beekeeping equipment

Essential Equipment for Beginner Backyard Beekeepers

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and start beekeeping... how exciting! 

If you’ve just purchas...

Nathan Stewart

minute read

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and start beekeeping... how exciting! 

If you’ve just purchased a hive and a colony that’s an excellent start, your bees will certainly love their new home. But there’s a few more supplies you’ll need to have on hand before your colony moves into your backyard. Without these 6 essential items you could find yourself in a real sticky situation (and not the delicious honey kind).

So here’s a list of items you’ll need to have at your disposal as you build your apiary. 

Bee Suit with Veil 

This one is essential. Nobody likes copping a bee sting and as a Beginner Beekeeper you’ll likely experience a few. Even the most gentle and docile of bees can and will sting if they feel threatened. Being stung on the face is very painful, which is why a Bee Veil is a must. Suit up when you want to inspect your hives to give yourself the best chance of not being stung. 

Our Recommendation: Full Length, 3 layered Ventilated Suit with Quality Zips and a Sheriff Style Veil - a bit more expensive but worth every cent , this suit will help to keep you cool in the hot midday sun.

Gloves 

Similarly, gloves are also a must when handling bees. Not just any old gloves will do though. You need to make sure they reach your elbows and are cinched in so no stray bees can work their way in. This will also help to minimize stinging incidents. 

Hive Tool

Bees glue everything in their hive together with a resin like substance called Propolis. This is why having a hive tool on hand is a must. The hive tool will allow you to pry the top off a hive and separate the frames inside. A hive tool is also handy for scraping honeycomb from the sides and also scraping propolis. They’re inexpensive and an essential item for Beekeepers. 

Smoker

Smokers are invaluable for all beekeepers. They work to keep the bees calm and docile and help to mask their defensive pheromones. Here’s a fun fact, if a honeybee feels threatened they will let off an alarm pheromone that smells like bananas, to alert their fellow bees to defend the hive. So if you’re smelling bananas around your hive, it’s time for another puff of smoke!

Our Recommendation: Beeco Standard Size - These Stainless Steel Quality Smokers are made in Victoria, Australia and are known for being the best on the market. They stay alight easily and the bellow design draws air in from a vent at the top of the bellow and blows it out the bottom into the furnace. A lot of the cheaper products draw and blow from the same location which presents a considerable fire danger as it pulls hot coal from the furnace each time the smoker is puffed. This coal falls onto the ground and can often ignite dry grass.

Spare Frames

Regardless of whether you have a Flow Hive or a traditional Langstroth hive you will likely need at least 4-8 spare full depth frames. Be careful not to buy cheap spare frames as they’re usually imported and are more often than not made from plastic and not from Beeswax. Our frames are assembled with wire and Australian Beeswax Foundation. 

Double Layer Honey Strainer 

This strainer is particularly useful if you’ve decided to purchase a single Langstroth hive. It will be your best friend when you’re ready to harvest your honey using the simple crush and strain method. You can use this strainer to separate your honey from the beeswax with ease.

About Nathan Stewart

 I’m Nathan, a backyard urban Beekeeper that has grown to have 7 separate apiaries with around 40-50 hives. I’m based in far northern suburbs of Melbourne Australia at a place called Doreen and have hives in small suburban backyards, a local nursery & wellness centre, on large rural properties and even on the roof of a garage all within my local area.