What equipment is needed for beekeeping
Keeping need is an exciting and fun hobby that can yield significant profits through the sale of honey and bee pollen products. It has many ecological benefits through their pollination of many plant species, as well as hours of entertainment. Regardless of how much you plan on ultimately investing in beekeeping you will need to purchase some basic equipment to get started. This article will provide some insight into the types of equipment that a beginner should start with.
Beekeeping should begin with safety and if you are seriously allergic to bees then this is certainly not the hobby for you, regardless of any innate love of honey you may have. A safety suit is a necessary step and protective head gear is helpful. A simple rubber band can help to affix the clothes tightly to your body so that no bees can infiltrate your clothes. It is important that your headgear is loose and that it hangs over your clothes so that no portion of your neck is susceptible to bee stings. While bees are not overly aggressive they will sting if they feel as if their hive or queen is threatened by you as an infiltrator. This basic safety gear will go a long way towards protecting you.
Next you will need a beekeeper kit which will house the bees that you have. These kits typically have two separate chambers that are separated by a screen that is wide enough for the workers bees to travel through but not the queen. It is known as the queen excluded and keeps the queen making new baby bees in the bottom chamber while the worker bees make honey in the top chamber. Wax screens are present that serve as a surface for the honey and bee brood. Additional levels of trays can also be added to the beekeeping kit to expand it for more room for your bees to expand.
Next some basic supplies are needed to keep bees. Since you will be stealing the honey which serves as food storage for bees over a winter you will need to replace that missing food with a replacement, usually a simple syrup that can be used by the bees. You will need to purchase this when you first start your bee colony and also over each winter after you harvest the honey.
Finally you will need to buy the actual bees and queen. Many kits allow you to have the queen dyed so you can easily identify her which may be a good idea for you if you are a new beekeeper. Beyond that a set of healthy bees is a good option. Start with honey bees as they are the easiest to keep but if they die off quickly consider the transition to some of the Russian bee varieties that are hardier but more nasty and difficult to take care of. If you choose Russian bees you may want to revisit your equipment purchases from the start of this article.