This is a big year for us – we are expanding!!! This year we will nearly double the number of colonies that we are managing. This means that we need more equipment. Boxes and frames and foundation galore! For us this meant another trip to Dadant to get the supplies. It sure seems like these trips are becoming more common!
This last trip to Dadant punctuates the need for a proper vehicle that is fit for beekeeping. Cars and minivans are nice, but they just cannot compare when it comes to transporting beekeeping equipment! On the return trip from Dadant it became apparent that we had maxed out the abilities of the minivan that we borrowed. The suspension was bottomed on the frame for most of the way home.
Our normal beekeeping vehicle is an old Buick. It is on its last leg. Its back seat is stained with propolis and is sticky with honey from placing boxes on the seats. Its floor covered in Honey Bee Healthy, Pro Health and sugar syrup from transporting feeder buckets. The trunk smells like a bee smoker. It has served us well, but we have definitely outgrown it.
Assembling 200 frames in the living room may be cozy, but it has its downfalls as well. Annoying the neighbors with pounding or nailing, cleaning up glue, and storage all become major issues. After a few years of beekeeping it has become apparent that if one is to stay a beekeeper, it is necessary to have a workshop to do this type of work in.
For the time being, our friend John has a workshop that we can use to build some of our equipment and even make some custom pieces like our candy boards and our custom inner covers. He has a great table saw that will stop the blade if you touch it with a finger. It is nice to know that the saw will lessen the chance of losing a valuable finger! His chop saw and air compressor come in handy too. We know what we will need when we want to equip our own shop.
So in the future, we will need at least one truck and a workshop to build and paint equipment in. Not to mention a place where we can extract all that sweet yummy honey!