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Lois 

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2 colonies now! and some spare parts.
Now excuse me if this seems a numpty question but I have only had my girls for a short time and they came in a ready made hive and colony.

I want/need to have another hive next year so that if/when I need to split them I have another hive to put them in.

I am happy to buy a flat pack hive from wherever, or even (get my husband to) make one.

What exactly do I need to buy?

I know I need a brood box and super, frames and foundation, lid but what else? OMF or solid floor? HELP please. Pretty please.
 

Lois 

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2 colonies now! and some spare parts.
Another question

Would it be easier for me (get husband) to make the brood box and super and lid and buy all the other bits like the crown board, floor etc?
 

peteinwilts 

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a clone of what you already have would be good so all the parts are interchangable.

It is good practice to have spare kit (or know someone with spare kit!) for emergencies regardless. Bee's can split more than once in a year!

This year with the cold, the warm and then cold again in April\May all went into swarm mode, and the year had barely begun!
 

peteinwilts 

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Another question

Would it be easier for me (get husband) to make the brood box and super and lid and buy all the other bits like the crown board, floor etc?
easier yes, as handing over cash is easier than woodworking. I make all of my own stuff because I can! :p (and don't like being robbed by the larger suppliers!)

PM Hivemaker for a price. Not bought from him personally, but have heard good things..
 

Skyhook 

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a clone of what you already have would be good so all the parts are interchangable.

It is good practice to have spare kit (or know someone with spare kit!) for emergencies regardless. Bee's can split more than once in a year!

This year with the cold, the warm and then cold again in April\May all went into swarm mode, and the year had barely begun!
All of that, but definitely OMF. I so wish I'd got mine on OMF earlier.

Don't forget Thornes sale on 29th.- but I have been warned that not all makes are as interchangeable as they should be.
 

Leigh 

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I depends completely on budget and ability.

If you are happy to spend your money, then by far the easiest would be to buy a complete, new, assembled hive. Next would be a flatpack - these though can be a bit tricky to assemble if you aren't sure what you are doing. After this would be a "second" grade flat-pack.

Making one: the trickiest bits to make are the brood chambers and supers - crown boards and floors are fairly easy. If you want to make it from cedar, the wood seems to be difficult to get in the right thickness, and in small quantities is expensive, and what little saving there is to be had may not be worth the hassle.

Cheap option with some skill and tools - 18mm exterior quality or marine ply. I make all of mine out of this, with bits of pine for the fillets (end bits that enclose the frame ends and bottom slopey bit). I quite enjoy doing it, but it took several goes to get it right. If you only want one hive this might not be ideal.

If I were in your situation I'd either (if money no object) buy a good complete hive, or (if cost was important) get a second quality flatpack. These seem to be about £125 (last time I looked was the spring) - they are a little rough looking, but do the trick and are of the right dimensions.
 

Dishmop 

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as handing over cash is easier than woodworking.
not to me it isnt!!!!!!

not that I am that good at woodworking but I only buy things that I cant make or adapt from something else. I keep looking at possible bee related use for the re-cycling bin....
 

Cazza 

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Hi Lois
How lovely to be planning to acquire more bee stuff!
It's always sensible to have more than one super, even if you only use it on top of the upturned roof to lighten the load when lifting your full super ( you hope) for inspections.
Was the weather in Norfolk today as rubbish as Suffolk?
Cazza

P.s. flat pack is simple, even I can do it (DIY skills of slug.)
 
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drex 

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How have you got along with the "ready made hive" your bees came in. IF it has suited you well, then it would make sense to stay with the same format of hive, which from your profile seems to be National.

Thornes flat pack National budget costs £135. You get everything for that ( OMF, BB, supersx2, roof, CB and all frames and foundation). I have found them to be good quality ( even if they are seconds) and the construction intsructions are now much clearer, and mine went together well.

If it did not suit you might want to think of a National 14x12 or commercial BB( upon which you can still use standard national supers) - but they will be heavier for you to lift.

Thornes on line sale starts 29/11/, I will be making use of it
 

Poly Hive 

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Purely on the numbers basis one is best to have three supers per colony.

When two are full you can clear off onto one, or if you need three you have them to hand.

