If you are thinking on beekeeping, then the beekeeping starter kit is the perfect way to get started. 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.
Best Selling Beekeeping Starter Kits 2017
Considerations before you start on beekeeping
There are two considerations that you will require to keep in mind. The first is the sting. Beekeeping comes with its own risks and among them is the sting. For some people, the sting is only a source of a brief discomfort. However, for others, the sting can mean death from anaphylactic shock. Regardless of the equipment you will use, be sure that you can handle cases of getting stung.
The other consideration is heavy lifting. There are times that you will need to do the lifting. This will occur when you need to move the equipment from one place to the other. If at all you can handle the bee sting and the heavy lifting, then you are good to go.
What to look for in beekeeping starter kit
Like most other products, the cost 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 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 includes honey extraction equipment and something to protect the bees from extreme weather.
Regardless, avoid the cheapest kits in 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, 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 definitely not do.
The bee smoker cools the bees down. This 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 the 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 10 frames with each super where the colony has its eggs and young ones. It is also where they store pollen and the 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 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 Goodland Bee Supply Complete Bee Hive Kit
This 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
- A frame spacer
- A smoker
- A hive cover
- A frame grip
- A bottom board that comes with entrance reducer
- Hive lid – inner
- 2 frame hone extractors
2. 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
- A hive 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
- A bee brush
- A bee smoker
- A fixed telescoping external cover – has an aluminum lid
3. 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 extremely difficult to add more materials since it only supports 8 frames. The kit does not include a honey extractor.
- A telescoping internal cover
- 1 piece 8-frame wooden super
- An entrance feeder
- 8-sheet plastic base
- 8 top bar frames (9 ¼ inch)
- An all-purpose hive tool
- A bottom board
- A bee smoker – calms the bees when you are conducting your inspections
- A beekeeping veil to protect you from attacks.
- A pair of beekeeping gloves
- An informative beekeeping book
4. The Mann Lake HK170 10 Frame Traditional Complete Hive Kit
This kit 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.
Mann Lake HK170 is an excellent kit for those starting out. The price is on the lower side considering what you are getting. It is easy to setup and use. For the pros, this traditional unit is an excellent option for upgrading.
All its components are 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.
5. Beemax Hive Kit M58800
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 out. 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.