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Once you have decided to venture into beekeeping, the first thing to do is to seek sufficient information about the enterprise. The second thing to do will be to get the right beekeeping equipment. However, when it comes to choosing the right beekeeping equipment, there are quite a few options to choose from, thereby making it quite challenging to decide what to buy. In this review we will look one of the options available for you with our review the Mann Lake HK170 10-Frame Complete Hive Kit.
About Mann Lake
Mann Lake is a global brand that provides beekeeping supplies to both the beginning hobbyist as well as the professional. They offer a wide variety of hives, queen rearing equipment, protective suits, beekeeping tools, honey extraction equipment and many other products.
About the Mann Lake HK170 10 Frame Complete Hive Kit
This traditional complete hive kit is a 10 frame hive that comes with some great features. It has been designed with the needs of the bees as well as those of the beekeeper in mind. If you are looking for an assembled hive with all that is required of a traditional hive kit, then this is one to consider.
The kit comes with the following features:
- It comes with a 9-5/8 inch assembled hive body and ten 9-1/8 inch assembled wood frames already painted with a waxed Rite-Cell foundation.
- It has an assembled telescopic cover with an inner cover and an assembled bottom board that comes with an entrance reducer. The bottom board is already treated.
- It measures 22-inches in length, 18-1/2 inch in width, and 13-1/7 inch in height.
- Once most of the foundation has been used up by the bees, you can then add a second deep hive body.
Pros and Cons
- Comes completely assembled.
- It is well-constructed and comes pre-painted.
- Quality for money.
- Clean and safe packaging.
- Attractive design.
- A bit expensive when compared to other brands.
Beekeeping has been in existence for centuries. It is one of the most gratifying enterprises given the huge benefits derived from honey and other bee products. If you are passionate about beekeeping or simply want to explore something new and exciting, then you should definitely give it a shot. It is one of those investments that do not require a huge capital to start and pays back within a short time. However, besides other minor setbacks such as regulations and location that affect beekeeping, you need to have the right beekeeping equipment. The hive kit in particular is essential and you should get only the best quality bee hive. Mann Lake is one of the brands that are well-known for its high quality beekeeping products including hives. The Mann Lake HK170 10-Frame Complete Hive Kit is an excellent quality hive that gives a great start to the novice beekeepers. It can also be a useful addition to your existing stock of hives. It is one of those hive kits that I can never hesitate in recommending to a friend. The kit is well-built and never disappoints.
Now, let’s go a bit further and talk about the components that make up the hive.
The hive body is the box where the bees are housed. A bee hive will have one or more hive bodies and each one of them is made up of vertically hung frames. You either choose a deep or medium hive body. Beekeepers mostly place the deep body hive at the bottom and the medium hive body at the top. The deep body hive has the capability of holding frames of up to 9-5/8 inches long. The medium hive body on the other hand holds 6-5/8 inch tall frames.
The main advantage associated with the medium body hive is that they are weighty and this may explain why they are placed at the top hive. The medium size hive bodies can easily be lifted when necessary. However, one major issue with them is that the queen bee prefers to lay the eggs in deep hive bodies. Therefore, you should avoid putting only medium hive bodies in the bee hive. Experts have discovered that the hive with most deep hive bodies is more productive than one with more or pure medium size hive bodies.
10 Frame or 8 Frame Hive Bodies
The hive body can hold either 8 frame or 10 frames (traditional size). The difference between these two is their weight. The larger boxes are ideal since they give the bees more room to grow and helps avoid the need to add hive bodies more often. The bees also get more horizontal space and this eliminates the need for additional vertical space.
Wood or Plastic
The hive boxes and the frames come either in plastic or wood. Wood is the most popular material used by beekeepers and the Mann Lake HK170 is made of wood. The plastic material offers more insulating properties which is ideal for the winter.
Assembled or Unassembled
The hive body comes as either assembled or unassembled. They may also be either painted or unpainted. You also get the frames as assembled or unassembled. They may also be coated or uncoated, with or without foundation. If you want to save some money, you can buy the hive components unassembled and put them together then paint and wax them. The Mann Lake HK170 has the benefit of shipping preassembled.
Other Hive Parts
These are other important components of the bee hive:
- Frames – the bees build the honeycombs in the frames and rear their brood. They also store honey and pollen in this area. Frames hang vertically in the hive body and normally include a wax-coated foundation where the bees build. There may be many choices to choose from with respect to frame foundations, but it is wise to always stick to a standard size.
- Bottom Board – the bottom board acts as the base for the hive and entry point for the bees. The reducer is used for regulating the size of the opening.
- Covers – the inner and outer covers protects the bees. The upper part must be covered.
- Hive stand – this helps in keeping the bee hive away from the ground.
- Queen excluder – this acts as a barrier that keeps the queen from moving into the section specifically designed for honey storage.
- Mite screen – this is designed to keep away the varroa mites.
- Feeder – bees have to be fed with 1:1 sugar water solution before they get their own source of food. The feeder is used for this purpose.
Why Stick to Standards?
You may realize that all beekeeping resources emphasize the need to stick to standards. This is very essential since you will be mixing and matching pieces later on. It will be difficult to get matching pieces if you do not follow the standard requirements.
In some cases you may realize that not all honey equipment suppliers follow standards. However, one way to ensure you follow standards is to purchase equipment from one source and stick to it. This will ensure uniformity so that all pieces can fit perfectly. Mann Lake is a trusted supplier that always sticks to standards.
There is More to Beekeeping
Acquiring the right hive, setting it up and stocking it with bees is not exhaustive in itself. There are other key activities that are required for successful beekeeping. The hive has to be checked on a weekly basis during which the beekeeper checks for healthy production of eggs, presence of burrowing animals, contamination from pests, and many other activities. Some of the worst enemies of bees include opossums and skunks, mice, birds, mites, beetles, fungus, moths and other bees.
Asides the protection of the hive from predators, the beekeeper also ensures the integrity of the hive is not compromised. Bees require sufficient space especially during the honey-producing summer months otherwise the bees may leave the hive. Furthermore, once honey is harvested, the beekeeper needs to ensure enough honey is leftover as food for the bees during winter. There are also some other important activities associated with beekeeping such as feeding and many others.
A Final Word
The Mann Lake HK170 10-Frame Complete Hive Kit will help you kick-start your beekeeping business in top gear. This assembled hive kit will help you avoid the need to build your own bee hive from scratch. Most of its components come preassembled, treated and painted. It is spacious enough and will provide sufficient space for the bees. Furthermore, it will be easier to get additional components later on.
The Mann Lake HK170 Hive Kit is one of the best traditional bee hive kits on the market today. It has an excellent exterior and all the interior components provide a comfortable home for your bees. If you want a bee hive kit that is spacious enough and has room for expansion, then look no further. This is one of the bee hive kits I can never hesitate in recommending to anyone. It is definitely worth its price.
Do you own the Mann Lake HK170 Hive Kit? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it.Check Price