PH
 

Dishmop 

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Was the weather in Norfolk today as rubbish as Suffolk?
Thermometer on window said i was 9 in Norwich but gauge in car said it was 5.5.
Then some rain/drizzle.
 

oliver90owner 

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PH,

Nah, rubbish. Two at absolute tops. Take frames out at every inspection during the flow, place in cardboard box and extract immediately, three at a time! There is nothing like making beekeeping hard work!

Oh, and the cardboard box will come in handy when they swarm! THEN it is panic!

Regards, RAB
 
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It is nice to have new and interchangeable kit, the only things that are difficult to make are the brood and super frames... without super skills and woodworking machinery... so probably best to buy them.

I know folk who have made up their own Nationals... possibly the most common and easiest to make youself.
Cedar is nice and light, but bees seem to be happy with ply or at worst OSB (oriented strand board) and that stuff is cheap.
I have bits of national sized hive in all sorts of materials, agree that the OMF(open mesh floor) is a must
Lots of bits like OMF material, metal runners, and even bits of hive in parts or complete can be found on eBuy or preloved.
My best find was a Robert Lee Nuc with a vintage smoker and vairious beekeepers tool for £10 at a carboot!!!
Hunting down the beek. stuff you need at a budget price can be almost as much fun as looking after the little ladies ( and fat little chaps!!)

enjoy !
 

BKF Admin 

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Purely on the numbers basis one is best to have three supers per colony.

PH
Very true PH,I get s few phonecalls every year from new beeks that are local to me who have only one super that came with the hive and on ringing Th*rnes find they are out of stock.

I have started to use a notebook now to record who borrows what as I have lost a few bits of kits to date.
 

mbc 

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2.5 supers /hive at the very least. If its a good season and you need more, then everyone else is probably in a similar situation and may have cleaned out the suppliers before you get round to ordering. There's nothing like being short of supers to encourage your bees to swarm
 

Poly Hive 

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I would have thought Oliver at your age you would really know better....;)

Of course you need three per hive. What pray do you do when the nectar flows like Niagara Falls? What then?

On your basis sir, damn swarms every where.


Ya needs three at a minimum. A mere minimum.

Apart from my good self who needs rather less for comb honey.

Most newbies have no idea, and a great deal of so called experienced beekeepers just how fast a good colony can move. I have seen three supers filled and capped inside five days. Than what do you clear them to?

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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Admin,

There you are, that's the way to do it.

Have nothing, borrow everything and forget to return said items when finished with them.

Well they haven't really finished with them yet, have they? They still need them - or they wouldn't have enough......

An ever decreasing spiral until all your kit is used up, unless you buy some more!

Regards, RAB
 

oliver90owner 

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PH,

Most newbies have no idea,

Chill, show a sense of humour! That was my take on a first year beek!

I was always had plenty of kit, as a beginner - trouble was it was rarely the exact kit I wanted at the time!

Even as a beginner you really need a spare hive and a nuc available, just in case, as well as plenty of frames. Even if short of supers (you can shout minimum three, untill the cows come home, they will not believe you!) You can at least swap in empty frames and store the well capped frames in a cardboard box as an emergency measure! Unless it is OSR, of course!

OSR is not usually the problem in one's first year but it can sure as h*ll catch you out in the second season! New beeks are so often told 'you can get going for a hundred and fifty quid' (it was fifty quid, I heard, about seven or eight years ago). That might just get you going (OK the TBHers will be along and tell us they have three colonies for that), but I am talking honey collection here, not just trying to keep them in their 'natural surroundings'.

Yes, I actually agree with you whole heartedly, but was just extracting the u---e!

Regards, RAB
 

PaleoPerson 

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I have just bought twenty more supers to make it three per hive ready for next year.

This year I got caught out on OSR. Gave one strong colony two supers of foundation and then had to extract two weeks later and then extracted a third super 6 days after that. This was on top of converting them from std national to 14x12

This year they are on drawn comb.........:beatdeadhorse5:
 

Dishmop 

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but I am talking honey collection here, not just trying to keep them in their 'natural surroundings'.
you make it sound as if TBH owners dont get/want any honey.
 

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