That’s right, folks – it’s that time in our fine beginner series to chat about the wonderful world of beekeeping supplies.

Because hopefully –by this point– you’ve decided that, yes, as a matter of fact, you are quite the good fit for being a beekeeper. (If you missed that recent memo, give it a gander — it’s packed with some valuable suggestions to consider if you’re toying with the idea of turning your digs into a honey bee-friendly home.)

So for this next trick, let’s make sure you’re up to speed on some hive-worthy must-haves…

What beekeeping supplies are essential?

Humble Honey Bee Abodes

If this is your first time diving into beekeeping, start simple with your beekeeping supplies. Go with just one or two hives — get used to your equipment, maintenance/caretaking regiment, and (most importantly) being around your honey bees. There’s always next season to up the ante, if it’s a hobby you’re hooked on!

Many suppliers of beekeeping equipment offer start-up kits, which include a hive. Check this option out while you’re shopping around. It’s cost-effective and will help you cross off more must-have items in one swoop, making sure all of the necessary parts and pieces are accounted for.

And a pivotal rule of thumb about your bees’ new home sweet home: Make sure your apiary is ready for action before its new residents arrive!

And on that note…

Special Swarm Delivery!

Not sure how much weird stuff you’ve received in the mail, so this just might take the cake. Honey bees are typically ordered and shipped. (Surely, much to the thrill of your delivery guy or gal as he/she trucks around ~15,000+ bees to leave on your doorstep.)

Sometimes, local beekeeping farms or clubs may also sell bees. This is a winning situation for you for a few reasons.

First, being new to the beekeeping supply world, this will potentially give you a first-hand chance to see the “bee-havior” of different swarms in action (ranging from mild-mannered to more aggressive personalities). Save yourself some trouble, first-timers — go for the gentle gems!

Second, picking your honey bees up in person helps eliminate the risk that damage/etc. may befall your bundle of buzzing joy while in transit via mail.

Third, knowing your bee supplier at a face-value encourages more open dialogue about beekeeping equipment, bees’ histories (domestically or internationally raised), and so forth — clear answers and support will positively impact your colony’s health and success.

Get it? (Got it.) Good!

Dressing the Beekeeping Part

When it comes to beekeeping supplies, proper attire is just as important as your hives and honey bees.

Here comes the… beekeeper! A beekeeping veil is a must — it not only protects that magnificent mug of yours, but also keeps any flying friends from causing a distraction around your face area while you work. For added protection of your noggin, beekeeping helmets also come as highly recommended beekeeping equipment.

Your hands will do the most venturing into uncharted honey bee territory—and are therefore the first target for rattled bees. That said, a solid pair of gloves (preferably leather) that run up to the elbow is an ideal purchase for beekeeping beginners. An easy alternative: dishwashing gloves, pulled up over or tapered around cuffed, long sleeves.

A beekeeping suit is also a rewarding investment. But don’t be fooled! Suits are not 100% ‘sting-proof’ or ‘stingless.’ They do, however, offer well-ventilated peace of mind via full-body coverage that eliminates any gaping nooks and crannies.

If you opt against a suit, wearing full-length clothing that is smooth in texture and white/light-colored is a safe alternative. Just remember that nothing can find openings in clothing quite like an aggravated honey bee, so be sure to tightly cuff any sleeves, pant legs, etc. (Handy hint: duct tape to the rescue! Spinning a bit of the tough stuff around loose cuffs or stubborn clothing openings makes for a fast, effective bee-barrier.)

So now that you’re suited up for action…

Must-Have Beekeeping Supplies (aka “Bee-sentials”)

You want your visits to the hive to go smoothly, right? Here are a final few basic beekeeping supplies to help ensure that happens.

A smoker will be your best friend. Smoke is a natural way to gently subdue your apiary’s inhabitants, before diving into your hive dealings. And don’t forget to grab smoker fuel to keep your best buddy goin’ strong!

What better way to tackle the aforementioned dealings than with a hive tool! This fella will be your next-best bud, thanks to its impeccable ability to faithfully serve as a jack-of-all-trades. It’ll see you through many odds and ends of beekeeping maintenance. So expect the unexpected, and equip yourself with a trusty hive tool.

Bees are little beings too, susceptible to the threat of viruses, diseases and pests. So it’ll do your hive well to keep some bee medications on hand. Additionally, a food stash helps your honey-makers stock up for when they’re hunkerin’ down during chilly months. Your local beekeeping equipment supplier, farm, or club is your best resource to consult, in order to get the meds and diet supplements you need to ensure your bees’ health succeeds.

And as for honey-harvesting beekeeping supplies? Those folks are great for offering hands-on expertise and guidance on that too — so don’t ‘bee’ afraid to pick their brains!

Don’t miss out on more hot, honey-lovin’ topics being covered!

Buzz on back here soon to discover the ins and outs about the cost of beekeeping!