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Excellent Beekeeping Equipment and Excellent Suppliers


#1

This post is to opened for discussion and information sharing about excellent beekeeping equipment and excellent suppliers, to help other beekeepers find excellent equipment, great prices and knowledgeable suppliers.
(Please only write about your own personal experience as a purchaser so that we keep the quality of the topic real. Please keep the topic to the good, great and excellent stuff, unless the item you got was dangerous and telling others will help keep people safe. Please keep it positive and helpful. Please don’t push your own products, if your stuff is great then others can tell us about it, thanks).

What awesome pieces of beekeeping equipment to you have that you couldn’t live without?
Where did you get your great beekeeping supplies from?
Who are the reputable and reliable equipment suppliers in your area?
Do you buy online from web stores, or prefer to buy your equipment direct from the store?


#2

I’ll be very interested in this… I can purchase materials from a few suppliers locally and the cheapest one is half the price of the others. I spoke to someone about it and his opinion was that it was get what you pay for. He bought a couple of hives from the cheap place and wasn’t impressed. They come out of china as opposed to australia, thinner walls, lots of knots in the wood…

Does anyone have an opinion on the best value approach?


#3

I’d love to hear from anyone else local who has purchased from suppliers in South Australia.

I’m new to beekeeping but so far:

Supplier: http://www.beeutifullhoney.com.au/
Prices are a little less expensive than another local supplier. I went to their shed/shop in Lonsdale (South Australia) to make my purchases. Although the shop isn’t always open, if you phone Colin and his partner and they are nearby they will come and open up for your if they can. Prices on their website are the same as in the shop, except there is a delivery fee that’s pretty expensive. Phone or email them before doing a web order to find out the best deliver price for you. It’s a small two person operation. Colin was very helpful with information and was willing to deliver to my home (I live locally). I haven’t had the chance to use much of what I bought (full length bee suit, be brush, smoker, long gloves, hive J tool, foundation). I’ve used the stainless steel J hive tool to clean up 5 boxes for used frames and hives, it’s still like new. The stainless steel smoker has had two 15 minute test runs and I used it for about 4 hours this week, still looks pretty much like new.

http://www.gilbertbeekeeping.com/ also in Lonsdale
Martin and Lorraine are at the shop most Saturdays. They have a pretty large stock range. Both were very willing to pass on information and ideas to a new beekeeper and they even let my young daughters watch a beekeeping video on their iPad while Lorraine talked with me (keep the kids happy Ikea style). There was a steady flow of old hands visiting the shop while I was there, and the Gilbert’s seemed to know most of them by name. Lorraine sat down with me for about 30 minutes to give me the beginners run down on what was needed to get started, not just products, but also compliance info which is very important as well. Their prices are a little higher than Beeutifull Honey’s. They stock products from different suppliers and have a larger range to choose from. For a new beekeeper, the information is worth the little extra cost.

Overall, I think I’ll check out both suppliers prices, availability of stock, and if they are open when I need the gear, before I buy anything more. Thumbs up to both of them from me.


#4

Smokers might look pretty much the same but unfortunately some will drive you up the wall. Now I stick with Beeco smokers, but I’m sure there are others just as good. I get mine from Dalrymple View Apiary Supplies in Allora Qld who are also excellent suppliers of woodware etc and good service. A good smoker makes a happy beekeeper.


#5

How hard to you reckon it would be to buy an 8 Frame Slatted rack for my hive?

omg… its driving me nuts… :rage:


#6

For Dutch beekeepers, i’m told http://www.bijenhuis.nl/webwinkel/#P:00016:00028 is a pretty good place to buy bee related stuff.


#7

Supplier: http://www.ultrabreezesuits.com/ for Ultra Breeze, the best (ventilated) beekeeping suit on the market.

I chanced on this suit after reading about how the man who invented it had died, and people were mourning his loss, and the loss of what they considered the best beekeeping suit on the market. So I rushed to see if I could still get one … there was so much interest that his family had kept the business going. I loved the full suit so I later bought the jacket also, and that is equally awesome. Besides, I love the idea supporting a genuine little family business. I live in Texas where the heat and humidity has caused me heat stroke, and this not only keeps me cool, it has provided outstanding sting protection. Not a single bee sting has made it’s way through the roomy multiple layers, the English-style veil stays in place (I am able to comfortably wear a Tilley hat underneath), and the visibility is excellent. Apparently Ultra Breeze works really well in wet weather too, but I’ve never used it in the rain so have no personal experience about that.

They are expensive, but absolutely worth it. It is so well made it will probably outlast me - I don’t expect to need another one unless I burn a hole in it (someone mentioned somewhere that the family sent him a patch when he did that). There are now knock-offs, but you get what you pay for - the knock-offs just don’t seem to get the same reviews and from what I have seen in the photos, don’t look as good as an Ultra Breeze.

Brilliant. Fantastic. Amazing. All the superlatives apply.


#8

@SowthEfrikan Thanks for sharing your product experience with us!


#9

@Raoul_Teeuwen looks like a great site, I wish I could read Dutch!