There are so many benefits to keeping bees, from the new knowledge and skill to being able to harvest your own honey and products, beekeeping is an amazing hobby to embark on. However, there is so much information out there and learning about beekeeping can quickly feel overwhelming. This is why we compiled a list of the essential beekeeping equipment every beginner beekeeper should consider.
1. Jacket or Suit
When it comes to handling bees, there’s one thing that beginner beekeepers need to get used to, and that’s getting stung. In the beginning, it is very important to wear protective gear. This might be the most essential beekeeping equipment for beginners.
We recommend purchasing a full suit or a jacket. A suit will give you full protection for the most part while a jacket will only protect your upper body. However, I remedy this by wearing thick overalls and rubber boots, which brings me to the next essential item.
2. Rubber Boots
I have had many instances where a bee crawls up my pant leg and ends up stinging me. This is one of the worst stings because it is usually really unexpected and in a tender area, like your thigh! The rubber boots prevent the bees from crawling up your pant legs and stinging you.
Joules is a great brand for cute and comfortable boots. They have short boots along with mid-calf and knee-high. However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, these are a great pick.
Gloves are another important item to get while starting your beekeeping journey. I prefer these goatskin gloves because they’re long-lasting and pretty sting proof. It’s important to remember that nothing is technically sting proof, if a bee wants to sting you, they may find a way to do it. However, really high-quality gear will make it less likely.
4. Hive Tool
A hive tool is an extremely important tool for beekeeping. I would argue that it’s the most important. We use them for so many things, from opening hives and inspecting frames to scraping things off boxes. There are a few different types to choose from. This is the classic hive tool that many people start with. However, my favorite hive tool is the J Hook hive tool. The hook end is great for lifting frames that have been heavily glued together with propolis out of boxes. This one brings both the classic tool and the J hook tool.
Another item for the essential beekeeping equipment list is a smoker. Smokers are used to mask any pheromones the bees may emit, like the alarm pheromone. But they’re also great for simply moving the bees around while you’re inspecting a hive.
6. Bee Brush
A bee brush is another overlooked item. We use this while moving frames from one hive to another and while extracting honey frames. You can shake most bees off a frame, but there is usually more hanging onto the frame. A bee brush makes it easy to get most bees off of frames. It’s also really important to use during bee removals.
Education is key when it comes to successful beekeeping. Even as an experienced beekeeper, you are constantly learning new things and ways to better manage bees. Books are a great way to read up on beekeeping and how honey bees live. We have a blog post on the top 5 books for beekeeping but The Beekeeper’s Handbook is my favorite book.
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4 thoughts on “7 Essential Beekeeping Equipment that Every Beginner Needs”
I’m really happy you liked the blog post. Let me know if you have any questions at all.
-Tasha, CEO of Palm Pike Apiary
I’ve noticed a lot of apiaries around here have a little box (4″x8″?), usually black on top of all their hives and I was wondering what they are for. I don’t see any bees coming or going from them.
It might be some type of feeder or trap for hive pests like small hive beetle or hornets! Beekeeping is very different in each state/region so everyone has their own little tricks.