Are you new to beekeeping or imagining the idea of starting a bee colony? Do you have all it takes to maintain and nurture your colony? Well, if you don’t, then you are in the right place.
The post will tell you all you need to know to get your bee colony up and running. You will learn what it takes to start a colony, the best starter equipment for it, how and when to get your bees, and so on.
You must know that beekeeping has become very easy due to technological advancement. Beekeeping interestingly is worthwhile, fascinating and less expensive.
Once you have your bees, they will thrive without your interference. They require little or no attention at all to thrive, so you have nothing to worry about.
Beekeeping can be taken up as a hobby or a business venture. Whatever the purpose, the benefits outweigh the investment in time and money.
Bees are very useful animals. They have different products that are beneficial to health such as beeswax, honeycomb, propolis, pollen, royal jelly and honey.
Honey, the most common of the products of bees has many health benefits. It is healthier than refined sugar since it contains such elements as niacin, riboflavin, iron, and manganese. 
Honey itself has been linked with various health benefits (though not all of them has been scientifically proven, yet they are worth noting) which include:
- It helps soothe sore throats
- It can be used to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- It can be used in healing wounds with its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties
- It acts as a memory booster
- It can be used to control dandruff and scalp issues
- It improves white blood cell count due to chemotherapy
Let us now consider a few of the benefits of beekeeping to mankind:
- It helps you save extra cash on honey purchase, beeswax and propolis
- It has great benefits to the environment
- It provides economic benefits to the keeper
- It improves pollination of flowers and garden crops; thereby boosting garden production
- It helps in the production of honey which has great health benefits
- It can be a great hobby to help reduces stress
- Bee venom is useful in treating pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Now that you have the basic information about bees, let us now get you started on how to start your bee colony. In the next section, we shall consider the best beekeeping starter kits for you new homesteader going into beekeeping.
Top 9 Best Beekeeping Starter Kits For The Money:
Keeping bees require certain types of equipment to maintain and develop a prosperous colony. In this section, we reviewed the top nine of such kits. Do read on for more.
Complete Bee Hive Kit, Painted, Assembled, 10 Frames
This ten-frame traditional complete hive kit comes with 10 frames. 9-5/8-inch assembled hive body and ten constructed wood frames with waxed yellow Rite-cell foundation.
This kit comes completely assembled and bees ready. It has a solid painted bottom board with an unpainted entrance reducer and a painted telescoping cover with inner cover.
These painted wood frames are certified frustration-free and built in the USA with quality pine. The outstanding thing about these frames remains that once the bees draw out most of the foundation, one can add a second deep hive body to it.
Honey keeper Beehive 20-Frame Complete Box Kit (10 Deep and 10 Medium) with Metal roof for Langstroth Beekeeping
This 20-frame beehive kit from Honey keeper comes with construction features that will help one create a booming colony. It comes with a foundation constructed with premium fir wood; the frames come in white pine wood. This kit comes with everything needed to build Langstroth style beehive.
It has 10 medium size frames, 10 deep frames, inner cover, entrance reducer and a queen excluder. This easy to assemble beehive comes with heavy-duty nails and pre-cut finger joints.
Basic Beekeeping starter kit
This US-made starter kit comes completely assembled and ready for bees. It comes with a 10-frame traditional basic kit and complete things that one needs to get started as a beekeeper. This starter kit measures 22-inch length by 18-1/2-inch width by 13-1/7-inch height.
It also comes with 10 frames of 9-5/8-inch assembled, one Alexander bee veil, painted hive body, painted bottom board with reducer, one–inch hive tool, the starting right with Bees book and ten 9-1/8-inch assembled wood frames with waxed yellow Rite-cell foundation.
Harvest Lane Honey Beginner Beekeeper Kit
This beginner beekeeper kit features Bee brush, smoker, hive tool, pellets, one inner cover, 1 Brood box, 10 frames & foundation and one solid bottom board and one flat top.
