Friday, January 23, 2015

Beekeeping for Beginners - Beekeeping Supplies You Need to Get Started

If you’re ready to try your hand at beekeeping, it’s likely you already understand and appreciate all of the benefits of bee farming. But just in case… beyond having delicious, fresh honey available to you in your own backyard, beekeeping can help your garden and farm crops thrive through increased pollination, help deter aggressive Africanized honey bees by diluting the populations, provides wax from the honeycombs that can be used to create a wide range of natural products, and is an excellent stress-relieving activity.

Sounds great right?

Before you can get started, there are several beekeeping equipment must-haves you will need in order to be successful and keep yourself safe.

Beekeeping Clothing

While it is recommended that all level beekeepers wear protective clothing, it is especially important for beginner beekeepers to protect themselves against the threat of stings.

Veil – A beekeeping veil will protect your head, face and neck from beestings. Be sure to pick a veil with seamless, one-piece construction so there are no seams to inhibit your visibility.

Coveralls - Coveralls provide full-body coverage from the threat of stings. The best coveralls will be white or light in color and have elastic closures at both the ankles and wrists. Be sure you don’t wear any clothing you mind getting dirty or stained. Bees produce a waste that leaves a yellowish stain, and this is why you see so many bee handlers sporting a pair.

**IMPORTANT: Never wear clothing that has been previously stung. Bees release a pheromone when they sting to alert other bees of an attacker. By wearing previously stung clothing, you are basically inviting the bees to sting you!

Beekeeping Gloves – Many advanced or experienced bee farmers will forgo wearing gloves when tending to their bees because it is easier to manipulate and work inside the box. However, this is definitely not recommended for beginners. It is always recommended that you wear head-to-toe protection until you have gained some experience working with the bees and are confident in your abilities.

**TIP: If the coveralls you are wearing do not have elastic closures at the wrists and ankles, tuck your pants into your socks and shirt sleeves into your gloves and tie a string or some other type of band around wrists and ankles to secure clothing in place.

Beekeeping Supplies

These are the basic beekeeping supplies you will need to get started. There are many other beekeeping products available to help you get the job done faster and easier, but we will cover those in an upcoming post.

Bee Smoker – Smoke, if used properly and not excessively, will help to calm the bees and reduce your chances of being stung. A large smoker is best, as the smoke will last for a longer amount of time. Don’t forget to stock up on smoker fuel! Be sure to keep the smoker full of fuel and burning the entire time you are working with your bees.

Hive Tool – This is a device that is used like a lever to loosen both frames and boxes.

Beekeeping Brush – A beekeeping brush gently removes bees from the frames both during inspection of the hives and during removal of frames for honey extraction. The soft bristles are specially designed to remove the bees without harming them.

Hives – Perhaps one of the most important and complex pieces of equipment you will need for beekeeping, you can buy the individual pieces separately and assemble it yourself or you can purchase a complete bee hive frame that is pre-assembled for easy setup and use. We will dive deeper into bee hives in an upcoming post.

Be sure to check back for future installments of our Beekeeping for Beginners blog post series. We will be covering a wide range of topics from building a bee hive, urban beekeeping, and fun ways to use your liquid gold! Have specific questions for us about beekeeping and beekeeping equipment? Send us your questions in the comments and be sure to visit us at

  1. Hi there! I've read many posts about bee keeping, and I can tell that yours is very valuable.  Bees are an important and often neglected part of our environment. Just take a moment to consider how these tiny creatures, with relatively short life spans, are responsible for a large percentage of pollination. See more here


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