The Essential Guide to Finding the Best Beekeeping Supplies + Reviews
If you do not have a lot of time and want to know what the best beekeeping supplies are, you are certainly in the right place! After carefully reading many beekeeping supplies reviews and analyzing the quality as well as the value of many products in this line, we concluded that the Mann Lake 10-Frame beehive kit should be your first option. First of all, it contains everything you might need to create a new apiary, but it also offers the possibility to add to an existing one. Moreover, it comes completely assembled and painted, so it is a very good choice for beginners as well. Basically, after you get it, all you have to do is place your bees inside and enjoy watching them work! In case this option is not available or if you need something else, we suggest looking for the Mann Lake WW906 Frames, which is also a product worthy of your attention.
Do you want to start a new apiary? Do you want to add to your existing one? It does not matter, as this product is a great choice for any of these cases. This complete beehive kit contains a ten-frame assembled body as well as ten assembled wood frames. A telescoping cover with an inner cover and an assembled painted board are also included.
Not all beekeepers prefer the solid bottom board. Some go for the screened version for better ventilation.
This complete beehive kit allows you to enjoy your new apiary with very little effort.
If you need new frames for your hives, we recommend this product. The pack contains ten assembled commercial frames that feature a waxed natural Rite-Cell foundation. Each piece measures 19 x 1-3/8 x 9-1/8 inches. Also, the standard outside dimensions work with any uncapper. The foundation does not deflect if the frame is held horizontally.
The foundation is made of plastic and coated with beeswax. Some beekeepers do not like plastic materials in the hives.
Given the high-quality of these frames, you will surely not regret having decided to purchase them.
This kit comes from a trusty manufacturer and it is completely assembled and painted, making it an ideal option for both new and experienced beekeepers. The pack contains one painted and assembled ten-frame hive body as well as ten wood frames. You will also get a telescoping cover with an inner cover and bottom board with entrance reducer, both painted as well.
The kit does not contain a feeder and a protective helmet which can only be purchased separately.
Veteran or beginner, you will definitely be able to rely on this high-quality beehive kit.
12 Best Beekeeping Supplies (Reviews) in 2020
If you want to buy beekeeping supplies, you should check the list we came up with. It contains a number of top rated products in this line that you should definitely consider. You can find them showcased below, and then you can run and purchase them from a beekeeping supply store or order them online.
- 1. Complete Bee Hive Kit Painted Assembled 10-Frame
- 2. Mann Lake WW906 10 Pack Assembled Commercial Frames with Waxed Natural Rite Cell Foundation
- 3. Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit Completely Assembled Painted
- 4. Kinglake Steel J Hook Bee Hive Tool Frame Lifter and Scraper
- 5. Beekeeping Jacket with Veil Beekeeper Jacket and Veil with Gloves
- 6. Mann Lake DC-799 Apivar
- 7. Complete Honey Super Kit Painted Assembled 10-Frame Made In The USA
- 8. Milwaukee Instruments MA871 Digital Brix Refractometer
- 9. Vivo Stainless Steel Honey Strainer Double Sieve Bee Keeping Equipment Filter
- 10. Little Giant Farm & Ag Beelog Beehive Log
- Yearly Guide & Report
1. Complete Bee Hive Kit Painted Assembled 10-Frame
In case you are looking for good beekeeping supplies, our first suggestion is this complete kit. If you go for this option, you will get a painted ten-frame 9-5/8-inch assembled body and ten assembled 9-1/8-inch wood frames with waxed yellow Rite-Cell foundation.
In addition, you will also receive an assembled telescoping cover with an inner cover, as well as an assembled painted bottom board with reducer. If you come to think about it, this is a great option if you need beginning beekeeping supplies, as this kit comes with everything you need in order to start your own apiary.
This product was manufactured in the United States and it also allows a second deep hive to be added after the bees draw most of the foundation. The hive measures 22 inches in length and 18-1/2 inches in width, and it is 13-1/7 inches tall.
Since this beehive kit comes completely assembled and contains everything you might require, this is one of the easiest ways to create your own apiary.
Also, this kit is versatile as it offers the possibility to either create a new apiary or to add to the existing one.
Moreover, this model is very well-constructed and comes already painted, which means fewer tasks for you.
The kit contains a ten-frame assembled body, ten assembled wood frames with waxed yellow Rite-Cell foundation, a telescoping cover with inner cover, and an assembled painted board.
Based on many customer reviews, besides being a reliable product, the fast delivery and packaging impressed many buyers.
According to some beekeepers, the solid bottom board is not the best choice, and they prefer the screened version.
It seems that you could get a better price if you purchase this product from Mann Lake directly and even from other major beekeeping supplies companies.Buy from Amazon.com for ($128.38)
2. Mann Lake WW906 10 Pack Assembled Commercial Frames with Waxed Natural Rite Cell Foundation
When it comes to managing an apiary, you can find both expensive and cheap beekeeping supplies. The most important thing is to purchase products that are high quality. Our second candidate in this line comes as a pack of assembled commercial frames which feature waxed natural Rite-Cell foundation.
