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Author Topic: If you had it to do all over....  (Read 612 times)

Offline Absinthe

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If you had it to do all over....
« on: June 18, 2020, 08:43:21 pm »
The hypothetical has always been put in the tool forums, if you shop burned down and nothing was left what tool would you buy first? And stuff like that. So in a similar vein.....

If you had to simply start all over, with no equipment or gear or bees, blank slate square #1.

What would you do differently than you did the first time?

Online TheHoneyPump

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2020, 01:49:48 am »
Pick a standard box size and stick with it for everything. No mix-match in the storage shed of deeps, mediums, etc.
Buy old ratty run down trashing looking boxes, lids, bases, etc that look terrible but are solid wood, sturdy, and fit together precisely.
Buy only BRAND NEW frames and never ever bring any used comb into the operation.
Grow organically, raising own queens and beestock. By necessity start out with some reputable breeder(s) to initially get stocked, then take it from there.
16 foot deck truck with sky hook.

What comes next in the list of equipment and facilities depends entirely on the focus.
- migratory, polination?
- making bees or making honey/wax?
Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2020, 06:09:42 am »
We match most of your criteria
Full depth, 8 frame, 100%
Bought packs of timber and made our own boxes.
All frames bought in and we assembled them, well my partner is the gun frame assembler.
Grew organically from splits and swarms. Purchased local queens.
11ft x 8ft triaxle trailer with an Easyloader. Towed by Mazda BT50. Carries 50 doubles.
Do pollination and migratory honey harvester.

What would I change?
Acquire a truck with 12ft tray to be able to tow trailer when shifting to pollination or big honey flow. Able to shift 100+ doubles.
Easyloader on trailer would also load the truck.
Learn to graft our own queens earlier in our growth.
Move to plastic foundation from the start.

Offline Acebird

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2020, 09:11:15 am »
As a hobbyist I would have started with mediums and built my own SBB and tops.  That is what I am doing now.  I would stay with wax foundation.  Because of my proximity to Afracanized bees I may have to purchase queens but I haven't yet.
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Offline Seeb

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2020, 09:55:53 am »
Excellent topic

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2020, 09:59:46 am »
I would make all 8 frame medium box hives. I would build screen bottom boards with oil trays, even though I don?t put oil in them, and screen top boards. Both help to tell what is going on in the hive without opening it up.
I would use only 8 frame mediums Due to weight and most of the time the bees don?t fully fill the outside frames.
I would buy the same 9/18 frame Mann Lake motorized extractor that I have now. It is large enough do handle a lot of honey and small enough to bee mobile and not take up too much space.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2020, 06:02:03 pm »
Jim
What size are mediums?
As I am closer to 70 than 60 the full depths full of honey aren't getting any lighter. Our bees do fill all the frames on a good honey flow.
We could cut our full depths down but what do we do with 5000 full depth frames.

Online Garigal

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2020, 08:02:00 pm »
Jim
What size are mediums?
As I am closer to 70 than 60 the full depths full of honey aren't getting any lighter. Our bees do fill all the frames on a good honey flow.
We could cut our full depths down but what do we do with 5000 full depth frames.

Mediums are 6 1/4", the closest off the shelf equivalent we have in Australia would be the WSP frames at 7 5/8" (approx. 192mm) or the harder to find Manley frames at 6 5/8" (approx. 169mm).

Currently use 10Fr deeps and will be trialling 8 frames this coming spring, but I kind of wish I had gone with the WSP hive depth from the outset for the lighter weight and also because it was an Aussie 'standard' for a time; I believe that size was selected due to shortages of larger lumber in WWII.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2020, 09:01:07 pm »
Do it all over again::  I would go to the nearest Night Club with one bottle of the finest Wine and one bottle of the finest Honey.  Offer both to the ladies and take home the Lady that ask for a sip of honey.  The rest would work out.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Honeyeater

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2020, 09:02:47 pm »
What would you do differently than you did the first time?

I think about this almost daily. I bought my Flow hives on a whim, without having much clue about keeping bees. I almost gave up but persevered and now I'm really keen.

Although harvesting Flow frames is easier, if I had to start again now that I know more about beekeeping I wouldn't touch them. Too many issues for my liking, most of which there are workarounds, but still - workarounds. And the cost - didn't even realise at the time how more expensive everything Flow is, it is ridiculous. Good company though.

