What Equipment Do I Need to Get Started Beekeeping? - North 40 Life

What Equipment Do I Need to Get Started Beekeeping?

Whether you’re looking to increase the robustness of your garden or you’re harvesting the honey flow, when you’re dealing with thousands of bees, you have to pay attention. Bees are sophisticated. (One glance into the core of a nest and you can see the layers of organization and the strategy it takes to build it.) At the same time, however, with some planning and research, bees are also really manageable, and we can help you get started.


To get started in beekeeping you’ll need a hive, hive tool, smoker, frame grips, and protective clothing. In this video, we explain the tools and equipment you’ll need to get started, plus what they are used for and why they are necessary.


Video Transcription

Equipment Needed For Beekeeping

All right, another common question we get often is, "What equipment do I need to get started with bees?" And I've got just about everything here that you could possibly need to start a beehive, and I'm gonna go through each item with you.


Woodenware Needed to Get Started

To start we're gonna go through the woodenware, or the actual boxes that you need to get started with a beehive. Most beekeeping kits come with two deep boxes, so a deep, a deep. They'll have a lid, an inner cover that goes under here and a bottom board.


As you progress throughout the year, you're gonna want additional boxes, lots of beekeepers use mediums or supers and that's this box right here, and eventually, those will stack up big if your hive is doing really well.


Clothing to Keep You Comfortable

Not a lot of clothing is needed for beekeeping: if you wanna be brave, you can do it without, but most of us aren't that brave, so a standard beekeeper uses a pair of gloves and some, sort of, suit or veil to get started. One important feature of the beekeeping suit that we have, is that this is a mesh suit versus just a one piece of cotton: doesn't sound like it's a big deal, but when it's 90 degrees out and trying to work your bees, a ventilated suit makes a world of difference. There's lots of different options, but this is one that we recommend and that we obviously carry at North 40.


Tools to Get Started in Beekeeping /// Tools of the Trade

There's a few tools you'll need to get started when beekeeping: The first one is a frame gripper, and to go along with that is a bee brush. They seem like very simple tools, but they're actually really nice to have in the field. When you're working your hive, rather than having to pick up the ends of your frame, it's nice to have the grip to just grab the frame, lift it, so you can do your inspections one handed: It's really slick.


The bee brush, if you need to look at your comb for brood patterns, or you're looking for insects or just to see what's going on in there, the bee brush is a nice gentle way to move your bees off of a frame without agitating them too much or harming a bunch of your bees.


Two other tools you'll need to get started with beekeeping is a smoker. This is something that you'll use to help calm the bees before you work them. Pretty simple tool. You'll put some wood pellets in here or some grass or different things in there. You'll light that smoke: pretty simple to use.


And then, the most basic of tools is your hive tool, and It's just a metal pry bar basically, but it's shaped so it's really easy to get into your hive, and it's one of those tools where you think you can skip out on. "No, I can use a crowbar or, a piece of metal or something." But I've tried to do it without it, and it's way harder than just having this simple tool: It's relatively inexpensive, and it makes working your bees a lot easier.


If you have any more questions about beekeeping, or you're looking to start your own hive and get some equipment, go to north40.com or visit any of our locations.

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We’re people who work and live in the uppermost regions of the Northwestern United States. Beautiful country and wonderful people. This land and these animals are a big part of who we are, how we work and how we play. North 40 Outfitters works hard to offer products and services that fit your lifestyle.

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