This is our Starter Hive. It comes assembled and ready for bees!
On the left side of the picture is the "R-5" telescoping top. It has a Styrofoam layer completely encased in wood to protect it from bees and hive tools. The result is a cover with an R-value 5 times that of a standard top. This will keep heat in the hive in the winter, which saves honey, and bees, and sometimes the whole hive. The top is primed and painted, and then capped with aluminum to make it waterproof. The insulation also keeps the hive cooler in the summer.
On the right side of the picture is the inner cover/hive top feeder. To use it both as a feeder and cover, you place the inner cover on top of the hive, and then place a feeding pail with syrup in it, upside down over the hole. Then place the empty super on the inner cover to protect the pail. The R-5 telescoping top is placed on this super.
This inner cover/hive top feeder is better than an entrance feeder, because the syrup is at the top of the hive where the warm air makes it easier for the bees to feed in cold weather. Plus, it is easier to protect from intruders, such as stronger hives, and racoons. If you put medicine in the syrup, it is protected from the damaging effects of the sun.
This feeder is better than the hanging type of feeder, because you do not have to wait for a warm day to refill the feeder. If you remove the inner cover to refill a hanging feeder, all the warm air escapes along with the guard bees! This is not the case with the hive top feeder, because the inner cover remains on the hive. Only the pail is removed.
The two deeps and medium super are made of cypress. They have "under cut" handles on all sides for slip free handling. The joints are rabbeted, glued with waterproof glue, and screwed. Of course, cypress wood is very weather resistent. But, we prime and paint the supers to give them additional protection from the sun and keep the hive cool in summer.
Note the frame holder on top of the right side of the medium super. It keeps the bees safe and the frame clean, while you are inspecting the hive.
In the foreground of the picture is the entrance reducer. It is used to limit the opening when the hive is weak and during cold weather. It has two size openings. To change from one to the other, you just rotate the bar.
Each deep super comes with 10 wooden frames that are assembled with glue and 2 nails in each corner. The foundation is plastic with a bees wax coating to help the bees draw out the comb quicker. The medium super has 9 frames, but of course they are smaller to collect the honey. If you space the 9 frames evenly in the super the bees will draw deeper comb, which is easier to uncap at harvest time. The reason the medium super is smaller will become apparent when you collect the honey. The deep frames with pollen and brood are lighter than the honey frames, when they're full of honey!
Last and most importantly, is the IPK screened bottom board. It gives you a powerful weapon against pests that can weaken a hive or even destroy it. It will virtually eliminate Small Hive Beetles, and reduces the Varroa mite population when used properly.
For more information on any of the components of the Starter Set, click on that item on the home page, or the button on the left side of this page for that item.
You can buy a cheaper hive, but you can't buy a better hive cheaper than this. We believe, quality is the bargain that keeps getting better with each passing year!