If you’re just starting your beekeeping journey, you’ve probably heard or read endless amounts of advice about the best hives, practices, and tricks to keep your bees healthy, happy, and productive. Every beekeeper is different, but everyone needs a few common essentials.
As you discover the methods that work best for you and your bees, keep in mind this list of essential beekeeping equipment.
Beekeepers can wear several different pieces of protective clothing. Some opt for full suits that cover their entire bodies, while others only wear a helmet and veil. You can decide for yourself what you prefer, but it’s probably a good idea to start out with a jacket, boots, and a hat and veil.
You can also wear gloves, though this might limit your dexterity when you’re working in the hive. Even if you’re comfortable without a lot of protective gear, it’s still a good idea to keep a set on hand for any visitors or for days when your honey bees are feeling agitated.
Even the mildest of honey bees can turn aggressive when they feel like their hive is under attack. This is why a smoker should be high on your list of essential beekeeping equipment. When honey bees feel threatened, they release an alarm pheromone that alerts other bees in the area of the threat.
If the guard bees are wary of you when you approach, they’ll stir the entire hive into an aggressive frenzy. This is where the smoker comes in. Smoke masks the alarm pheromone, preventing it from alerting other bees and keeping the rest of the hive calm as you work.
Another invaluable part of any beekeeper’s toolbox is the hive tool. This handheld, multipurpose tool helps you open the hive, scrape off propolis (also known as bee glue), lift frames, and otherwise work around the hive. You can also use it to break open honeycomb or scrape unwanted pests from the hive. It’s a simple tool, but it’s an essential part of hive inspections, making it useful for beekeepers of all experience levels.
Whether you’re a seasoned beekeeper or just starting out, you can get all of the necessary beekeeping supplies at Mann Lake.