I decided a few weeks ago that beekeeping would be a great (and fun!) thing to do, both for the Earth and for myself, and decided to go all out. Welcome to the chronicles of my journey.
I take great care to limit the amount of chemicals I take in to my body and feel that bees deserve nothing less. I bought Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, if only because there are an incredibly small number of helpful resources in that category on the web. The book was great, and I truly appreciate that someone took the time to write (quite passionately) about taking a holistic and organic approach in a time when even backyard operations tend to be chemical-heavy.
Though the book was incredibly informative and beautifully written, there was still quite a bit of ambiguity in the air. My nature, however, is to jump feet first into something that catches my excitement. So I roped my wife in to going with me to the local beekeeping supply store today.
When we arrived we were met by the owners, an older couple who've been keeping bees for a whole lot longer than I've walked the Earth. While I had a theoretical understanding of the things I needed to get started, they offered a great deal of time-tested wisdom on what would be more practical. Happy to accept the gift of their knowledge, I ended up spending around $200 for a "hive kit". Here's what was in it:
(1) Hat and Veil
(1) Pair of Gloves
(1) Hive Tool
(1) Hive Body (partially assembled)
(1) Screened Bottom Board
(1) Inner Cover
(1) Top Cover
(10) Brood Frames (unassembled)
(10) Sheets of Beeswax Foundation
So, at the end of the first day of the rest of my beekeeping career, I've got a partially assembled hive body, unassembled frames and foundation, an awesome new hat, and no bees. So far, so good.