Today we built the last five hive bodies: five medium supers (cf. building the hive boxesÂ and building the frames). I just need to assemble the frames and they’ll go onto the hives and collect honey. Finally, after two dry years, I willÂ have honey, because the bee season and the honey flow so far have been amazing. So, time to see if the decision to build the boxes and to assemble the frames ourselves was a good one. Of course I made the calculation before, but there are always surprises to be reckoned in afterward.
Each of my two hives has:
- screened bottom board: I had these lying around ($0)
- two deeps, built from two 1×12-8 common pine boards ($30)
- 20 wooden frames,Â bought from Â myÂ local bee supplier,Â unassembled ($22)
- 20 sheets withÂ Duragilt foundationÂ brought from myÂ local bee supplierÂ Â ($28)
- two medium supers,Â built from two 1×8-8Â common pine boards ($20)
- 20 wooden frames,Â bought unassembled fromÂ myÂ local bee supplierÂ Â ($22)
- 20 Plasticell (plastic and beeswax coating) foundation – unavailable from Â myÂ local bee supplier so got it online, so addÂ shipping ($28)
- one Â inner cover: bought thisÂ from myÂ local bee supplier ($12)
- one telescoping outer cover: bought this from myÂ local bee supplierÂ ($25)
- 2 boxes of 6d 2″ nails ($9)
- gallon of exterior paint (not counting this because the kit I am comparing this to come unpainted)
A similar kit from the local bee supplierÂ (Dadant’s kits, for instance, would be cheaper, but the shipping kills the deal) costs $280.
In the end we saved more than $84 * 2, because we put together some extra boxes and frames, and the bulk-buy of planks, frames and foundation cut the price even more.
Of course this doesn’t reckon the hours DH and IÂ put in,Â together figuring out box joints and having fun hammering away, but those areÂ priceless anyway.Â As forÂ the cost of electricity to run the saws and of gasoline to drive to the shops to buy the planks, etc, I doubt they amount to $84. On the whole , I reckon this was a successful venture. I’m happy they’re done, though, and hope they will last many, many years.