Apiary Supplies. Beekeeping sounds interesting. Yes, you’ve decided to give it a try. You’re going to start your own apiary. But where to start? What will you need, besides bees, of course? What Are the basic apiary supplies and where do you get them?
When starting any new hobby there’s a lot to learn. And often, there’s a lot to buy before you get down to the business of practicing that hobby. If you’ve decided that you’d like to have a hive or two in your backyard there are certain basics that you just can’t do without.
The best way for a beginner to start is to buy all new equipment and package bees. New equipment will keep you from bringing pests and diseases into your colonies. Getting the bees from a nearby beekeeper can cause problems with swarm control, defensiveness of the colony and re-queening. The new equipment will help you to learn all of the parts of a hive as you put it together. The package bees will help you gain experience in working with a small colony before you branch out into a larger operation. You will be able to see that colony grow from the package you picked up to a real honey producing colony.
Buy both the bees and the equipment – all of your apiary supplies – from a reputable source. You can learn about reputable sources from other beekeepers, beekeeping organizations or groups, and from beekeeping journals. Again, you want clean equipment and healthy bees.You will, of course, need at least one new hive. If you are planning to make your own hive or hives, you will need a hive outer cover, an inner cover, shallow honey supers, a queen excluder, a hive body (or brood chamber), a bottom board, a hive stand, frames and a foundation.
You will need certain equipment to protect yourself. Buy an easy to light smoker and a hive tool. A smoker should always be burning when any beekeeper, new or experienced, opens a hive. If the colony is opened before the smoker is lit, the bees, not the beekeeper, are in control.
You will need bee gloves and a hat and veil. Until you learn more about your bees you will always need to wear those gloves. The veil should cover your face and hang down over your shoulders. Most beekeepers use a pith hat – they are usually plastic and look sort of like a safari hat. They’re inexpensive and work great. The veil will be either a folding veil that you can fold up and put in your pocket or a round veil that’s made of metal or plastic.
Beginners should also wear boots with straps that seal the legs of your boots around the legs of your pants so that bees can’t fly up your pants. You should wear long sleeved shirts or suits that cover your arms. Beekeepers should have a jacket that’s often called an “inspector’s jacket” that will protect beekeepers when removing bees from areas that may cause the bees to become defensive. It will come with an attached hat and veil. Lighter color denim blue jeans work to cover the bottom of the beekeepers body. Bees do not like light colors and will not be attracted to light jeans. You can buy pants that are specifically for beekeeping but are not really a necessity.
Once you have collected all of the beekeeping equipment you need, you will be ready to buy your package bees and introduce them to your hives.
About the Author: My name is Nancy Ketner and I have been fascinated by Bees for as long as I can remember. Beekeeping can be a daunting hobby to start. Understanding Bees and apiary supplies as a beginner can be difficult.