Ready to become a beekeeper and own your beehive?
This is so exciting! This time next year you will have pounds of natural, beneficial honey. The easiest way to get started is to purchase a complete beekeeping starter kit.
However, the market is awash with beekeeping products, and choosing the right one is not a walk in the park. What you may think is the best may last you only a short period. Beekeeping is a lifetime passion, and choosing the best kit will suffice. Fortunately, the following compilation will help you know what to look for while you do your shopping.
- 1 Beekeeping Starter Kit Defined
- 2 Considerations before you start on beekeeping
- 3 What to look for in beekeeping starter kit
- 4 Top 5 Best Beekeeping Starter Kits
- 5 Final Word
Beekeeping Starter Kit Defined
Beekeeping starter kits should have everything you need to get started with nothing to worry about, except bees. Usually some components of a bee suit, the basic components of a beehive, and a few basic beekeeping tools. The more complete kits have more of what you will eventually need, and the smaller kits have just the bare minimum to get you started. If you are sure you want to be a beekeeper, I would suggest just getting one of the complete kits so you won’t have to buy anything else for a while.
Considerations before you start on beekeeping
Beekeeping starter kits should have everything you need to get started with nothing to worry about, except bees. Usually some components of a bee suit, the essential parts of a beehive, and a few basic beekeeping tools. The more complete kits have more of what you will eventually need, and the smaller kits have just the bare minimum to get you started. If you are sure you want to be a beekeeper, I would suggest just getting one of the complete kits so you won’t have to buy anything else for a while.
What to look for in beekeeping starter kit
Like most other products, the price is one of the most important aspects that will determine the kind of equipment you go for. The kits may seem expensive to most people. However, they are quite cheap if they add the price of every component included in the kit.
Mostly, the overall price includes the protective equipment as handle the hive, and the living spaces for the bees. It also contains honey extraction equipment and something to protect the bees from extreme weather.
Regardless, avoid the cheapest kits on the market. It does not mean that just because you have not yet come to a final decision regarding beekeeping that you should go for poor quality. Buying the low-quality kits is a sure way to fail in beekeeping. It will discourage you.
The minimum personal equipment that you will need includes a hive tool, bee veil, and a bee smoker. A bee veil keeps bee way from your face and head. It is very distracting having bees fly all over your face and hair. As well, stings on the face are very painful. You may need to purchase a special hat to go along with the veil as it is not included in the kit. That baseball cap you have lying in the house will not do.
The bee smoker cools the bees down that allows the hive handler to work without problems. The hive tool helps in handling the frames. The benefit associated with using the right tools is that the likelihood of disturbing the bees is minimal, and sting risks are reduced.
A pair of bee gloves and a bee suit is desirable, especially for a beginner. However, these are accessories that can always be added later. When fitted together with high top boots, a good hat, veil bee gloves, the suit provides adequate protection against bee stings. However, you will only get a pair of gloves and a veil in the majority of the kits.
For the pros, working with bare hands enhances efficiency within the hive. You get a feeling of what you are doing, and the jarring probability is low. However, for the beginners, gloves are essential as you build confidence. Make sure your beehive kit includes a pair of gloves. However, they are not critical. Weigh the benefit of the other added components before deciding not to pick it just because the gloves are not included.
Most of the kits on the market contain all this personal equipment. However, it is always best to check and make sure everything is in order.
The beehive is the most important component in a kit. They should have a bottom board supers and a hive cover. There are about ten frames with each super where the colony has its eggs and young ones. It is also where they store pollen and honey.
While beehives can be built from parts, it becomes a challenge to install the bees within them. This causes stress to the bees, and the honey crop is low. In most cases, a hive with more than a year’s of use is the most appropriate. If unsure, you can as well consult a beekeeper.
Some of the things that you need to check to include the supers and frames. They should be tight and square. Most of the cell in the brood combs should be worker-sized. This will ensure that adequate populations for the workers are reached.