If I had to start again I just build a long Langstroth hive or two. No lifting. Easy.

Offline Acebird

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2020, 09:03:33 am »
but what do we do with 5000 full depth frames.

I would assume they are drawn comb... I ran mine through the table saw.  You don't need the bottom bar once the frame is drawn.  You don't need to be accurate either.  The bees will create the perfect bee space between the top bar below.
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2020, 01:00:36 pm »
I'm a hobbyist and if I started over again I would have 8 frame deeps for brood and mediums for honey. All wood frames with plastic foundation. Each hive would have a 5 over 5 nuc next to it for resources, spare queen, grafts, and making comb honey.   I like having the option to split the nuc if the full colonies doesn't overwinter or making a nuc with an overwintered colony if the nuc fails. 

Online The15thMember

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2020, 03:32:44 pm »
Do it all over again::  I would go to the nearest Night Club with one bottle of the finest Wine and one bottle of the finest Honey.  Offer both to the ladies and take home the Lady that ask for a sip of honey.  The rest would work out.
:cheesy:
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Offline Hillbilly

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2020, 10:09:11 pm »
Although harvesting Flow frames is easier, if I had to start again now that I know more about beekeeping I wouldn't touch them. Too many issues for my liking

LOL. I hear you. I sometimes get buyer's remorse too. The quality of some of the hardware I received was shocking. Even the laser cut versions were disappointing. A flat packed cedar FH2 basic brood box is $75 plus shipping. You wouldn't expect it to come with gaps in the joints big enough for a robber bee to sneak in.

Try to raise that on their forum and a war erupts and you get banned.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 12:04:21 am by Hillbilly »

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2020, 02:53:50 am »
I would study intently, youtube and beemaster, strive to learn I could before getting started. I would make sure to take notes, keeping up with who taught what. I would seek to have necessary tools and equipment, including wood-ware; enough to stay ahead of the game and need when these items would be needed the most. I would join beemaster when I felt I was comfortable and ready to start posting and asking questions, learning as I traveled on my merry way to beekeeping.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Beeboy01

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2020, 11:18:26 pm »
Don't think I would change much from what I'm using now which is deeps for brood and shallows for honey. Using only eight frame deeps has some advantages because the frames can be used for brood or honey but during a light flow the girls will fill out a shallow box faster than a deep box. Another advantage of deeps is the cost, shallow frames are almost as expensive as deep frames but only hold half the honey.
   I've gotten to the point where I don't worry if I get honey in a deep or brood in a shallow so box size has become pretty much a non issue unless it's a bottom brood box.
Eight frame deeps for everything would probably fit my needs the best for a complete start over. Since commercial nucs come using deep frames I couldn't see going with all mediums. I would think there will always be the need for deeps in a yard. 

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2020, 04:05:19 am »
The one thing I would most defiantly change from the start is using plastic foundation instead of going foundation-less. Especially with the honey boxes. Brood, I am still foundation-less, But that may also change to plastic.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2020, 05:47:21 am »
Acebird
I have been away for a while, we run plastic foundation, how would that go through the table saw?
What was your foundation? How did you go taking a super off? Did the bottoms of the frames come off the top bars or QX OK?

Offline Acebird

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2020, 08:35:52 am »
Acebird
I have been away for a while, we run plastic foundation, how would that go through the table saw?
What was your foundation? How did you go taking a super off? Did the bottoms of the frames come off the top bars or QX OK?
If the top bars are clean to start with the bees won't attach the comb to them so no problem separating boxes.  That being said you should try a couple of hives to test before going hog wild.  All beekeeping is local.
Plastic should go through the table saw with a carbide blade.  If the foundation is wax watch out for the wires.  Wear eye protection.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Acebird

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2020, 08:39:58 am »
The one thing I would most defiantly change from the start is using plastic foundation instead of going foundation-less. Especially with the honey boxes. Brood, I am still foundation-less, But that may also change to plastic.
Due to manipulations they can get mixed.  Mixing always causes problems.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline MikeCinWV

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2020, 10:48:42 am »
I would not buy screened bottom boards and I would use all plastic acorn foundations.  Those are my two big regrets.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #21 on: June 25, 2020, 01:02:47 pm »
The one thing I would most defiantly change from the start is using plastic foundation instead of going foundation-less. Especially with the honey boxes. Brood, I am still foundation-less, But that may also change to plastic.
Due to manipulations they can get mixed.  Mixing always causes problems.

