Used Beekeeping Equipment. If you are looking at diving into beekeeping and are a little tight on the dough, used beekeeping equipment is a good option. Don’t you start improvising or leaving out some critical equipment because of a crunch. If you are just starting out, it’s not such a good idea, but workable nonetheless. Some experts will tell you that bees actually prefer the old and used beehives to the brand new ones.
Once you know exactly what you need (by making a real list), the next question is where to get the get the best equipment and the best deal. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you set out:The internet almost always is the default place to start for many people â no wonder it is a fave for the swindlers and cons. They will take every opportunity to throw at you a raw deal if you so much as show the slightest sign of vulnerability. That said, visit the sites or apiary if you are uncertain and check out the equipment for yourself.Â
Personally, I recommend starting out by checking the local directories for suppliers who are selling used beekeeping equipment. Ensure that they are registered by the local apiary authorities. The local beekeeping clubs could also give you some important recommendations and contacts. These folks can certainly let you in on some beekeepers that might be downsizing or looking to upgrade their equipment. That means their newsletters and publications might be a perfect place to scan for any ads of members selling off their equipment. A friend recently told me he had got information on some used hives from a bee exterminator. He had told him about some old hives that were in good condition after doing his thing for a customer who was throwing in the towel.
Equipment such as the hives can be sensitive. It may be infested with disease previously and not properly sterilized. Always try to find out why they are selling it and though this may be difficult, at least ask for some sort of inspection certification and later, a guarantee. Disease in the hive can be quite frustrating as it usually ends up killing the bees. Some of the diseases that are hard to detect include the acute paralysis virus, Kashmir bee virus, and the fatal Black queen cell virus which kills the queen. As for the pests, it might be possible to see the signs of such pests as the Varroa mites. This might be too technical for a novice at the moment, but it is information that can save you a great deal (didn’t I tell you to get brand new equipment?)
Be on the look-out for faulty or damaged equipment. Some folks could easily try to sell you their equipment that is either not as effective anymore, or totally doesn’t work. Lastly, keep your eyes on the money. Compare the costs of the used equipment to the brand new ones to ensure you don’t pay less but have to replace or repair the equipment after a short period.
***John Edwards is a bee enthusiast and a farmer. He has participated in several research projects aimed at improving apiculture in general. His newest book,”The Ultimate Beekeeping Guide,” teaches Beekeepers everything they need to know about used beekeeping and caring for their bees.