Last Friday, I ordered Dadant's M58101 HONEY OF A HOBBY BEGINNER KIT NO 1, (for background, read http://inhaughtpursuit.blogspot.com/2008/05/i-dream-of-hidden-treasure.html) which "contains everything necessary for the beginner to start that first colony of bees except the bees themselves".
I received this response via e-mail: "Due to an increase in seasonal orders, we are experiencing longer than normal shipping time for our orders."
O happy day! May bees increase and prosper. May flowers bloom, pollen proliferate, and honey flow thick and heavy. May we learn God's order, understand his plan, and restore Christendom.
Whew! I feel better now. Just had to get that off my chest. In the meantime, you may want to read Robbing the Bees by Holley Bishop. It tells about bees in a charming story format. I tried the "textbook" approach and was bored, bored, bored. Robbing the Bees is delightful.
Here's what I'll get in my Dadant kit.
Hobby Kit No. 1 . Unassembled. Bees not included. • 1 - standard beehive • 1 - all purpose hive tool • 1 - reversible entrance reducer • 1 - bee smoker to calm bees • 10 - 9 1/8'' wedge top bar frames • 1 - protective bee veil • 10 - sheets plastic based foundation (Plasticell or Duragilt) • 1 - pair sting resistant gloves • 1 - book First Lessons in Beekeeping • 1 - assembly instructions As your colony grows we recommend the Hobby Kit #2 for the additional items needed to produce and package a honey crop. Ship Wt 39 lbs.