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Buying beginning beekeeping supplies

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Tips for buying beginning beekeeping supplies to learn the craft

Tips for buying beginning beekeeping supplies to learn the craft

Many honey lovers dream of learning the craft of working with bees. Once you have the inclination, finding the information and beginning beekeeping supplies necessary to get started are within easy reach.

If you?re serious about learning beekeeping, the first thing to do is read up on local ordinances and regulations. Confirm that you?re legally allowed to keep beehives where you live. The county office should be able to help you find out.

You have the green light, now figure out the logistics and beekeeping supplies you need before ordering your first hives. Decide where you will keep the hives ? urban rooftops or the back of a yard are popular choices. If possible, build an 8-foot wood fence around the bees? area. This way they can fly high and people won?t get stung.

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Construct a stand to raise each hive off the ground by about 18 inches in order to guard them from skunks. Basic 2x4s and bricks or cement blocks will suffice as long as they?re stable.

Safety first

The truth is, when you work with a hive you?re bound to get stung a few times. The good news is that after a few stings you build up immunity. However, the fear of it happening is enough to distract you and concentration is imperative.

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Remember, most of them don?t have any urge to sting you because then they die. They mainly do it when you make a sudden move or drop something that makes them think the hive is in danger. 

It?s natural for beginners to be nervous. If you don?t have gentle bees, the possibility of being stung goes up as your fear does. Protect yourself with safety clothing designed to cover your body from head to toe. Any openings in clothes must be sealed, including the gap between sleeves and gloves, and pant cuffs.

Wear a veil over your head. Choose light colors- white is best ? as bees are attracted to dark colors when they’re aggressive. Smooth fabrics like nylon work well because it?s harder for them to stay on.

Beginning bee supplies

Hives

This is a unique skill to learn. It can?t go without saying that you will need to order hives. Save some money by ordering used hives from a local beekeeper. These ads are posted in newsletters or you can join a community club and ask around. 

Wood and Styrofoam are common hive materials. If you live in a colder region, note that Styrofoam is better insulated to keep them cool in summer and warm in December. Order two hives to start, about 3 to 5 pounds of bees. This way if one fails, you can use the other swarm to rebuild. 

Smoker

The smoker, a basic cylinder with bellows, is one of your most important tools. It’s used to build a slow burning fire with pine needles or dry woods in order to create as much smoke as possible. Squeeze the bellow and smoke will enter the hive. Smoke interferes with the colony?s communications and drives most of them from the hive so you can get to work.

Boxes and frames

Kits will include all beginning beekeeping supplies you need to get started, including assembled frames and boxes for the colony. The more frames you have in a box, the heavier it?ll be to lift. Boxers typically have either 8 or 10 frames. 

Once they begin producing honey, these boxes can weigh from 30 to 90 pounds! Many beekeepers prefer working with multiple medium boxes rather than one large one because they?re more manageable.

Other essentials

The following beginning beekeeping supplies will make your introduction to beekeeping go smoothly. Many are included in beginner kits or are easily found at supply stores.

Beginner?s DVD and book
Bee brush
Entrance feeder
Plastic coated gloves
Sheets of crimp wire foundation
Supporting pins
Entrance reducer

Don?t forget to pick up plenty of jars for all the  delicious golden honey!

 

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