Beginning beekeeping starts with the right equipment.
Beginning beekeeping can be exciting and overwelming. When I decided I wanted to dabble in beekeeping, I knew nothing about bees or beekeeping.
I definitely knew nothing about what equipment I needed.
The first thing I knew I needed was a good mentor. Luckily, I have a friend nearby who has been a successful beekeeper for many years.
My new mentor also teaches beekeeping and manages a monthly local bee chat group. By attending this group, I can network with other beekeepers of all levels of expertise. I think this will be the best way to learn about the ins and outs of beekeeping.
At the bee chat group, I learned what bees I needed to order, how many hives to start and what equipment to get to have a successful first year of beekeeping.
Thanks to my mentor, I have a compiled list of beekeeping equipment and supplies I ordered through Dadant. The beginning bee equipment list I will share with you will be enough for three starter hives.
This list was also made to be an economical way to acquire equipment. My hives will come in separate pieces, which is a cheaper way to order them than ordering the kits.
While there are hundreds of different types and kinds of bee equipment, I used the expertise of my mentor to choose what has worked best for him in the environment of Kansas we call home.
Equipment needed to start beekeeping:
1. Bee Brush: A gentle tool to move bees around during inspection.
2. 4 X 7 Smoker w/ Shield: Smoke calms the bees and helps me to safely inspect and gather honey.
3. Economy Hive Tool: Used to scrape residue from frames as well as a variety of other jobs.
4. Hat/Veil Combination: Protect face and head from stings.
5. Plastic Coated Canvas Gloves: Keeps bees from stinging my hands. The less they sting me, the more live bees I will have.
6. Entrance Feeders: To feed my bees when food supply is low. I ordered one entrance feeder for each hive (3 Total).
7. Frame Grips: To pick up frames during inspection.
Equipment for 10-Frame Hive:
8. 9 5/8″ Hive Bodies (Carton of 5)
9. 9 5/8″ Hive Bodies (Carton of 1)
10. 9 1/8″ Grooved Top Bar Frames (Carton of 50)
11. 9 1/8″ Grooved Top Bar Frames (Carton of 10)
12. Yellow Wax Coated Plasticell (Order 60)
13. Ponderosa Pine Bottom Board (Order 3)
14. Telescoping Cover with Inner Cover (Order 3)
When I receive my equipment.
Per the advice of my mentor, I plan to paint all the outer wooden hive boards with an exterior latex paint to protect it from weather.
Then, I put my three hives together by nailing the hive pieces together. Finding the perfect place to set my hives was another thing my mentor helped me with.
When choosing the perfect place for hives, it’s best to set the hives up in a place the bees will feel right at home.
Equipment needed later:
Once a surplus of honey is established, you’ll need to extend your supply list to two supers and a queen excluder per hive. So, more equipment is needed.
15. 6 5/8″ Supers (Carton of 5)
16. 6 5/8″ Supers (Carton of 1)
17. 6 1/4″ Top Bar Frames (Carton of 50)
18. 6 1/4 Grooved Top Bar Frames (Carton of 10)
19. Yellow Wax Coated Plasticell (60 Total)
20. Wood Bound Queen Excluder (3 Total)
One Final Tip about Ordering Equipment
Shipping is expensive, so I ordered everything I would need now and later all at once. I highly recommend this for one shipping charge.
Store the equipment needed later in a safe and dry place until your hive is ready for it.
The total bill for my supplies for three hives rounded out at around $1000. Compared to most new homesteading ventures, this startup cost seemed very low to me.
One thing I’ve learned is that I will learn many things from my bees. There’s nothing more I’m looking forward to than learning from them.
I am just a newbie beekeeper, but I want to share my journey with you. My journey starts with finding a mentor and ordering equipment. I can’t wait to see where my path leads.
What questions do you have about my beginning beekeeping equipment list?
~ Much Love ~
Believer. Teacher. Mommy to Girls & Goats. Lover of the land. Farm Fresh Foodie. Wellness Coach. Welcome to my Rural Life!