These accessories are durable and built to last. The product stands at 20 x 26 x 14 inches in dimension.
The construction of this beginning kit is with excellent wood and quality paint; the joints are tight and solid. The telescoping top features a high metal covering and a solid bottom board. It starts with a screened board.
Goodland Bee Supply GL-2b25k Beekeeping Double Deep Box Beehive Kit
From the stable of Goodland Bee Supply comes the GL-2b25k which is made for your bees. This wood product, a 10-frame box shipped unassembled but professionally packaged to eliminate the possibility of damage during shipment.
The good thing is that you can reinforce the hive kit with screws or brad nails that are not in at the joints.
This Beehive kit comes with frames, brood box, metal Queen Excluder and foundations. It also contains top and bottom, inner cover and super Box. The shipping weight is about 89 pounds and has a 5-star rating from the customers.
BuildaBeehive 10-Frame Deluxe Beehive starter kit
BuildaBeehive 10-Frame Deluxe Beehive starter kit will help save your honey bees. If you must know getting started with beekeeping cannot be so easy with this kit. Buying this kit is like getting all the equipment you need in one place.
A grand way to start your first colony of bees starts with getting this deluxe kit.
Made with beautiful and tough wood, this hive comes unassembled, but with its easy assembly instruction manual. It comes with bottom boards, frames, foundations and covers, a bee veil for sting protection, a bee smoker and other accessories.
BuldaBeehive easy Beehive Starter Kit
This single Beehive kit is ideal for both beginners and pros in keeping honeybees. The easy to lift kit come made with high-quality wood. It is 6-5/8 depth 8 frame Langstroth supers.
It contains bee veil, smoker and fuel, gloves and hive tool. Although it comes unassembled, it only needs little carpentry skills to fix all accessories.
The accessories include entrance feeder, one all-purpose hive tool, a protective sting gloves, a bee smoker to calm bees and a book.
It also comes with one smoker fuel, one telescoping metal cover, one reversible entrance reducer and one bottom board.
Little Giant Farm & Ag HIVE10KIT 10-Frame Beginner Hive Kit, Medium, Natural
This Little Giant kit contains everything that new and existing beekeepers need to get started. This kit features the giant 10-frame Langstroth hive including frames with foundation installed, hive tool and frame feeder.
It also contains gloves, veil, smoker fuel, smoker and even a book – beekeeping for dummies to help new starters get all the information needed for free.
Goodland Bee Supply 2 Frame Honey Extractor with complete super hives and frames and comprehensive Beekeepers tool kit-GLESUPERX2CTS1
This excellent tool kit comes handy for starters and those looking to replace a few worn-out tools. The package includes a 16-gauge stainless steel tank with sealed bearings, 2-frame honey extractor and two deep medium and shallow frames that can be extracted all at once.
It also has a 3-piece leg stand that will make offloading the honey hassle-free. The kit also contains ¾ inch thick pine wooden super with precision milled joints and 20 pierco pre-waxed plastic foundations. Pierco production will help to promote honeycomb creation that minimizes rejection.
Bees live in hives which happen to be the most important equipment of all. Being important equipment calls for a serious level of research on what kind will best suit your purpose for beekeeping: business or pleasure. 
These hang inside hives like a filing system which happens to be where the bees will build their combs, make honey, lay brood, and live constantly preparing for winter.
The comes handy when you are working around bees during honey extraction, feeding or other activities. The smoker keeps the bees from stinging you.
Essentially, you cannot keep bees without a bee suit, if you do you will suffer serious bee stings. So, except you have a thing for bee stings, then you must get a bee suit.
High-grade suits will offer more protection than the cheaper ones but hey, you work with what you have right?
Gloves are just as important as the bee suit. They offer essential protection so do not cheap out on them. You should also go for those gloves that cover most of your arm to keep that part of your body protected.
Sturdy shoes, a must-have for beekeepers. Imagine walking through a beehive with flip flops or sandals. Better imagined than experienced if you ask me.
