Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Begin those Purchases

I've been looking at my finances and it's hit me that I can't just go out and purchase all that I need for my bees next spring in one fell swoop. I'll need to buy a few things little by little. The starter kit will have to wait until December, I imagine, but those other pieces of equipment I plan to get will have to be ordered paycheck to paycheck. So this Friday, I plan to order an 8 frame triangular bee escape, an 8 frame shim and possibly a 5 frame nuc. Yes, it does seem like pretty non-essential equipment but I would eventually purchase these things anyway, so why not when I have a bit of money.

Given some of the problems, Jordan at Hive-Mind has had with plastic frames, I'm rethinking my initial thoughts about using them.


Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

Have you considered top bar hives? Just curious about what went into your decision to go with Langs.

Abelisto said...

Yes, I have considered top bar hives and will eventually do this. As a beginner, I assumed it would be easier to learn with Langs. What is your opinion?

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

I started with the TBH and so far so good...although...I relied HEAVILY on my online group (mainly the organic beekeeping listserv on yahoo) for advice, since there aren't really good books out there on TBH management techniques. Phil Chandler's book is a good introduction and there are a few good websites as I'm sure you're aware, but many how-to details are not mentioned in these resources. Now, I might have found the same thing with Langs and the books available, since I was trying organic methods and of course that is NOT how the "regular" contemporary beekeeping books approach the issues. With a Lang, you can probably rely on help from your local beekeepers; not so with TBH. That being said:

I love the TBH approach and feel like I am slowly getting the hang of it. I don't use smoke and often work without gloves and suit, since less of the hive has to be disrupted/exposed during inspections. Sometimes I can work without a veil, but I'm still happier and calmer in the veil, because things can shift pretty fast and suddenly.

Because I didn't want to do heavy lifting, these hives has worked well for me. Any harvesting is one bar at a time!

I think whatever method YOU feel most comfortable with or enthused about makes sense. I did a lot of reading before I bought and decided to go for TBH, even though many online sites advised starting off with a lang. If I had carpentry skills, or knew someone who did, I could have made TBHs very cheaply and then my choice would have been an infinitely cheaper alternative to langs and the attendance equipment. As it was, I paid for nicely built (but perhaps a bit small) TBHs from Backyard Hive. Their customer service was great and they provided a lot of info and support along the way. The observation windows have been invaluable!

That's my take. Hope it's helpful! If you have any questions or want to discuss this further, feel free to email me at

Abelisto said...

Thanks so much for your advice. You point out some issues that I hadn't thought about. I am committed to an organic, sustainable approach and I think disturbing the bees as little as possible is a big part of that philosophy. Also, heavy lifting is a great concern of mine. My doctor has told me I am restricted in that area the rest of my life. Thanks for the email address.