Your bees will be here soon! You've got your hive kit. It's all assembled and painted, and ready for package/nuc installation day. Now what?
This time of year, the biggest question we hear from new beekeepers is "what else do I really need to have when I get my bees?" Of course, like many other questions asked in beekeeping, the answer will vary depending on who you ask. Nonetheless, we've compiled a list of 6 items that we consider to be "essentials" in the bee yard.
- Feeder - this is a critical piece of equipment for getting your bees off to a strong start and ensuring that they can build up as quickly as possible. We really like the 1 gallon Pail Feeder as an inexpensive and practical option. OR, check out our new Divided Top Hive Feeder, which can be used for efficiently feeding sugar syrup AND pollen substitute at the same time. Shop our entire collection of feeders HERE.
- Smoker - our Hobby Smoker is an economic option that works great for anyone managing 1-10 hives. If you're looking for a smoker that'll last generations, check out our smokers made by Lega (available in small, medium or large). The quality is unmatched!
- Smoker Fuel - a lot of folks use pine needles or other yard debris, but if you're looking for something a little more reliable and readily available right when you need it, we highly recommend Burlap. It produces a nice, clean smoke, and burns for a long time.
- Hive Tool - a basic Heavy Duty Hive Tool is all you need to start. Eventually you may want to try a Frame Lifter or a Frame Grip after you've done a few inspections and identified your pain points.
- Frame Perch - some may argue that this tool is an optional accessory in the bee yard, but we would disagree. A frame perch hooks on the side of whatever box you're inspecting and will hold up to 4 frames. This opens up space in the box for you to conduct your inspections with more ease, and/or provides a place to set your queen aside for safety while you inspect the rest of the brood nest without fear of rolling her in between frames. We won't inspect a hive without it!
- Protective Gear - we always advise that beekeepers at least wear a veil to protect their face and eyes. We offer everything from gloves & veils to full suits & jackets.
Of course, with time, there will be other pieces of equipment that you'll find you need or want. This list of basic items will get your beekeeping season off to a good start!
Stay tuned later this summer for a list of basic essentials for your first honey harvest. Happy beekeeping!