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SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System Review

The SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System has almost everything the novice beekeeper needs all in one package. The kit consists of two quick check supers-one deep jar super and one medium quick check super, twelve mason jars with lids – six 1-pint jars and six 1-quart jars, eight high visibility frames with pre-waxed plastic foundations, two ventilated jar screens, one stainless steel queen excluder, one ventilated inner cover, one pair of gloves, one bottle of liquid smoke and a beekeeping hat with a veil attached.

About the SummerHawk Ranch Backyard Beehive

Quick Check Window

SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System

The medium super on the beehive is fitted with an observation window at the rear. This window is called the quick check window. It allows the beekeeper to monitor the health of the bees and the activities going on inside the hive without disturbing or harming the bees.

The medium super is the brood super in this hive. The brood super is where the beekeeper will place his or her bees when they arrive. Inside this super, there are eight high visibility beehive frames. Each of these frames has a special contoured shape which makes it possible for the beekeeper to see the interior of the hive clearly while he or she is looking through the quick check window. That way the beekeeper can ensure that his queen is laying brood and that the bees are not infected with mites.

The traditional method of monitoring bees is to open up the hive, pull out the frames one by one and check on the health of the bees. This method can be stressful to the bees and the beekeeper risks killing some of the bees when he or she removes or replaces the frames. Bees are an endangered species and need to be protected as much as possible. SummerHawk Ranch’s signature quick check window ensures that no bees are harmed during this process.

Mason Jars

SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System

When the bees have outgrown the brood super, the beekeeper can either add another brood super or you can place the queen excluder over the brood super and add the honey super.  The queen excluder prevents the queen from getting into the honey super. This SummerHawk Ranch beehive kit has a deep mason jar honey super. In a mason jar super, there are no frames. The bees make and store honey directly in the mason jars. When the jars are full, the beekeeper just has to unscrew the jars from the bottom of the super and screw on the lids.

Mason jar supers make harvesting honey quick and easy. Traditionally the beekeeper would have to open up the hive, smoke out the bees and pull out the hives. Then they would have to scrape the tops off the honey combs and put them in the honey extractor. Then strain the honey and pour it into jars. If no extractor was available, the beekeeper would have to cut the combs off the frames. Put them into a container to drain then strain out the honey. Both of these processes are time consuming. With the SummerHawk mason jar super, the honey is already in the jars.

Supers and Frames

SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System

The frames also feature plastic honey comb foundations that are already waxed. Having pre-waxed honeycomb foundations is a wonderful advantage for the bees. Normally when bees are placed in a beehive, they have to first build their honey comb in order for the queen to begin laying brood. The honey comb is also where the bees make and store their honey. If the bees don’t have to spend time making the honeycomb, then the queen can start laying eggs right away and the workers can get down to the business of making honey.

Ventilation

The two ventilated jar screens can be put in place of the jars to increase ventilation to the hive. This helps to keep the bees from getting too hot during the summer months. Increased air flow in the hive helps keep moisture from collecting on the bottom of the hive cover. Moisture is dangerous to bees. If drops of water collect on the bottom of the hive cover. It can fall on the bees and get their wings wet. When their wings get wet, the bees can’t fly around to feed themselves and they can starve to death.

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Kit Extras

SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System

When dealing with bees, it is essential that one has all the necessary equipment to protect yourself from bee stings. That’s why the SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System provides you with a beekeeping hat, gloves and a bottle of liquid smoke. The hat with the veil helps to protect your head and eyes from the bees. Since your hands will come into direct contact with the bees, it is imperative that they are completely covered with a comfortable pair of gloves.

Instead of using a smoker to repel the bees, you can use liquid smoke. Rub a bit of liquid smoke on your arms and face. You can rub it on every bit of exposed skin and it acts like a bee repellent. It keeps the bees away from you much like bug spray and insect repellent keeps mosquitoes away. This is healthier for the bees and you don’t have to light charcoal and carry it around in a smoker.

Further Thoughts

The supers and hive cover of the beehive are made from sustainably sourced Canadian hemlock wood, and feature finger joint construction on the edges. You can paint or decorate the hive in any colour you want to match your personal style or your garden furniture. If you like the natural look then you can use a varnish or a wood stain on it. It will add a decorative touch to your garden.

A Final Word

The hive is 27 inches wide, 28 inches high, 20 inches deep and weighs 68 lbs. It is small enough to fit in any backyard no matter what kind of area you live in, the SummerHawk Ranch Mason jar beehive can be placed in any garden space be it rural or suburban. You can even place it in a roof top garden.

The kit extras are just the icing on the cake for this innovative beehive. It is a modern, well built hive that provides great value for money.

Review Overview

Ease of Assembly
Structural Design
Durability
Value for Money

Superb!

The SummerHawk Ranch Complete Backyard Beehive Kit System appeals to the modern beekeeper and provides a great way to get started in beekeeping.

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