The Mann Lake WW906 10-Pack Assembled Commercial Frames also feature high-precision cuts with full thick bottom bars of 1/2 inches. Moreover, they come with the standard width bottom as well as glued joints. You should also know that the standard outside dimensions work with any uncapper.
There are ten frames included in a pack, which measure 19 inches in length, 1-3/8 inches in width, and 9-1/8 inches in height. Many experienced beekeepers mentioned that they find these frames to be some of the finest quality which also come preassembled. Furthermore, the foundation does not deflect when the frame is held horizontally.
The fact that these frames come preassembled is very appreciated by beekeepers who use them. Another reason for such high appreciation is the waxed natural Rite-Cell foundation.
One pack comes with ten such frames, each having a length of 19 inches, a width of 1-3/8 inches, and a height of 9-1/8 inches.
The fact that these frames come with a standard width bottom and glued joints also makes them popular with beekeepers.
Another good thing is that the standard outside dimensions work with any uncapper.
Last, but not least, this product is manufactured in the United States by a very trusty company when it comes to beekeeping supplies.
Some beekeepers do not like that plastic was used for the foundation, and would have preferred natural wax instead.
It seems that, just like people, bees also have different tastes and not all of them prefer these particular frames.Buy from Amazon.com for ($58.04)
3. Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit Completely Assembled Painted
Since they pollinate the flower crops all over the world, honeybees have an essential role in the agriculture industry. Our next candidate was manufactured by a company which knows how important bees are, so they designed a product with the purpose to secure the future of the beekeeping industry.
The Mann Lake Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit is a perfect choice for beginner beekeepers because it comes completely assembled and ready for your hardworking bees. This kit contains a painted 10-frame assembled hive body that is 9-5/8 inches and ten wood frames with yellow Rite-Cell foundation of 9-1/8 inches.
A painted telescoping cover with an inner cover and a painted bottom board with an entrance reducer are also included. You will certainly like the extra items that are also included in this pack: a pair of economy leather gloves, a smoker with a guard, an Alexander bee veil, a hive tool, and an instruction book called Starting Right with Bees.
This is an excellent option for new beekeepers since the product comes as a complete kit that is also assembled.
The measurements of the hive are 22 x 18-1/2 x 13-1/7 inches. Also, the materials used for this product are high quality.
Besides all the necessary parts for the beehive, you also get a few accessories such as a pair of gloves, a hive tool, an Alexander bee veil, and a smoker with a guard.
Just to make sure you do things right, you also get an instruction book called Starting Right with Bees.
This product is highly appreciated by the customers who purchased it. They also like the abundance of accessories as well as the price.
A feeder, that is also required when starting a beehive, is not included among this product’s accessories.
When taking care of bees, one should never attempt to go near the hive without a helmet. You can only get one separately.Buy from Amazon.com for ($242.33)
4. Kinglake Steel J Hook Bee Hive Tool Frame Lifter and Scraper
A hive tool is one of the pieces of equipment you definitely need as a beekeeper. This model is made of steel, the handle is painted red, and, most importantly, it is very hard to bend or break.
The KINGLAKE Steel J Hook Bee Hive Tool is a very reliable item that you will enjoy using as a beehive frame lifter or as a scrapper.
The product is 10-1/2 inches long. Basically, you can think of this tool as a mini crowbar which is used to pull apart hive bodies and supers. Since it features a sharp edge meant to cut of beeswax as a scraper, this model is clearly a great multi-function tool any beekeeper should have.
Moreover, the square head with an edge on three corners and two sides offers many options for prying up frames that are glued-down. It is also more comfortable to work with than other products in this line.
This product is a multifunctional tool. You can use the J shape hook to lift out the first frame. You can also use it as a scraper thanks to the sharp edge for cutting off beeswax.
Also, this tool can be used as a small crowbar for prying apart hive bodies and supers.
The J hook hive tool is made of stainless steel, making it very difficult to bend or break. It is, therefore, a very reliable piece of equipment.
The length of this item is 10-1/2 inches and its weight is approximately 5.64 oz. This makes it the right size and weight for such a tool.
If the pry bar was a bit flatter and wider, it would get easier between the frames and provide more contact area, thus creating less damage.
Some users got the tool with the handle edges unfinished and sharp, so gloves must be worn when using this product.Buy from Amazon.com for ($6.99)
5. Beekeeping Jacket with Veil Beekeeper Jacket and Veil with Gloves
When managing an apiary, one of the things you should consider is protecting yourself from stings. Even if your bees are usually calm, you never know when they can get upset. Therefore, a veil and a protective suit are a must-have for a beekeeper.