Excellent point Ace. That is why I said, "Brood, I am still foundation-less, But that may also change to plastic." Thanks for your encouragement. By your encouragement and the encouragement of other post here, I have just made the decision to go completely plastic next season with all new frames going into service, both brood and supers. There is nothing wrong with foundation-less and I have enjoyed the experience but is time for the plastic. lol 🙂
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Acebird

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #22 on: June 25, 2020, 03:59:04 pm »
Why do you need new frames?
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2020, 04:23:44 pm »
Why do you need new frames?


Adding hives.  More bees, more equipment.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 06:02:17 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Seeb

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2020, 07:28:52 pm »
MCWV - I would not buy screened bottom boards

Would you share your reason/s why?

Offline Beeboy01

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2020, 07:34:43 pm »
Actually I just realized one of the most important things for a complete start over would be to get all the equipment from the same supplier to maintain proper bee space. I've lost track on how many times I've needed to trim or shim a box to keep proper bee space in the hive.
  Plastic foundation is great to use but is harder to clean up when older. Wax foundation when old can be remelted and used for other purposes while old plastic foundation can be a problem to clean up in my experience.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2020, 10:23:38 pm »
Actually I just realized one of the most important things for a complete start over would be to get all the equipment from the same supplier to maintain proper bee space. I've lost track on how many times I've needed to trim or shim a box to keep proper bee space in the hive.
  Plastic foundation is great to use but is harder to clean up when older. Wax foundation when old can be remelted and used for other purposes while old plastic foundation can be a problem to clean up in my experience.

Beeboy when you say older plastic foundation can be harder to clean can you explain in more detail?  Can you describe the problems that you run into? I am assuming you are talking about brood comb, or are you referring to both brood and (used as honey comb)?

I remember HoneyPump asking a question here once, what is the best way to clean plastic, or how do you clean your foundations, or something to that effect. Your post along with Mr HPs old post has my eyebrows working. lol Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2020, 10:42:42 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2020, 06:53:57 am »
The cost of plastic foundation almost makes cleaning not worth it. At $1.30 you don't have to spend much time on cleaning or its not worth it.
I am not sure how to define "old" for plastic foundation. We have some that would be over 12 years old and I am not thinking of replacing it.
Very old brood frames have very little wax in them and makes it not worth trying to get the little bit of wax out unless you can press it.
If I do replace a plastic brood frame, it is pop out the old one, boil up the frames, clean the grooves and pop back the new waxed plastic.

Back to the topic, if I had to do it again, we bought 200 full plastic frames early in out venture into BK'ing, pain in the uncapper and also bees tend to wax them to the bottom of other frames, makes supers hard to split.  Most of them are now in brood boxes.

Buy good quality smokers, price doesn't count if you light your smoker and 6 hours later is still going, only add fuel, no relighting.

Offline Beeboy01

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Re: If you had it to do all over....
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2020, 12:14:30 pm »
When I said I have had problems with plastic foundation it's in the context of being reuseable after being cruded up from years of being used as brood foundation. I've found that the recesses in the plastic are almost impossible to clean out unless I let wax moths at them which I don't think is a good idea. I also hate the idea of putting more plastic in the trash by  swapping foundation out. I tried a pressure washer on some plastic foundation once which ended up being a comedy routine. I only have about two or three boxes with plastic foundation and it has gotten mixed in with my wax foundation frames with no issues with the bees.
     Guess it's just a personal preference, don't think the bees really care as long as a good layer of wax is applied to the plastic foundation when reused. I've had some plastic foundation outlive the wooden frames they are in so longevity isn't a problem. Moving over to plastic foundation wouldn't be too hard a job, just swap it out while culling out the older wax comb over the next few years. It's something I need to think about before placing my next foundation order. Since I'm replacing foundation anyways it would be an opportune time to do it.
      If I was to start all over again plastic foundation would be the way to go, it's easier to install in frames, stronger for extractions and impervious to wax moth damage.
Good thread, it made me think about some long term planning.