Here's her comment and question:
Hello!! Thank you so much for the bee info - I was hoping you might be able to help me. I know very little about this - my husband is reading up on it and wanting to try this out - but I'd like to gift him the outfit and some sort of hive starter kit for Christmas - could you please send me some info on the best place to purchase these things? I've watched your blog so I know you're thrifty, and would probably know the best place to get this stuff - It would really help me out and I would so so appreciate it! Please email me... Or comment on my blog at marcismullings.blogspot.com Thanks so much in advance!Here was my answer (which was close to Thanksgiving... oh, please forgive me for being a slacker!)
Hubby buys some things from Dadant and some from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, both online. He also buys quite a bit locally as soon as he found out where to buy! If he buys online he prefers Dadant because of the way they run their business. They aren't always the cheapest, but when the owners sold the business (because they were getting old!) they sold it to the employees. Hubby likes it when owners do that :) You are right, we are thrifty, but sometimes it's better to spend a little bit more for quality and service.Two local people that we've bought supplies and bees through are Knight Family Honey and Brother B (scroll down to find Brother B's information).
I would also call your County Extension Office. Someone there can probably tell you the closest beekeepers association. We have loved ours! (Utah County Beekeeping Association) Some of our members run small businesses that sell beekeeping supplies, which we appreciate because then we can support a a local business. They are usually less expensive because there is no shipping costs, we love that, too. We can buy supers (or anything wood) as either kit (we put it together and finish it), unfinished (everything is put together but we have to paint it) and ready to put bees in.
We also go through our local guys to order bees in the spring. It makes things a bit tricky if we are gone for the weekend because the bees arrive on a specific day--no negotiating! If you aren't there, you better have someone who will pick them up for you.
Hopefully that will give you a few ideas on where to find supplies.
Oh, and we have a few books that we like. Beekeeping for Dummies, First Lessons in Beekeeping (Keith S. Delaplane) and Hive Management (Richard E. Bonney). I think Hubby likes the Dummies book and Hive Management best. If you have young children you might want to get on Internet Archives and download an old book called The Bee People (link on the sidebar of my blog, too) to read out loud to them. Vet2Be loved it and even made a game about bees (you can find the game on Homeschool Share).
When I talked to Hubby he said what I told her was accurate. If I see any boxes coming in the door in the next few weeks I'll take some photos and post about what he's ordered and what it's for.