So you want to delve into the fantastic pastime of beekeeping at home. Congratulations! But as well as some basic know-how, you’ll also need to invest in some specific beekeeping equipment.
Here are the essential beekeeping supplies you absolutely must have in order to get started with backyard beekeeping:
This is where your bees will live, produce and store their honey. You can either purchase or build your beehive.
You will also have better results if you have a stand for your hives, keeping them up off the ground at least a couple of feet. Simple cinder blocks will do the trick here.
This is crucial to help prevent you from getting stung when you are working with or attending to your bees. It is especially necessary for beginners – experienced beekeepers may not always need to wear their suit. A full suit will protect your entire body from stings. These suits are white as this calms the bees – bees are most distressed by dark colors and furry textures (think black bears, their main predator!). You may also wish to invest in some rubber boots to prevent your bees from crawling up the leg of your suit. To read more about Beekeeping Clothing Click Here.
A beekeeping veil offers protection for your face if your suit doesn’t provide this. Even the gentlest bees can sting and they are naturally curious little creatures – if they have access to your ears or nostrils, they will check them out! Stings to the head are very painful – and can be dangerous in the area around the eyes.
Gloves are also very important. Any type of work gloves will do, however, beekeeper leather gloves covering your hands which extend as fabric to the elbow are best as they prevent access up the sleeves of your beekeeper suit.
Beekeepers use smoke to calm their bees so they can access the hive. Bees communicate by releasing pheromones; smoke masks these pheromones and communications are disrupted temporarily – so mass panic does not set in among your bees. When you have a smoker, you can use small twigs, wood chips, pine needles, or leaves in it to create smoke. This also helps you move bees around so you can inspect their hive. To read more about Bee Smokers Click Here
This is used to open hives, to loosen and inspect frames, and to scrape things off your hive boxes. Bees glue everything in their hive together with propolis; your hive tool helps you combat this.
This is used to gently brush your bees off the frames as you pull them from the hive. Most bees will be released simply by shaking the frame gently, however, some are persistent so this is where your bee brush can safely remove the stragglers.
Now you’re ready to purchase your bees! You may decide to catch a swarm, but as a beginner, purchasing a package of bees is a great idea. For more information on How to start a Beehive and get bees for your Bee Hive Click Here
This is a more expensive mechanical device used to extract honey from honeycomb without destroying the comb. It works by using centrifugal force and the wax caps the bees seal the honeycomb which must be manually cutaway prior. It allows the wax comb to be reused, meaning the bees don’t need to rebuild it from scratch.
Keeping bees offers so many benefits – a new skill, a new hobby, a new knowledge, harvesting your own honey and related products, and preserving your local bee population and natural environment. So what are you waiting for?