Bee Hive Kits
A bee hive kit is essentially a beekeeping starter-kit that provides you with everything you need to begin your new hobby and hit the ground (or hive) running. These kits vary widely in terms of their construction, what materials they include or exclude, and how much construction is required of you to get your beehive buzzing. But any good bee hive kit should at least contain the following items—
Bee Hives– This is obviously the most important part of any beekeeping starter kit, as it will act as the home for your little friends for the life of your hobby, which of course will be forever. Don’t skimp on how many hives you get! You never know when you’ll need an extra, and when you do, you’ll need it right away. There are primarily two types of hives, the moveable-frame Langstroth-hive and moveable-comb top-bar hive. Basically, a Langstroth hive has individual moveable frames which the bees build their honeycombs into, allowing the beekeeper to move, adjust and work with individual frames. A top-bar hive is simpler, allowing for a single comb that hangs from a top-bar. Most bee hives that you’ll want to work with are Langstroth-style, as they’re more versatile and allow for greater expansion, as well as ease of use.
Some kits will come pre-assembled, and others will be shipped as unassembled beehive kits, which will require a little bit of work from you but will allow you really understand the structure of your hive. To see different options, take a look at our Bee Hive Kits for sale.
Helmet– This is arguably the most iconic of beekeeper supplies, the wide-brimmed helmet with netting draping down over the wearer. Most beehive starter kits will come with one— make sure that whichever helmet you choose is comfortable and functions to keep both your bees and the sun away from your face. Learn more about Beekeeper Hats, Suits and Protective Gear here.
Gloves– Your hands are important! Protect them with a durable and comfortable pair of beekeepers gloves, that will also allow you to be mobile and dexterous— gloves that make you unable to effectively move your hands aren’t much use to you, are they?
Bee Hive Smokers & Tools
Hive Tool– A hive tool is a device that loosely resembles a car windshield ice-scraper that will help you to extract individual comb frames from your hive, harvest the precious honey and separate the different sections of your beehive. It’s a vital tool that you will find yourself using constantly, and should be in your bee hive starter kit.
Bee Smoker– Another iconic, must have tool for any beekeeper. A bee smoker will help keep your buzzy friends calm while you harvest honey and perform hive check-ups. We have an entire section dedicated to smokers, learn more here.
Bee Brush– A bee brush is, not surprisingly, exactly what it sounds like. It’s used to brush your bees, but not to add volume to their luscious hair for a glamorous photoshoot, but rather to remove them from surfaces within your beehive to which you need to gain access. Bee brushes are specially made with long and soft bristles, so it’s important to remember that any old hairbrush you have lying around will do. It’s important that your brush moves your bees effectively without harming or crushing them. You’re a beekeeper not a beekiller. A bee brush is a critical part of any bee hive kit.
Bee Feeder– Ask any beekeeper which type of bee feeder is the most effective and every one of them will have a different opinion. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, and it all comes down to which one suits your tastes and personal needs. Below are some of the most common feeders and how they work.
Entrance Feeder– These consist of a feeding tray that rests at the hive entrance and a container that drips syrup from outside the hive into the feeding tray. While they are vulnerable to the weather and limited as to how much feed they can hold at once, they do have the benefit of being visible to the beekeeper at all times, so that he or she can measure how much feed is left and ensure that it’s being delivered where it’s needed.
Board Feeder– Board feeders actually take the place of a frame in your hive. These are convenient because they don’t take up any external space, are easily accessible to your bees, and less exposed to the elements. However, bees are known to occasionally drown in them, and you’re giving up a space where another frame could be held.
Hive-Top Feeder– These rest at the top of your hive just underneath the top cover. They’re extremely easy to access and fill, but when full can be heavy and hard to manage. However, they can carry lots of feed and many have designs meant to avoid drowning bees.
So there you have it, these are the main elements of any quality bee hive starter kit. Some bee hive kits will have even more pieces included, but these are the basics that will allow you to be well on your way to becoming a successful beekeeper. Just remember to do your research, be thorough, and know your stuff!
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