Buying Used Beekeeping Equipment – Avoid The Traps
The price of some new beekeeping equipment can be a bit expensive for some people wanting to start beekeeping. One alternative to this problem is to purchase used beekeeping equipment.
While used equipment can save you money it’s not always the best way to go. Used beekeeping equipment can potentially be contaminated with pests and diseases. The best used beekeeping equipment for a beginner to purchase is anything that can be easily cleaned and sterilized to prevent any contamination problems.
Used beekeeping clothing can be easily cleaned and disinfected. All you will need to check is that the suit or hat is in good condition without any holes or excessive wear.
The smoker is another piece of equipment that is unlikely to cause any problems if you get a used one. The smoker has very little contact with the hive and the heat means that any contamination should be burnt off.
Extractors and other equipment for processing the honey is also another area where purchasing used equipment can be a cost saving. As many extractors and processing equipment can also be cleaned and sterilized by following the recommend procedures, there is reduced risk of introducing contamination.
Buying a used hive is another matter and it can be a big problem for an inexperienced beekeeper. The hive is where pest and disease problems are most likely to occur so you would need to be certain that you are buying a disease and pest free hive.
Only buy used a used hive from a disease free apiary. It is important to ask to see the inspection history of any used hive you are considering and if it is to be purchased together with the bees, you would probably be best to ask for a honey culture test to check the health of the hive.
Another problem for new beekeepers is determining what is a fair value for a used hive. As hives are constructed from wood their usable lifespan is determined by how well the timber has been protected from the elements.
Not all used beekeeping equipment is contaminated and many reputable beekeepers do sell off clean usable equipment, its just that an inexperience person may not know how to properly check the equipment and seller.
One cost saving alternative to buying a used hive is to build one your self. Building a hive does require some woodworking skill so it’s not for everyone but it can save you a significant amount.
Buying used beekeeping equipment can save you a significant amount on the initial start up costs. Just be very particular about what equipment and supplies you buy and understand that some used beekeeping equipment can come with unexpected consequences if you’re not careful.