The extracting equipment
You will need extracting equipment in beekeeping. As a starter, a blower is the most appropriate. However, you will need a stand for placing the super on. The blowers blow the bees off frames right onto the floor. You will get a blower with most starter kits.
Honey extractors come in a range of sizes. They can either be motor driven or hand-powered. However, you get a two-frame manual extractor in most of the beekeeping starter kits. You don’t need to look for something extraordinary. A durable and efficient tool made of stainless steel is sufficient.
Every good product comes with a warranty. A warranty is a sign that you are getting a good quality product. If money-back guarantees available, then well and good.
The best beekeeping book starter kit must have a book. This book contains all the beekeeping basics. As a beginner, you will need all the help you can get, and such a book is desirable.
Top 5 Best Beekeeping Starter Kits
1. The Mann Lake HK170 10 Frame Traditional Complete Hive Kit
Mann Lake HK170 is excellent for starters, and unlike most other kits, it has adequate space for expansion. It grows s as your business grows. The kit comes with a ready 9 5/8 inch body and 10 wood frames with waxed Rite-Cell foundation. The unit also has an assembled telescopic cover with bottom board, inner cover and entrance reducer.
This is a great way to begin:
- Completely assembled
- Painted with custom beehive paint to protect your box from the elements
- Ready for your bees
- Heavy-duty construction
- Made with high precision cuts
- Unparalleled fit and finish
- 10 assembled frames
Bee hive kit accessories:
- Hive tool
- Large leather gloves
- Bee veil
- Smoker with Guard
- “The new starting right with bees” book
The price is on the lower side, considering what you are getting. It is easy to set up and use. For the pros, this traditional unit is an excellent option for upgrading.
All its components are of high quality. They come assembled, making sure that you do not take much time trying to figure out what part goes where. The whole unit is compact and durable. You will not have to go back to the drawing board once you are done setting it up. Regardless, the piece is not entirely complete and might need a paint job. You will also need to make sure that there is a proper stacking of the frames.
This is how package looks like:
Bee hive body kit includes assembled painted 9 5/8″ (24.45 cm) hive body component, 9 1/8″ (23.18) assembled frames, 8 1/2″ (21.59) Rite-Cell® foundation.
Key features of Hive Body Component:
- Precision cut interlocking box joints
- Wider deeper handholds built for added comfort and stability in lifting
- Quality white pine
- Standard 10-frame Langstroth hive body
A few words about assembled frames:
- High precision cuts
- Unparalleled fit and finish
- Standard outside dimensions work with any uncapper
- Fits all standard equipment.
Briefly about the foundation:
- Sharper cell edges for quick acceptance
- Textured cell walls that been like to build on
- Pure beeswax coating
- Deeper cells give your bees a headstart
- Food grade plastic
- Durable plastic holds up to years of extracting
- Easy to put in your frames
- Requires no reinforcement
- Perforated corners can be removed to create a communication channel.
Cover package includes 10-frame heavy-duty telescoping cover, inner cover and heavy-duty bottom board with an entrance reducer.
Telescoping cover with inner cover features:
- Standard 10-frame dimensions
- Withstands the hardest conditions
- The top is covered with heavy-duty aluminum
- Telescopes down over the hive to keep out the elements
- Built to last
Bottom board with an entrance reducer:
- The bottom board is the foundation of the hive
- Gives your bees proper place to work
- Entrance reducer allows ventilation control
- Constructed with 3/4″ (1.91 cm) plywood that is stapled and glued together for years of service.
This hive kit includes a great bee smoker – with a rubber bellow. Such smoke is strong and durable, and cost twice as much mail as usual. Of course, it depends on the manufacturer. But Mann Lake is worth trusting. It is an exemplary manufacturer. In one of my reviews – Best Bee Smoker – already reviewed a similar smoker HD555, you can read more about it.
2. The Goodland Bee Supply Complete Bee Hive Kit
Goodland Bee Supply kit comes with all the accessories that a beekeeper starter needs. The unit incorporates a 2-frame manual honey extractor made of stainless steel. This extractor is nothing extraordinary but is durable and efficient. It is something that you, as a beginner, will find useful.
