Makana Meadery manufactures a full range of affordably priced beekeeping products. The cost of establishing a beekeeping operation is prohibitive in most cases. In order to try and reduce these costs, and remove entry barriers to the beekeeping industry we have developed a range of low cost beekeeping equipment, as well as beehives. By operating our own sawmill and milling timber from wild growth invasive pine trees we are able to reduce the cost of hives as the timber is inexpensive, and we help the environment by removing these trees.
The Makana Meadery hives are all built to standard Langstroth dimensions.
We use a wood and correx lined bottom board. The correx plastic acts as a barrier to stop moisture seeping up into a hive in wet conditions.
We make all size supas, although our personal favourite is the medium. This is an in-between-size between a shallow supa and a deep supa and holds about 12-15kg honey when full. The medium is a more sensible supa than the shallow which in our experience is the wrong size for our bees, as during a weak flow the bees cannot handle two empty shallows, but can handle one empty medium.
Our supa boxes are made to be 1cm wider than the brood box so that if they become heavily propolised to the lower box, a piece of wood and a mallet (or brick) can be used to tap the boxes apart and limit damage to the boxes from hive tools being wedged between the boxes. This reduces the formation of 'bruise' marks on the wood which become robbing points in dry weather.
Makana Meadery frames are stapled together rather than joined. These frames are based on designs seen in large scale operations in North America and are considerably more durable than designs currently widely used in South Africa.
Normal South African frames pull apart when propolised to the sides of boxes as the bottom bar is jointed to the side bars of the frame so that the bottom bar pulls out when a frame is removed. This problem is avoided by stapling the bottom bars without joints.
Top bars are both side- and top-stapled to the side bars.
In tests of these design frames and normal SA design frames in our boxes, we found that the stapled frames lasted longer and were less prone to breaking. They also use less machine time so they are less expensive.
The Makana Meadery bicycle wheel extractor is a low cost, but effective honey extractor. Made from readily available low parts and powered by a small drill, this extractor removes one of the major entry barriers to beekeeping - buying an extractor.
To see how to assemble one of these extractors for yourself, visit: Science in Africa
Making your own foundation can be fun and relaxing. The Makana Meadery wax mould allows you to do this.
Mbongeni Ntantiso of Makana Meadery demonstrates how to make a sheet of wax foundation with the Makana Meadery mould.
For more information visit: Science in Africa
Beekeeping Protective Gear
Makana Meadery out sources the manufacture of bee suits and smokers to private contractors as part of an employment creation focus. Available in sizes from those for a 5 year old to XXXL.
Smokers are made from galvanised iron.
ęCopyright Grahamstown Brewery, 2006