3 Important Types of Beekeeper Equipment
Article by Martin Broad
Having the correct equipment is an important part of becoming a beekeeper. Due to its complex and often difficult nature, beekeeping is not really the kind of hobby that you can just take up one day and get going. There are a few important pieces of equipment that you will need to ensure your hive thrives.
Clothing – Being protected around your bees is important and there are a few pieces of kit that you will need to wear when you are inspecting your bees. The beekeeper’s suit is made from thick material to protect the skin from the bees’ stingers. The suits are thick enough to ensure that, should a bee try and sting you, its stinger will not breach the suit and break the skin. Bees can be attracted to the mouth in particularly (usually by the person’s warm breath), so you will also need a veil to protect your face. Gloves are also worn and although many beekeepers consider them an optional extra when working on a hive, it is a good idea to get a pair if you are just starting out.
Smoker – Protective clothing is good, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could neutralize any threat the bees posed to you before you approached the hive? This is where the use of a smoker comes in. Smokers are tools that are used to release a certain amount of smoke over bees before the beekeepers get to the hive. The smoke calms the bees down and will diminish their fighting instincts (bees will usually only attack when something approaches their hive and threatens them, although this can include you if you are heading towards the colony to collect honey!). However, it is important to remember that a smoker should not be used too much. The chemicals in the smoke are powerful and over reliance on a smoker can effectively drug the bees, ensuring they will not produce as much honey in the future.
Extra food – It is also a good idea to have an additional source of food around for your bees to eat. Winter can be especially difficult for bees and if there are not enough flowers around for them, they may be reduced to eating their own honey to survive. Putting some sugar syrup in a dedicated feeder near the hive should reduce this damage to your honey stocks.
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For more helpful information on the best kind of beekeeper equipment you can find, visit www.beekeepingcentre.com.