There are hundreds of gadgets and toys for beekeepers to fawn over but in this article we cover the basic beekeeping equipment to get you started!
You aspire to be a beekeeper but you have no idea of how much it costs and you don’t exactly know what type of equipment you need.
In this article we are going to make a couple of assumptions: You’re buying everything brand new and separately.
Now there are reputable online websites that you can order from such as bee-equipment and another called Thorne. Both are great beekeeping supply companies but you can always check your local supplier or preferred website.
Beekeeping Equipment For You
First thing on the list starting before you buy any beekeeping equipment, you should buy a beekeeping book. Consider buying some books that are chock full of knowledge on matters concerning bee behaviours. They are great to have because you can always go back and reference them and they’re right there in a physical form.
These can help you think and make tough decisions in times of crisis. Books range all over the place. You can spend money on books at different ranges and cost. So, go find a book that you like.
Your next step is to equip yourself with some protective beekeeping equipment essentials. Do not enter the beekeeping arena empty-handed. There is an array of suits that will make your hive checks safer, easier, and simpler. A suit can be anything from £50 to £250 or more depending on if you go for a full length.
Some suits come with a veil which is an essential tool for you as a beginner beekeeper. Equipped with CO2 receptors on their antennae, bees detect our exhalations and respond aggressively. This defence mechanism naturally developed to guard the hive against external threats.
It’s a misconception that bees can sense fear, what they sense is the fear behaviour. People tend to breathe heavily under tense moments which raises bees aggressiveness and cause stings.
Commonly, most veteran beekeepers don’t wear full protective gear. They’ve grown comfortable around their bees, and unlikely to get stung. Some bees have been bred specially for their docility and they’re pretty calm but I can tell you, not all bees are calm – protective gear is vital. We recommend the use of veils with a full covered suit for all beginners.
Products For The Bees
The first vital process is to purchase a beehive. A single standard beehive investment may cost around £150-£250 depending on the quality, size, and supplier.
There are categories when it comes to beehives. The traditional Langstroth is the most widely used hive in the world. The major components of a beehive are a bottom board, a brood box, brood frames, a honey super, an inner cover, a lid, and a Queen excluder. Your bees will now have a natural and delightful space to call home.
A bee smoker is an important tool in beekeeping for every beekeeper. It helps keep the bees calm and easy to work with. Bee smokers can be cheap and expensive at the same time. A smoker can range from £20 to £60 depending on the quality.
As a beginner, I’d recommend you purchase a cheaper bee smoker. There’s no need to go out and buy an expensive one that works just as well as the cheap one.
Equipment To Make Your Life Easier
A hive tool is a necessity in beekeeping, especially working around a hive. Bees tend to glue everything within the hive including frames, grills, and the seal. A hive tool makes it very convenient to get in and out of the hive.
Helps in picking around the frames and moving around the bees and detaching comb from the frames. The tool is mostly recommended for beginners as it is useful scraping, lifting, and levering boxes apart.
Bee gloves come with different prices where the cheapest can be £9. There is a wide range of gloves you can get including ventilated, leather, and cotton. Although most veteran beekeepers avoid gloves, we recommend the leather gloves to beginners due to the thicker material and increased safety.
The bee brush is a useful tool to have. The brushes on the bee brush can gently move the bees and not injure them in the process. It is a softer horse tail hair that goes into the brush and with a gentle touch on the bees is enough rather than using your hands and possibly damaging their wings.
At just £3 it’s easy to throw it in your pocket. It’s the least expensive gear you’re going to need and it’s nice to have it.