Beekeeping supplies fall into one or two distinct types the first are connected with the care of the bees, the second are to extract and prepare the honey for sale.
Beekeeping supplies connected to the care of the bees can be further subdivided into bee care and beekeeper protection.
Key beekeeping supplies include the smoker. This helps the beekeeper to pacify the bees when inspecting the hive or when harvesting the honey. There are many shapes and sizes but basically the smoker burns fuel which emits smoke and then enables the beekeeper to pump that smoker into the hive. The fuel that the smokers use can be hessian, twine, burlap, pine needles corrugated cardboard and rotten wood are examples of the natural products that can be used in the smoker. Manufactured fuels made from pulped paper and compressed cotton are available and even aerosol cans of smoke. There is a wide variety of shapes and styles that can fulfil anyone’s requirement.
There are many tools that help you enter the hive, lift the combs etc. The only one that is necessary is the hive tool which enables you to enter the hive and separate the combs so that they can be inspected or removed.
You need hive tops, division boards, and queen excluders. But very important are the bee feeders that enable the beekeeper to supplement the bee’s diet with sugar syrup. This will prevent starvation during the times when food is scarce in the winter and it also stimulates the laying of eggs. Summer feeding through an entrance feeder can also increase the harvest of honey and is well worth doing.
The protective clothing consists of a light coloured suit (normally white), a hat and veil and gloves. The suit should be of a close weave material that resists the penetration of the bee sting. It should also be suitable for frequent washing to remove the chemical that is released when a sting is used to give warning of attack and attract other bees to the site. Light coloured suit causes far less problems for the bees.
The hat and veil are the most important protective wear. The bee is naturally attract to the breath and is more likely to sting the face and neck than any other area of the body. Additionally the skin of the face is more delicate and thus more effected than the hands and lower arms. It is necessary to remove a sting as quickly as possible to keep to a minimum the venom injected; this is far more difficult in when the sting cannot be seen.
Honey distribution requires honey jars, labels and presentation materials.
Beekeeping also requires considerable equipment, hives, supers and stands etc. The Honey extract also requires extractors, trays and sterilising equipment. I have not addressed these in this article but concentrated on the beekeeping supplies that may need renewing more frequently.
Article by Ben Field. Ben Field is a beekeeping expert. For more great tips on beekeeping supplies, visit http://www.thebeekeepingcenter.com.