As always, the BONS November meeting was fun, well attended, covered a lot of items and had an interesting program. Several members, talented as both beekeepers and woodworkers, showed the equipment they have built or modified to perform better with how they keep bees. This is the heart and soul of beekeeping, making what you have work for your bees.
So where does one start? I find manufacturing some of my hive equipment allows me to modify what I don’t like into what I do like. For example, I didn’t like the screen bottom boards that I had bough from several different sources so I started building my own. I needed to ventilate my hives more while keeping out other insects so I built my own vent shim.
I don’t deviate from the length, width or height of standard medium supers. I usually purchase supers during the free shipment events of major bee equipment supply companies. I find these supers to be well designed and very serviceable. I also purchase frames and foundation in bulk.
Other than supers and frames, I build to my needs. One excellent source of plans is the Michigan Beekeepers Association’s In the Beekeeper’s workshop. Mr Tilmann has done an excellent job with his free downloadable plans and videos. Even if you never build your own equipment, it is a great place to learn.
What an enjoyable way to make those cold “bee less” Winter months fly by!