ESSENTIAL BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
If you have taken the decision to dive in and purchase your first hive, congratulations! Your bees will now have a natural and beautiful home. But You cannot make a go of it with the wooden hive alone because there are several bee hive supplies that you need to equip yourself with to be succesful in organic beekeeping .Let us call them beekeeping equipment essentials,must have honey bee equipment that you will NEED once you have decided to become a beekeeper .There is diverse array of key tools that will be needed to make hive managament safer,easier and more effective. We will now go quickly over these must have bee hive supplies from sting protection to smokers and everything in between .
We recommend the following equipment for all new beekeepers using any style of hive:
In spite of it being the cheapest Beekeeping tool You will ever buy,Your hive tool is one the most important pieces of bee keeping equipment you will ever use. Honey Bees stick everything together in the hive with a resin called Propolis that they harvest from trees. This forces the Organic Beekeeper to split the propolis seal with a Beehive tool. The hive tool allows the beekeeper to separate comb from box sides, cut and scrape propolis, and remove frames. Our ultimate hive tool (pictured) is Blisstime Stainless Frame Lifter and Scraper J Hook Tool ,our favorite among many.It is ideal for (easily) breaking loose frames in your honey bee hives, and then lifting them up . It is stainless steel, so It will not rust any time soon. No matter if you're using a Horizontal top bar hive, a Warre hive, or a foundationless Langstroth, this is an extremily handy tool that you'll find yourself using over and over :there many other options as well that also work fine.Since they are so inexpensive you can try different styles and brands to see which one you like best but the Blisstime tool is the one we recommend and use.
As in any area of human knowledge and endeavour Organic Beekeeping is a dynamic and ever-changing enterprise that requires research, lots of books, and persistence.Taking into account that every Bee Colony is an individual that is different and changes from year to year and that enviromental factors ,specially weather and forage availability,impacts Bee Colony survivability and productivity,it goes without saying that ample knowledge is a must when you open up a hive .You have then have to decide what you must do,if anything,to help your bees be healthy and as a result be more productive.If you take the wrong decision and really don't know what you are, doing you might wind up doing more harm than good. In our books section ,we review and cover several books written by experts in the field that we feel will give you a solid understanding of beekeeping best practices and help you make the right decisions.
Must have tool specially when harvesting honey combs,the bee brush can be used to lightly remove bees off combs or any other place you don't want them.The bee brush is an essential part of the Organic Beekeeper's tool box specially when harvesting honey and fixing broken combs. For some reason,bees positively hate brushing so do not use the brush when you are not protected adequately or when you really don't want the bees angry.
FRAME GRIPPER TOOL
The frame grip is used to clutch the top bar of a frame to remove it from a Bee Box. Often times Honey Bees really stick together combs with Propolis and it becomes hard to break the seal specially in cooler weather when propolis becomes brittle and unyielding. Also when you have to harvest honey when using the large 19x9 1/8 '' frames that can weight upwards to 7 Lbs ,it becomes really difficult to pull them out.That is when You will find a frame grip a life saver when pulling out this stuck,honey heavy bee frames. A really low priced Bee Keeping Equipment tool that will save you lots of time and effort.
JACKET WITH VEIL
You can find across the Bee world that most Bee Colonies have developed a defensive conduct which allows them to detect our exhalations through CO2 receptors that they have on their antennae. Honey Bees have developed this capability to protect the colony against the menace of Human honey hunters and animal predators such as bears. People usually believe bees sense fear and then attack and the truth is when we humans are afraid tend to breath more heavely and thus exhale more CO2.Some of the most experienced beekeepers learn to stay really calm throughout and thus avoid stings.However,for majority of beekeepers specially begginners the use of at least a veil and even better the Jacket with a veil attached to it is strongly recommended.Getting stung in the face is quite painful and in the end the purpose of it all is to enjoy Beekeeping as a safe and productive activity,not becoming some kind of Self-control Guru. Furthermore,when managing many hives specially if you encounter mean bees like those found in some areas of the US South and in the Tropics, It is best to use a full body ventilated suit with Veil attached for a trouble free,enjoyable and productive Beekeeping experience.
BEEKEEPING STARTER KIT
A good way to start your journey as a Organic Beekeper is to purchase a Bee hive starter kit that contains all the basic articles to take up Organic Beekeeping except for the Honey Bees themselves that are usually sourced from your area or close to it.You can purchase kits with assembled,ready to go Hives that you can place in you backyard or urban rooftop where you just add Bees and Go. You will find that when purchasing items as a kit, you save as compared to acquiring all the bee keeping equipment separately.