News Item: Beekeeping has great paraphernalia
(Category: Misc)
Posted by David
Thursday 27 March 2008 - 17:48:42

Maybe it's a boy thing, but isn't it great to have and collect all the bits and pieces that go with beekeeping? What other occupation or hobby has so many arcane and wonderful things to play with. Today a little package arrived from Thorne's with some new bits and bobs. Quite exciting to get nice things through the post - though Thorne's could really do with updating their online shopping service as the "grand total" doesn't include postage and whilst using shredded cardboard for packing is good recycling it weighs heavier than air. A smaller box and less padding would have been better - especially since the contents were not breakables. It was only an order for plastic ends, a brush, some escapes and swarm lures. So why have we opted for plastic ends?

...and plastic rather than metal? And ends rather than Hoffman or castellated or Yorkshire? Isn't it great to have so many choices to argue the benefits of? We had started with the assumption that we would use Hoffmans in the brood and wide ends in the supers. Or maybe just space by eye or thumb, at least up top. Our first hive included some frames - mostly Hoffmans. Most nucs are sold on Hoffmans and the first folk we spoke to at the local beekeepers' association made us think that it was the modern thing to do. All this despite the fact that when I kept bees 20 years ago I was a metal end man! Over the months we have been talking about ways to ensure that frame remain the right way round when inspecting and ways to keep an eye on the age of combs - thus the idea of coloured ends or drawing pins got into our heads. Then a chat with David Pearce - a keen fan of the extra 1/16th of an inch space - when we were buying frames switched us away from the Hoffs and we had to make a decision. I used to hate cleaning propolis off metal ends. Once the tinning got scratched they start rusting in the shed and well you can't get green or red ones! So plastic it is!

This news item is from Beesmith
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