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THE MUST-HAVES OF BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT

You may have just purchased your first hive or this is your tenth year of beekeeping and you are just curious what the world may have come up with for you to add to your beekeeping supplies and beekeeping equipment. People join the beekeeping adventure for all kinds of reasons. Some do it as a retirement hobby while others do it for business to make a big buck!

Your next step is to equip yourself with some basic beekeeping equipment so you’re not entering the field empty-handed.  You’ll need the essential beekeeping tools to keep going. Beekeeping isn’t a complicated activity to get into and the best part is that you don’t need advanced education to get started!

However, it is necessary for one to take some time to familiarize yourself with all the information before diving in and it will be of great help in the beekeeping journey. Don’t worry, inexperienced beekeepers don’t need to have advanced equipment like those being used by commercial beekeepers.

Where do you need to get started?

Here is the best place to start and you will find all the beekeeping equipment that you, a prospective beginner or an experienced beekeeper will be required to have. There is an array of key tools that will make your hive checks safer, easier and more effective. Some of the most popular beekeepers items of beekeeping products and accessories that are needed to set-up, maintain and care for the hives and extract the honey. From sting protection to smokers, we have everything you need to launch and maintain your hive.

This is the recommended list of beekeeping equipment and beekeeping supplies for all new beekeepers using any style of hive:

Bees

The start of the beekeeping process is the bees. There are several options when it comes to getting your bees and one of them is looking for beekeeping supplies near you for buying packaged bees.  Another option would be to catch a swarm. It is proven that the best season to catch bees is during spring because failure to catch them at this time will affect the bees since they may lack sufficient forage for collecting their food, pollen and honey. After that, you should be able to split your hives to keep things rolling and multiplying.

The Queen

The Queen Bee holds the key to the beekeeping equipment you will need to get in order to keep her safe and healthy.  You will have to purchase a queen or raise your own. If you already have a hive but maybe didn’t have such great success with it, then it might be time to re-queen.

Hives

Once you have bought or found the source of your bees, the next thing on your bee equipment list is the beehive. You will need to do some research to decide the best among the many beehive brands and types out there that you’d like your bees to call home. This will be affected by your budget and personal preference. While purchasing your hive ensure, you choose an excellent quality hive since bees are highly sensitive to any slight discomfort.

Some of the best places to get a hive are online stores for honey beekeeping equipment or local beekeeping suppliers near you, and many others. You also have to go for either an assembled or unassembled hive.

Hive Tool

Your hive tool is one of your most critical pieces of beekeeping equipment you are required to have. Ideally, it has one shiny end and another end has a hook for its multiple uses. Bees glue everything in the hive together with their resin-like propolis. So this is where a hive tool comes in handy for the beekeeper to pry the seal open and use it to separate the combs from the hive sides, pry frames, cut and scrape propolis. 

You have to choose one based on your preference.A popular choice is one with a knife on one side and the traditional hive tool design on the other. The design of the hive tool is similar across all brands for beekeeping equipment.

Bee smoker

A smoker makes smoke pretty easy by the use of wood chips, small twigs, leaves, or pine needles. Primarily, smoke makes honey bees believe there may be a wildfire nearby and thus it helps in making the aggressive bees more docile. The smoke masks the pheromones that the bees give off to communicate with each other. 

A Smoker is both safe for the bees and the beekeeper therefore, it must be included in your beekeeping supplies. 

Beekeeper’s suit 

You don’t necessarily need a real beekeeper’s suit but it is an important piece of beekeeper equipment.  A significant investment however will be buying a new one.. The suit will help keep your face and entire body protected from bee stings. Bees are drawn to the face of mammalian intruders and hence the need for a jacket with a veil in addition to gloves. The hat and veil will help protect your face from attack and the gloves will help protect your hands from bee stings.

Ensure the protective gear is comfortable even during hot weather conditions. A ventilated bee suit would be the best option to pick in beekeeping supplies. You have various options to choose from when selecting an ideal beekeeping suit.

Honey extractor

This is at the end of the beekeeping supplies list because this culminates in the beekeeping process; it is the most rewarding essential beekeeping equipment as it gives full control for the user during the entire process of extracting honey. It is used for safely collecting the honey from the combs without destroying them. There are various kinds of honey extractors in the market. It is therefore important to consider the size of your operation before you buy a unit in beekeeping supplies.

In summary, beekeeping is ever-changing, it requires plenty of research, books, flexibility, and patience hence the need for continuous learning and unlearning. Therefore a broad knowledge about bees will help the beekeeper understand best practices and ease decision making in picking out the best beekeeping equipment

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