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  Monday, 18 February 2019
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I'm starting with two hives this year, getting nucs from a person down in Montague, MA. As far as hive configuration goes, here's what I'm aiming for:

8 Frame Setup
Screened Bottom Boards
2 Deeps
1 Medium (to start)
Metal queen excluder
Telescoping cover w/ inner cover


Is this sufficient room for them to start? I've seen people do all mediums and while I like how interchangeable it is I worry about having to go through too many boxes every time I want to inspect.

I didn't include frames and foundation. I think I'd like to do wooden frames with wax foundation. Can I reliably use frames from anywhere or should I stick with frames from the same supplier as the box? I've heard some frames you can just drop the wax foundation in from the top. That sounds way less tricky than some of the other means of attachment. Any thoughts there as well?

I'm also wondering about accessories. I'm leaning towards getting top feeders with supers and frame hangers. For the basic components above I've included screenshots below from some online vendors for pricing and comparison. Note that NakedBeeHives has some windowed deeps that I thought were pretty neat.

Online Supplier Comparison Screenshots

Thanks ahead for any feedback.
3 years ago
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#2644
Don’t forget to get a health certificate from supplier and to notify the Vermont inspector of their arrival in the state. You have 72 hours after arrival to do so.
3 years ago
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#2643
I wouldn't run a queen excluder. Having one is handy for several operations during your bee journey but they are not needed in the hive all the time. Let the hive run free and in that it will put brood right up into that medium super. And that's fine as you will likely winter the bees that tall. They won't go any higher naturally so no need to suppress the hive. The only need for keeping a queen excluder on hives at all times is if you run only one deep brood box, done in the South a lot. But with that method they are starting nucs out of it to control swarming. What I'm getting at is only purchase one excluder to use for other things. I have a cheaper plastic one. It sits in the shed most of the year.

I no longer use screen bottoms. Meh, it was a varroa check fad in my mind. Alcohol wash is the way to check varroa and a basic bottom board works perfect with other ventilation. I make ermine shims and cut an entrance in top cover for air flow. Flip over cover when you don't want the entrance.

I use both wood frame and plastic frames. If you use small cell your brood area will be choked with drone burr comb. They got to lay it somewhere. To make for easier maintenance and give the bees what they want-place to lay drones. I use open wood frames with popsicle sticks stuck in slot along top bar as starter strip. Put that between two frames of drawn comb and they will draw out that open frame straight. It will have combination of worker and drone comb. I work these to outside edges. Use two or so per box with brood. They will draw the comb fast when given open frames, just have to check in few days to ensure they are not running it sideways. Wood frames with slot top and bottom are fro plastic foundation. That's the type I use for putting popsicle stick along top bar. Cost about a buck per opposed to 2.50 per plastic frame.

The title seemed like you were building the woodware. If you're purchasing it I recommend Mann Lake. Compare yourself the price and shipping to Mann Lake price and free shipping on orders over $100. Buy frames in bulk, for instance standard plastic medium frames (which are small cell) are about $67 for box of 30. I'm a fan of Mann Lake. I use their 8 frame budget lumber unassembled boxes. Your hard pressed to purchase boards to cut your own at their prices in bulk. Their 8 frame box is a tad wider than most. Frame touching frame will hold exactly 9 frames. I like that in brood boxes. Then you can run 8 frames spaced out for honey, makes for more yield per box.

Anywho, just my two cents. YMMV.
I only use wooden frames as foundation I like wax but I have found plastic works great if you put extra wax on them .
As drop in wax foundation I have never seen it or heard of it before .
You may want a couple extra medium boxes for honey supers if your bees build up and make a lot of honey
As they will need room with out room they may swarm on you.

I like the sounds of your set up as I winter my bees with two deeps and a medium.
There are time and place for Queen excluders but I don't normally have them on my hives.

Most all suppliers have good wood ware some a little better then others. Frames from what ever
Supplier should work fine .

Good luck with your bees please be sure to do mite counts have a good plan for varroa mites
They are death to a colony
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