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Advice to a Group of Newbies

Posts: 28
Location: Livingston, MT (Zone 4B)
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Good Morning Permies,

I know there is a lot of similar information out there, so maybe this post is redundant.  Anyways I'm starting up a Houston Permaculture Labor Co-Op and our first project is going to be building bee hives.  After having talked to a local beekeeper I've been persuaded to add Horizontal Top Bar hives to the list of plans to build (easier for people without helpers / with heath issues).  So the hives we are planning on building will be Warre or HTBH.  I would like to get some opinions from people keeping bee's in each type of hive as to the challenges associated with each type of hive.  There are currently 0 members in the local beekeeping community using Warre hives so they are very hesitant to the idea of use Warre hives, but I believe that this hive is a good option (especially for the bees).  Also what is the minimum equipment required for new hobbyist beekeepers with a single hive.  

Hoping to hear about difficulty Nardiring the Warre hives...or how easy it is.
Harvesting honey from either horizontal or Warre
Building hives
Long term viability as a hive
Ease of management

General Question:
Is linseed oil a sufficient finish for a pine hive or should something more "permanent" be used like no VOC paint?

Looking forward to some insight.

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Posts: 2085
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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I heard or read somewhere to use RAW linseed oil rather than boiled linseed oil. Some hives are made of sturdier wood than pine & require no paint or oil. Cedar & hemlock come to mind. An unpainted pine box that is screwed & dove tailed together will actually last quite a few years.

I would not want to lift several boxes of bees alone to nadir. A couple hundred thousand bees are heavy.

Generally a good place to start is join the local beekeeping organization, read a few bee books, & take a class. Then teach them permie bee stuff later!!! It's a tough chore though. Hopefully your permaculture co-op will help draw the local beekeepers with a more natural frame of mind.

Horizontal or vertical? I don't think the bees really care much. My opinion is the beekeeper is the crucial aspect.

Since you'll probably have random visitors at the co-op I'll recommend an epi-pen as minimal equipment. The only other thing one needs is bees. Two colonies would be a big plus. Good luck & welcome to permies.

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