When Should I Obtain My Bees?
When? Well, we say as soon as possible! Since more people are into beekeeping so you might want to plan way ahead of the bee season for supply reasons. Then again, it depends on what you want to obtain. Purchased bees come in two options: packaged and nucs (nucleus colonies).
The former comes in shoe-box sized packages while the latter, a more expensive option comes with a few frames, baby bees, some honey, and a laying queen. You can obtain packaged bees between April and May. This means you should have ordered for them as early as January.
Nucs are a bit different though. They take a little longer to be put together so they will be delivered a lot later than the packaged bees.
The trick is to be prompt about your order to make up for this. You might be able to obtain them in the summer when beekeepers attempt to reduce the numbers of bees in their colonies.
Simple Ways to Catch a Bee Swarm
Be Fast and proactive
Bee swarms fly from one location to the other for one reason or the other. However, they do not stay anywhere for long so you might want to be as fast as possible whenever you find a swarm around you.
So, while they are in a state of rest or in the process of looking for other nesting sites around, take advantage of this window of opportunity.
Get A Suitable Container
Be sure to get a container that can contain the size of the swarm you are after. Depending on logistics, you might want to get something light and flexible that you can easily carry around. This could be anything from a bucket, cardboard box, nuc box, plastic bag or hive box.
Get Them In
There are several ways to do this. However, your target should be the centre of the swarm where the queen is most likely to be. But before you start, you might want to lightly spray the swarm with some water to reduce the flying.
You could also use some smoke to herd them towards the container. You also have the option of using smells to disperse or clutter them depending on the situation.
After doing any of the above, be sure to place your container in such a manner that you can lower the swarm into your container.
However, if lowering does not serve the situation, then you might want to try to shake them from where they are, into your container. You have to be quick though in addition to having good aim.
Yet again you might have to scoop them into your container using your hand. After a few scoops, the bees may start moving into your container. If they don’t, just keep scooping. If you did not get all the bees into your container, position the container as close to the hive as possible and give it some time.
In all, you want to be sure that you have the queen because what is a swarm without its queen. So, watch for a cluster of the bees in a swarm because that is where the queen bee probably lies.
If you successfully get the queen inside your container, fine. If not then find a way to get that cluster into your container.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Equipment Do I Need As A Beginner?
A: Not much really. You could start with some protective clothing, a hive tool, and a smoker.
Q: How And Where Do I Get My Beekeeping Equipment?
A: Local stores and local BKA’s are your best bet. Avoid buying online except it’s from a reputable company.
Q: How Much Spare Equipment Is Needed?
A: How close is your nearest source? You need not worry if your source is close by. All the same, you will need some spare stuff for replacements or emergencies. Say a brood box, some frames, and some foundation.
Q: How Do I Know The Kinds Of Bees To Get?
A: It depends on your district and your purpose of beekeeping. Certain species thrive in some areas better than others. Then are you in it for business? If you are then you will need a prolific species that lays a lot of eggs and has a large colony that stores a lot of honey.
Also, the areas come into play because prolific species are better suited for warmer climates while the non-prolific species are best suited to cooler climates. So, in the end, it boils down to your location and intent.
Q: Where Do I Get Bees?
A: First rule, avoid the internet. Buy locally. Hook up with a good BKA so you can get some advice and guidance on how to go about getting bees.
Q: How Many Hives Are Too Much For One Place?
A: It all depends on your area. You might need to use your discretion and some seasoned advice.
Q: Must I Belong To A Local BKA?
A: Well, you will be much better if you are as you have a lot to gain.
Q: Where Do I Get Help From When There Is An Emergency?
A: This is why you need to belong to a BKA. They will provide useful information for eventualities like these.
Dear beekeeper, congratulations, you have completed your crash course on beekeeping. Go out there and get started with your bee colony. Ensure you follow our checklist above to get the essential equipment you need.
Do not forget to share, comment and rate this post for others to benefit from it.
All the best!
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