All the Beekeeping Supplies You Need
We have a lot of seasoned beekeepers in our growing community of Apimaye beekeepers. But we also have quite a number of bee enthusiasts who have just started or planning on starting beekeeping. One question we are often asked is if the hive and the bees are the only things to start beekeeping. The answer would be no. Our hives are the perfect homes for the bees, but you'd need some beekeeping supplies as well. Therefore we created our beekeeping tool bundle that includes all the essentials you'd need to get started.
We have 3 different levels of tool bundles. This base bundle includes
- Hive tool
- Bee brush
- Leather gloves
- Uncapping fork
- Queen marker
1 of each :)
What the Beekeeping Supplies are actually for?
According to this Wikipedia article, smoke masks the alarm pheromones of the bees, and initiates a feeding response in anticipation of possible hive abandonment due to fire. This enables the beekeeper to work peacefully on the hive without alerting the bees.
To use the smoker, just put the preferred fuel inside the hive smoker, and let it smoke. Apply the smoke at the hive entrance first, and then on top of the bees after opening the hive. If you are moving upper supers to inspect lower ones, apply the smoke to them as well.
The hive tool is like a Swiss Army Knife for a beekeeper but you'll find yourself using it mostly for splitting the frames. The bees cover the hive with propolis, so the frames will be stuck to the hive body . Just insert the hive tool between the frames and gently tilt to dislocate the frames from their stuck location. You can then use it to lift the frame a little and grab for inspection. You can also use the hive tool for scrapping or pulling nails on regular hives. Our Apimaye hives don't have any nails though.
The bee brush is used to gently get the bees off where you don't want them to be. For instance if you're grabbing a frame to reap the rewards of your awesome hobby, you'd need the bees off the frame. Instead of knocking the frame on the hive to get the bees off, you can just brush them off. You should also use the brush on our top cover feeder if you are planning on putting it on a flat surface.
Our high quality leather gloves with long sleeves are for those of you that may not still be comfortable to put the hands in the hive, or have an aggressive colony. They'll protect your hands and you'll feel more comfortable working with the bees.
This is tool mostly used by brand new beekeepers who are still too nervous to hold a frame. Worry not! If you have smoked your bees, they'll be gentler. If you already have gentle bees like the Italian bees, even better. But if you are still not that comfortable, use our frame grabbers to lift the frames for inspection.
Once the little cells are filled with honey on the comb, the bees cap the cell. To extract honey, you'd need to uncap the comb. Use the uncapping fork like a spatula to lift the capping on the top. You can also scratch the caps by holding the uncapping fork more perpendicular to the frame but that'd result in more beeswax in your honey.
A big portion of hive inspection is about locating the queen. Finding a single bee in a hive of tens of thousands of bees can be hard, especially for untrained eyes. That's where the queen marker comes handy. Mark your queen with our queen markers and you can spot the queen right away during inspections. Each year has a different color for the queen markers. This way you can also track the age of your queen. If you find a queen that has not been marked on your hive that was previously marked, that would mean the marked one has either died or left the colony and you now have a new queen in the hive.