All the pieces parts of my second hive arrived this week, and I’ll soon be putting it all together in preparation for the spring package. While I was adding all the necessary components into my shopping cart, my wife accused me of having “second hive syndrome” as I was initially opting for some cheaper options.
For example, for my first hive I went with a 8-Frame Garden Top:
I had planned on going with the cheaper Telescoping Top for the next hive:
In the end, I went with the exact same configuration as my first hive. Not only will they look nice side by side, but I would hate for the new queen to be jealous of Large Marge’s hive.
My 8 Frame Garden Hive
There is an initial investment in equipment before you can start keeping bees. I spent less than $500 on all my equipment and hive, but like any hobby or sport, the amount you spend can vary. To use a golf analogy, could you spend thousands of dollars on clubs and all the latest equipment before learning to play? Sure you could. Could you also find a set of clubs at a garage sale and spend less than 100 bucks? You could certainly do that as well.
I bought the bare minimum to get started which included a hive plus frames, bee suit and veil, gloves, hive tool, smoker, and feeder. I decided to standardize on an 8 frame hive from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm using medium supers. You could easily decide to go with a 10-frame hive or top bar hive, but it really depends on what your end goals are for your hive. I got my bee suit, veil, and gloves from Dadant and Sons mainly because I liked their suit styles better.
Once you have your equipment, all you need is a place to place your hive and wait for your bees to arrive.