Beekeeping Equipment When Starting Beekeeping

If you are just starting beekeeping for the first time, you may feel you require more tools and equipment than if you were an established and confident beekeeper. 

Obviously, you are going to want your bee hive. I have a few tips you may want to read before you purchase. See my link Bee Hives For Sale. There are also a number of different types of honey bee hives available. Then again, if you fancy building your own, check out my free downloadable bee hive plans. You’ll at least need beekeeper's gloves, hat and veil, but you could go for a full bee suit.  Established beekeepers sometimes improvise with equipment if they know their bees. 

Although some beekeepers are able to approach and handle their bees and honey combs with little clothing protection, it is probably not recommended for the beginner.

You may think you’ll be able to keep calm, but the reality might be different when you actually start handling the bees, and they land on your skin.

Later, once you have got to know your bees, and are sure you feel calm and confident with them, then at that point you may decide to wear less protective clothing - but maybe not!

Beekeeping equipment can be very expensive, and the cost can be off putting. Think carefully before you invest, and shop around.  If you are thinking of buying used beekeeping equipment, then be careful in selection and how you clean it.

Here are some things for your list:

A ‘hive tool’ – this is a tool designed for a variety of jobs. It can be used to clean hives and assist in the separating of frames. It has a sharp, hooked edge.

A smoker – using a smoker is meant to calm the bees – strange as it may seem, by inducing s stress response in the bees. You could minimise the need to use this technique by trying out icing sugar (or powdered sugar if you are in the USA) in a puffer instead, at least in some circumstances. Check my page featuring beekeeping videos - there is a great little video about 'pocket tools', including a puffer for icing/powdered sugar!

a large white goose feather being transformed into a bee brush - a gentle way to sweep bees.

A Bee brush - mostly used for gently removing bees from your bee suit.  You could make one yourself from a goose feather.

Bee paint - marking the queen with a bright spot of special paint will help you easily identify her among the other thousands of bees.

If you will be using a conventional hive...

....such as a National or a WBC hive rather than a top bar hive, then you will also need a range of beekeeping equipment such as:

beekeepers need bee hives, and some experienced beekeepers have multiple hives. Here are four hives positioned close to a high wall which will help shelter the hives in bad weather


foundation wax,


bee escapes,

queen excluders,

bottling equipment,

centrifugal extractor,

landing board,

...and so on.

As I said, there are resources on this site – including free downloadable bee hive plans that are particularly suitable for those wishing to follow the Natural Beekeeping route. These plans are for a Top Bar Hives. Of course, building your own bee hive could reduce your financial outlay.

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