Beekeeping is one of the most rewarding activities around.
You get fresh honey, a connection to nature, and bees that will pollinate your plants. And in some ways, it’s actually pretty easy– you don’t have to grow bee food or clean up after them!
But there are a lot of things you need to know before you start beekeeping. The right supplies will make it so much easier to keep bees!
Just like with any other activity, having the right tools for the job makes all the difference—it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about baking or woodworking or anything else.
This is also true when it comes to beekeeping: having a few specific pieces of equipment can save time and energy when working with your hives. Before going out and buying every tool under the sun, though, take stock of what you currently have on hand around the house that might work for these tasks as well as what types of tools would make your life easier (for example, if you only have one hive box but plan on expanding in the future).
A Beginner Beekeeping Kit
Beginner beekeeping kits are a great way to get started with bees. They contain everything you need to keep your hive, including:
- Beekeeper suit
- Hive tool (a flat metal tool used for prying apart frames)
- Bee brush (a soft brush used for brushing bees and removing propolis)
These kits can be found online or in most agricultural stores that carry beekeeping equipment. The price of these kits usually ranges between $200-$500 depending on the size and quality of the hives they contain.
It is important to note that while a beginner’s kit is sufficient for beginners, it may not be enough if you want to continue with your hobby after your first year as a beekeeper. If this is the case then you should consider purchasing an intermediate or advanced hive along with other accessories like frames, foundation sheets, supers (hives) and queen excluders (devices used for preventing queens from laying eggs).
Protective Clothing And Gear
When you’re working with bees, it’s imperative that you wear protective clothing and gear. Bees will sting through your clothes, so make sure to wear:
- Long sleeves and long pants. The longer your sleeves are, the sooner you can pull them over your hands in case of an emergency. Your pants should be high enough that they cover most of your legs when kneeling down or sitting on the ground— bees like to attack from below!
- A hat. This will help protect your head from stings as well as keep it cool in warm weather.
- Gloves for handling equipment (or anything else!).
- A veil for when inspecting hives or other times when working in close proximity to bees (like harvesting honey). A full-face veil is best because it offers complete protection against stings but can still allow some air circulation around the face (you don’t want to suffocate!).
It also helps prevent sweat from dripping into eyes while wearing glasses or goggles during hot summer days—and trust me: beekeepers get very sweaty indeed!
I recommend soaking cotton strips with apple cider vinegar before placing them between layers of fabric so they stay fresh longer; this prevents mold growth while also repelling moths which might try eating through fabric fibers over time… but mostly just smells bad.
The hive tool is one of the most important tools in your beekeeping arsenal. It’s used to pry apart frames and boxes, scrape propolis off of hive frames, and scrape beeswax off of hive frames. If you’re into DIY projects, it can also be used as a scraper for removing paint or old wallpaper.
The hive tool has many different uses—it can help you lift heavy items that are too big for your hands (like those supers full of honey), remove stubborn propolis (a sticky substance that bees use to seal cracks in their hives), scrape wax from inside a hive box so that you can get at the honey, and even use it as leverage when opening up hives if something goes wrong with your gloves (which happen more often than you’d think).
A smoker is a tool used to calm bees, which makes them less likely to swarm and sting. When you put smoke on the bees, they will return to their hive and wait for the smoke to go away. The smoker works just like a fire extinguisher—it puts out the fire by making lots of smoke.
Smokers can be made from many different things: old paint cans, tin cans, PVC pipes etc… You can use your own creativity when making one! If you don’t want to bother with making your own smoker then there’s plenty of pre-made options available at stores like Walmart & Home Depot too!
It’s important that every beekeeper knows how they’re going do this before starting out as otherwise there may be problems later down the road when trying removing swarms from hives due having never done before (or even worse still – forgetting about doing it altogether!).
Extra Hive Boxes And Frames
The number of extra hive boxes and frames you need depends on the size of your hive. You can either use a complete set or add a few extra, though most beekeepers like to have at least one or two extras in case something happens to their primary equipment.
It’s important that you make sure your extra components are in good condition before using them (this is especially true with the frames). To test for damage, place each piece on its side and tap it gently with a rubber mallet; if you hear dents or creaks when you hit it, then that part needs replacing.
Uncapping Fork or Uncapping Knife
Forks and knives are both used to remove honeycomb from the cells. However, forks are used to remove comb that has already been uncapped (cut) while knives cut the remaining parts of the cell.
The difference between using a fork and knife to uncap is that with a fork, you will be able to take out larger chunks at once than if you had used a knife. If your goal is to get as much honey out of your hive as possible, then an uncapping fork would be more ideal for you because it allows for more time-saving removal of comb from the frame.
If speed isn’t as important for your beekeeping operation and you simply need something simple and efficient for removing wax from frames then we recommend selecting an uncapping knife instead!
The Right Supplies Will Make It So Much Easier To Keep Bees
Beekeeping is a great hobby and can help the planet, but you need to have the right gear before you get started with it. Luckily there are many companies out there that make quality beekeeping supplies so that you don’t have to go out and buy everything yourself. Just remember not all suppliers are created equal – make sure the supplier has a good reputation for customer service as well as their products.