Bees are a sweet affair because of what they produce in the end. But whether you are into beekeeping as a hobby or for commercial reasons, you must ensure that your interactions with the bees are safe and simple. Apart from getting familiar with the basics of beekeeping, you will also need to know the best equipment to use in the field and how to actually use the tools correctly. You can start off with the most essential beekeeping supplies and then upgrade as per the demands of your beekeeping endeavor.
1. Protective gear – Beekeeping for beginners should start by prioritizing personal safety and this means getting yourself protective gear. This is what will keep you protected to stings and bee venom that can be dangerous. The suit should be made up of pants, jacket, and beekeeper’s veil. They can come separately or you can opt for a jumper styled suit that is easy to wear. Consider getting gloves as well to complete the gear and gumboots as well. The suits are made from different materials and you should make sure that you consider the pros and cons of each before buying what is suitable and what you can actually afford.
2. Hive tool – This is a solid flat metal tool that can be 7 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. It has a tapered sharp end and a curved tapered end. It is what you will need to use to scrap off propolis to maintain a cleaner hive. You can also use the tool to open the honeycomb and squash intruders like hive beetles. Some models feature small holes that you can use to pull out nails when necessary. Choose a hive tool that you can trust to serve your needs and one that is easy to use.
3. Bee brush – It is a soft bristled brush that you will use to remove bees from frames and honey supers. They are soft to keep them gentle on the bees so they do not end up going on the rampage. You should ensure that you use the brush appropriately so you do not end up damaging bee parts like wings and legs; remember you still need your tiny friends to keep the business or hobby fruitful. Get the best brush and learn to use it properly.
4. Smoker – It is the most iconic and most used in beekeeping world. This is what releases smoke needed to buffer honeybee’s pheromone alarm system. The presence of smoke makes it impossible for the bees to communicate temporarily so you have enough time to extract the honey. Your smoker should be made from high quality materials such as stainless steel and should have metal guards to protect your hands, a solid chimney and leather or wood bellows.
5. Extracting equipment – you can choose electric or manual, commercial or small scale extractor. They pull honey from frames and make bottling easy to do. There are so may models so be sure to select what you feel makes the tasks smoother.