Fifteen years ago, as dedicated full-time beekeepers, we found ourselves dissatisfied with the features of our equipment and we longed for beehives that would meet our bees needs for warm dry hives with ideal proportions, as well as with features to aid in basic beekeeping practices. We began researching hive styes and installing bees in early prototypes to measure their performance. About six years ago we decided we were going to change equipment styles for the last time, and that we would embark upon the journey of building our own equipment from scratch, to ensure our beehives would have every feature we felt was imperative to a good bee-house. Furthermore, we were able to have personal responsibility for sourcing our materials in the most sustainable ways possible by using locally sourced and milled lumber from small family-owned individuals and businesses. We have run more than one style in the past and so we were aware that changing equipment styles is something that one does not want to do often and that it is costly in both time and money. When ridding yourself of old equipment, you will never recoup your investment, and so the best way to get your money’s worth out of beehives is to use them for a long time. Thus changing your use of one style over to another is a process that generally can’t be done all at once. If one was not attached to their bees, the simplest way to change hive styles would be to sell the bees, old equipment and all. Then, one could simply buy or build new equipment and start fresh. This is not however what we did, because, as you might guess, we are attached to our bees and so it has been a long process. We will finally succeed this year. We just did another round of converting. Of our last 24 10-frame hives, we converted 18, and we are now down to 6. In three weeks when the weather is nice, we shall convert the rest. It took over four years for our volume of new-style equipment to build up to the point that we could ‘afford’ to retire the old 10-frame deeps, but we can finally taste it. We are so excited. Our next goal is to remove the hundred or so 8-frame deep langstroth boxes from the operation, and then we will officially be using only our custom woodenware. We will keep you posted.
One of the last six ten-framers in the biz.
A couple hives that have been freshly converted to 8 frame still sitting upon their 10-frame pallets.