Tools and Clothing

Tools of the Trade

Beekeeping inventoryThere are many tools available to beekeepers and some are essential. The most important tool a beekeeper needs is a smoker. The smoker is used to calm the bees, which makes examining the hive much safer. Smoke makes the bees stuff themselves with honey, making them calm. Smoke must be used carefully as too much can drive the bees from the hive. Then, there is a chance they may not return for a while, which puts them at risk.

A hive tool is another useful tool for beekeepers. It is used to pry the inner lid off the hive and pry frames apart as well as cleaning frames. There are also specific bee brushes made to clean frames. The hive tool can also brush bees from comb when gathering honey, although a branch with leaves can serve the same purpose.

You can view our recommended beekeeping supplies stores for more information.

Beekeeper clothing

beekeeping clothingThe clothing that a beekeeper chooses is very important. Lightly colored clothes must be worn as bees are attracted to dark colors. Light colored pants, such as white or khaki, with white socks are a must. Pant legs should be folded over and socks pulled over them to keep bees from going up your pant leg. A light colored shirt that can be buttoned or zipped tightly is also important. Alternatively, there are bee suits which can be purchased. A bee veil is a very important item to new beekeepers and those more experienced alike. The bee veil keeps bees away from your face, head, and neck and keeps you from being stung. Bees are attracted to noses and eyes especially when protecting their hives. Bees can also get can get caught in one’s hair, which is something the bee veil helps prevent. Gloves can also be worn while working around your bees, but it can be difficult to wear gloves for all of the tasks you may encounter while working with your hive. Many beekeepers will wear gloves to begin with, but will later opt not to wear them once their bees are used to them and the keeper knows how they’ll react.

Next: Choosing a Hive Location