Both the inner and external parts of the unit are impressive. The pine super is kiln-dried and has 20 frames. It also has a plastic brood box.
The kit has a warranty, and so you are assured of getting good quality. The only disadvantage is that the kit does not come with a beginner’s manual.
- An uncapping roller
- Frame spacer
- Hive cover
- Frame grip
- A bottom board that comes with entrance reducer
- Hive lid – inner
- 2 frame honey extractor
3. The Honeybee Headquarters Beekeeping Beehive Starter Kit
Honeybee Headquarters are a household name when it comes to beekeeping equipment. Therefore, this kit emerges as one of the best in the market. The starter kit includes all the equipment considered necessary for beekeeping. It comes with a book containing all the useful information that a starter will need.
The only thing missing is a honey extractor and some nails. You will have to source these by yourself. As a starter, this kit is all you need as you learn the ropes in the trade.
- A beekeeping book – contains the beekeeping basics
- Рive tool
- 1 piece entrance reducer
- 1 piece medium super with 10 frames
- An already assembled bottom base
- 2 brood boxes with 10 frames
- An already assembled top hive feeder – 2.5 gallons
- A fixed inner cover
- Bee brush
- Bee smoker
- Fixed telescoping external cover – has an aluminum lid
4. The BuildaBeehive 8 Frame Standard Beehive Starter Kit
The Build a beehive kit is suitable for both beginners and others who have been in the trade for a long time. BuildaBeehive 8 is affordable and will allow you to get a feel of beekeeping before you can make a decision. If you are a pro and is looking for an affordable kit, then BuildaBeehive is the right product for you.
Don’t let the wooden parts fool you; they are of high quality, and all other accessories are worth the investment. The product comes with a money-back guarantee. This means that you are getting a high-quality product.
BuildaBeehive 8 has one downside. It is complicated to add more materials since it only supports eight frames. The kit does not include a honey extractor.
- Telescoping internal cover
- 1-piece 8-frame wooden super
- An entrance feeder
- 8-sheet plastic base
- 8 top bar frames (9 ¼ inches)
- An all-purpose hive tool
- Bottom board
- Bee smoker – calms the bees when you are conducting your inspections
- Beekeeping veil to protect you from attacks.
- Pair of beekeeping gloves
- An informative beekeeping book
5. CoolMax Bee Hive Starter Kit
This polystyrene kit has all the tools that a beginner would require. The only thing missing with this unit is the bees. Beemax kit is already assembled, saving the hassle of determining which component goes where.
The best thing about this product is that it provides adequate protection against the extremes of weather. In hot summer months, the hive keeps the colony cool, and in winter, the bees have a good chance at overwintering. Without a doubt, all these qualities ensure that your start to the beekeeping adventure is excellent.
However, you will need to paint the exterior with latex paint. This is to make sure that the hive is ultraviolet ray-protected. For those that chose the plastic foundation and plastic frames, it is recommended that you apply wax on them. This ensures that bees are more accepting of them. The wax is enticing to them. You can get assembled frames with wax. Alternatively, you can obtain the wax and apply it by yourself.
- BeeMax insulated hive body
- Telescoping hive cover
- 1pc inner cover
- 1pc bottom board – screened, ventilated
- Entrance feeder
- All-purpose hive tool
- First lessons in beekeeping book
- Bee smoker
- Assembly instructions –handy for beginners
- 1pc Alexander veil
- Beekeeping Gloves – will protect you from stinging
- 10 wood-assembled frames
- Smoke fuel – 1 pound
Beekeeping Starter kits are practical tools for those starting. They are quite helpful if you are only trying to see if beekeeping is your thing. Starter kits contain all the necessary components meaning that you don’t have to run around shopping now and then as you discover something’s missing. However, there are many kits out there in the market, and choosing the right one may prove challenging. Hopefully, the above compilation will help you in your decision-making process.