Bee Keeping Supplies

It's easy when starting to go crazy, thinking you must buy everything to do with beekeeping.

What beekeeping supplies do you need?

But before purchasing your bee keeping supplies, it's worth thinking about it, setting a budget and planning carefully, especially if you have a limited amount of cash to spend.

That said, some things are absolutely necessary, and it's not worth looking to save a little cash if it means jeopardizing the colony.

a row of beehives with a beekeeper clad in a beekeeping suit, smoking a bee hive

Here are a few notes:

  1. Consult with members of your local beekeeping association (if you are a member of one), to ask whether they have arranged a discount with any local firms.

  2. A simple internet search will reveal hundreds of suppliers.  It may be tempting buy a lot of equipment you don’t really need. 

    If you are
    beginning beekeeping, ask other beekeepers what they think are the essentials, and how they improvise. 

    For example, you may want a beekeeping suit, but some beekeepers manage with a thick pair of trousers, good boots and old jacket, teamed with a veiled hat and good gloves. 

  3. You can purchase a bee brush or make your own with a clean goose feather if you can get one.

  4. Interested in building your own beehive?  If so, check out these free top bar hive construction plans which you can download for free.

  5. It's a good idea to mark the queen with paint so that you can quickly identify her in the hive.

  6. Although it may save you money, it's not wise to use the leftover creosote or Cuprinol that you have kicking around in your garden shed, to paint your bee hive. 

    But you will need to paint your hives to preserve them, and using a color system with your hives has a number of benefits - see bee hive paint.

Learning with the experts - beekeeping with Phil chandler

Harvesting honey and wax

If you are wanting to harvest honey, how much equipment to you need?

You could purchase a centrifugal extractor – or you could decide to eat the honey how it used to be – as comb honey – which when sold and packaged nicely in fancy jars, can ironically fetch a premium price. 

If you are harvesting honey only for yourself and family, begin storing used glass storing jars and lids.  Sterilize them properly before use.

If you plan to render wax cappings for candle-making etc, you can easily make your own solar extractor.

Purchase second-hand?

There are many options for purchasing used beekeeping equipment, whether it be via your local beekeeping group,  e-bay or the local ads pages. 

Ensure you buy the right things, and that you take steps to minimize the risk of spreading diseases and
Varroa mites, for example.

  Pssst ... spread the word!

leafcutter bee on sweet pea plant sweet peas for bees