started.

What type of equipment?
Large, medium, or small supers
Ten or eight frame. Or should I take a 10 frame and make it a nine frame with spacers, or maybe make a ten frame an eight frame?
What type wood? Pine, Cyprus etc….
Box or rabbit cut?
Natural or plastic foundation?
Telescope, Flat, Migratory, or reversible cover?
Solid, or screened, or screened beetle trap, or double screen bottom boards?
Slatted rack or not?
Inner cover or not?
Queen Excluder, wood, plastic, or metal? Or just don’t use one.
Feeders ? Boardman, plastic feeder pail, plastic entrance one piece, plastic hive top feeder? So to say the least everyone uses some thing different and each climate location needs somethings different .But I did have a lot to look at.

I was back to square one until some beekeepers told me to.

Before you do anything read Beekeepers for Dummies. Then ask yourself why do I  want to take care of bees? Make a million $$$, save the environment; help out in your garden become a commercial Beekeeper etc…? Answering this question will help you decide what equipment to start out with.

Most all beekeepers I talked to said to start out with at least two Hives so you can see the differences and tell if something is going wrong. Find a local Beekeeping Association http://www.midstatebeekeepers.com/index.html . Great group I have gone to two meeting and have learned a lot. I have also signed up to take the Beginers Beekeeping Course.
 I ordered the book and read it and began my wish list which has changed several times after talking to more beekeepers and getting there input.

This is my first equipment order.
I will start with two Hives both having.
Telescoping Top
No Inner covers
After Reading several comments about not getting an inner cover I decided it would be best to get that or a jack hamer. So I ordered two inner covers.
This is why. When you us a top cover, you will also need a inner cover, to help with condensation and for ease of getting the outer cover off your hive, using just a top cover the bees will fill the edges with Propolis which is a kind of bee cement and because of the shape of the outer cover you will not be able to get your hive tool under the cover to pry it off.
If you do not want to use a inner cover you can order a Migratory, Flat, or a reversible cover. These covers are very similar in construction with some slight variation. Check out Rossmans Apiaries at http://www.gabees.com/home.htm they have the three covers I have mentioned.
All medium eight frame supers. Supers made of Cyprus.
I will use natural Bees wax foundation small cell.
I will use a slatted Rack from Better Bee http://www.betterbee.com they offer the one that is vertical that goes in the same direction as the frames and a screened bottom board with an extension kit for small hive beetles.
An entrance reducer and Hive top feeder, one hive tool a brush, professional 10in smoker funnel top. I was told not to get a round top it always comes off. A Bee jacket and Vail combination from http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com it is called the Ultra Breeze a little pricey but I think it will be worth it in the South Carolina heat. So everything is ordered next time I will talk about putting the equipment together and painting.






Why start this new Hobby?

That is the question my Family has asked ever since I decided to start this new hobby. My middle son likes to say that dad is going through a midlife crises.