Beekeeping supplies are essential to starting and maintaining a beekeeping operation. These include hive tools, smokers and protective clothing.
These beekeeping supplies can cost a lot of money in the beginning, but they will pay off in the long run. They can also help you to avoid some common pitfalls that beekeepers face.
A hive tool is a useful beekeeping supply that is used for inspecting and maintaining bee hives. They are usually made of stainless steel for strength and rust protection.
Hive tools are used to scrape propolis and burr comb off frames, pry things apart, and lever hive bodies. They can also be used to separate hive boxes, bottom boards, and covers.
There are many different styles of hive tools available. The most common are the standard hive tool and the J-Hook hive tool. Other options include the Italian, Kent Williams, and multifunction hive tools.
The Smoker is an indispensable part of every beekeeper’s toolkit, allowing you to calm bees so you can inspect or repair their hive. The smoker is a cylindrical burner that smolders various fuels, producing cool smoke.
To use a bee smoker, add a fuel–such as pine cones, wood shavings or Cotton Fiber Smoker Fuel–to the burner. Light the top first, but don’t let it flair up too high because it won’t ignite the fuel below.
Next, stack the fuel on top of the flames. Keep the flames smoldering and adding more fuel as needed until the smoker’s burning chamber is filled with smoke. This produces a cool and even smoke that helps calm bees and masks their alarm pheromone. Using a smoker is a quick, easy and safe way to help bees relax.
Hive stands elevate your hive entrance to a higher level than the ground, so that beekeepers can work on the hive. They also help protect your hive from predators like skunks and raccoons.
The best hive stands are strong and stable. They should be made of wood, metal, or plastic.
A good hive stand should be able to handle uneven ground and keep the hive dry. It should also be easy to assemble.
There are a lot of different beekeeping stands available, so it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you. Some of the important things to consider when deciding on a stand include its height, size, and materials.
When it comes to beekeeping, the queen is a vital member of the colony. Without her, the hive will fail. Her role is to make sure the hive survives through the winter and fend off predators like skunks.
The best way to keep your queen safe during hive inspections is by using a queen catcher. These are easy to use and do not hurt the queen during her capture.
The device is shaped like a pipe and has a bulbous end that narrows into a tube-like section with a small opening at the wide end. It is usually plugged with a sponge to block the entrance to prevent air from entering.
If you’re new to beekeeping, a bee suit will help protect you from bee stings. There are a few types of bee suits available, and each type offers different levels of protection.
A full bee suit is a single garment made from heavy white cotton canvas or several layers of bee-proof mesh netting with long sleeves and legs with elastic to close them. Some also have a head protection “hood” with a mesh face mask.
Generally speaking, bees are only able to sting humans when they feel threatened. That said, the material isn’t sting-proof, and even a bee that pokes a hole through your suit can still cause you some pain.