When you plan to start a business on beekeeping, the first thing in your mind to think about should be beekeeping equipment. Every beekeeper ought to have various essential tools for beehive management.
This equipment depends on the size of your operation, colonies of bees to keep and the type of honey you intend to produce.
There is a whole list of beekeeping equipment available like a beehive, protective gear, smoker, bee gloves, beekeeping brush, frames, and queen chamber among other components but you only require few of them to get started.
Having said that, let find out the essential beekeeping equipment list.
Beehives and its components
Hives are the essential tool for a beekeeper. You can acquire them from local dealers or purchase them online. Swarms come in different types, but the significant beehives are the moveable frame beehive and the top bar hives.
Moveable frame beehive is the most common beehive with different designs such as the national hive, Langstroth hive, and the commercial hive. As the name suggests, top bar hive is a hive made of bars along the top where bees build their honeycombs, and when honey harvest time arrives, the bars are completely removed.
The primary components of a beehive include; the hive stand, bottom board, entrance reducer, slatted rack, brood box, queen excluder and the covers.
Hive stand – this can be made from few stacks of bricks or wood frames. It helps to keep the hive off the ground and shields it from termites and floods.
Entrance reducer – this is a small wood piece fixed between the bottom board and deep super used as a guard for protecting colonies.
Slatted rack – the rack helps in ventilation and hive congestion, therefore, allowing bees to get fresh air into the hives especially during summer.
Queen excluder – it’s merely a flat made from either metal or plastic material with holes small enough to exclude the bigger queen bee. This aids the queen bee from laying eggs inside the honey super.
Brood box – this is the part of a hive where the queen bee lives, lays her eggs and raise young bees. The brood box is also used to store pollen and honey by the colony.
This is an essential part of a beekeepers toolkit made of metal pot. It’s used to puff smoke into the door of the hive before opening and also blow smoke over the frames after the hive is opened.
Generally, smokers are used to calm down bees when they feel their colony is under attack.
This is probably the essential piece of beekeeping equipment to purchase. For a beginner, you need to buy the full beekeeping suit which includes a fully built in a veil. You can buy these protective gear from the market at a reasonable price or hire them from an experienced beekeeper.
Bee gloves – These gloves are used to protect your hands and arms from bee stings. You can purchase suitable gloves from the market at a reasonable price or use household rubber gloves that bees won’t be able to sting.at first you may find it hard to work while wearing them but with time you feel more comfortable.
Beekeeping brush – This is merely a brush used to remove bees from frames and combs of honey. Since removing bees from the hive may cause cell damage by shaking, it’s advisable to use a brush. Also, a bunch of green grass can substitute the brush and do the same thing.
Frames – These consists of the top and bottom bars used to hold comb inside the hive. Structures help to keep honeycomb structuring regularly and allowing more subjective assessment and best manuka honey harvesting.
This is a crowbar used to lever the hive, separate the hive bodies and fix frames. Its large attached end is best for lifting up structures used to scrape off excess wax on hive walls.
Beekeeping equipment will be the first thing to cross the mind of every beginner who is planning to keep bees as a hobby or for business.
This equipment may vary with the size of the operation. The essential, necessary equipment a beginner will need is the hive, protective clothing, smoker and a hive tool.