BeeCastle comes with a product that includes multiple pieces of equipment and tools. If you order it, you will get a beekeeping jacket with a veil, and a pair of gloves to keep you safe. In addition, the pack includes a beehive brush, a J hook tool, a bee feeder, and a queen cage.
The jacket measures 42 inches from the brim of the hat to the waistband, 28 inches from the hood zipper to the waistband, and 26 inches from shoulder to sleeve. The high-quality and lightweight fabric offers excellent protection against bee stings. The suit is breathable as well, making it comfortable to wear at any time.
Although you will be ordering a beekeeper jacket with a veil, you will also be getting a few accessories: a bee feeder, a J hook tool, a beehive brush, and a queen cage.
The fabrics used for the jacket and veil are high-quality and they are also very lightweight. Since the material is breathable, it is very comfortable to wear, no matter the weather.
Moreover, the jacket is sturdy enough to keep you protected from any bee stings.
The non-removable veil offers quick and easy wearing, but it can also be put back when not in use because the veiled hood is self-supporting and collapsible.
Unfortunately, this model does not come in multiple sizes, so a large person will have difficulties fitting in this jacket if he or she even makes it at all.
Also, the jacket might be painfully tight on the wrists, even for tiny-boned individuals.Buy from Amazon.com for ($26.99)
6. Mann Lake DC-799 Apivar
Mite control is a significant concern for any beekeeper. When managing an apiary, you will also need to find an efficient way to control mites. This product is an in-hive method used to control mites in your beehives.
The Mann Lake DC-799 Apivar is designed to keep your beehives clear of mites. It easily kills the uninvited creatures once placed into the hive, over a period of six weeks. The main ingredient used in the formula is Amitraz. You should know that this component will not harm your bees in the process.
In addition, Apivar does not leave any chemical residues in your hives. This product comes in the form of strips that should be placed in the hive.
The advised application rate is one strip for five frames. One application can kill up to 99% of the mites. You do not have to worry about using the strips, as the packaging contains clear, step-by-step instructions.
This product can help any beekeeper control the mites from his or her apiary. It is a very efficient and safe method to kill up to 99% mites with one application.
Moreover, this item comes in the form of strips that need to be placed in the hive. The recommended ratio is 1 strip per 5 frames.
It is very easy to use, as the packaging contains clear and easy to understand instructions.
One application lasts for a period of six weeks, in which time, the main ingredient called Amitraz kills the mites, but does not harm the bees in the hive.
Besides being a reliable product in this category, the price is also an appropriate one for the offered value.
There are ten strips in a package, and if you have less than five hives, the remaining strips lose their efficiency over time, once the package is opened.Buy from Amazon.com for ($35.95)
7. Complete Honey Super Kit Painted Assembled 10-Frame Made In The USA
Any experienced beekeeper knows the importance of using high-quality types of equipment and tools when it comes to taking care of bees. However, you do not have to be a veteran to use this beehive kit that comes completely assembled.
The Mann Lake Complete Honey Super Kit is a durable and reliable product that you will be able to enjoy for years. It is made from pine of the highest quality, it comes fully assembled, and it is ready to receive your bees.
The pack contains a honey superframe of 6-5/8 inches which is also stapled for increased strength. An assembled and painted frame, as well as ten assembled wood frames featuring yellow Rite-Cell foundation coated with beeswax, are also included.
This manufacturer is well-known for making high-quality beekeeping supplies and this kit is no exception. You can trust you will get a very reliable product if you decide on this option.
This kit allows you to simply install the bees in because it comes completely assembled and painted. This means more time for your other tasks.
High-quality pine was used to make this hive which adds strength to the unit. The great paint job also helps in this sense.
The honey superframe is stapled for increased durability. You will also get an assembled frame and ten assembled wood frames with a yellow Rite-Cell foundation.
The hive measures 19-7/8 inches in length, 16-1/4 inches in width, and 6-5/8 inches in height.
Both beekeepers and bees seem to like this product because of its great quality and affordable price.
There were a few customers who had to add an extra layer of paint because the original one was thinner in some corners.
The plastic foundation is not to the liking of all bees, as some comments were made in this sense.Buy from Amazon.com for ($75.28)
8. Milwaukee Instruments MA871 Digital Brix Refractometer
Our next candidate is an optical instrument that helps you measure the refractive index to determine the sugar percentage on the Brix scale in aqueous solutions. In addition, it is a very simple and quick method. The samples are measured after an easy user calibration with distilled or deionized water.
The Milwaukee Instruments MA871 Digital Brix Refractometer measures the refractive index of the sample within seconds. This digital refractometer reduces the uncertainty associated with mechanical refractometers. Furthermore, it is portable and an excellent option for measurements in the field.
The measurement techniques, as well as the temperature compensation employ methodology, are the ones recommended by the ICUMSA Methods Book. The temperature is displayed concurrently with the measurement on the large dual-level display, that also shows icons for Low Power and other message codes that are very helpful.
This product can be used not only in the beekeeping industry but also in other activities such as beer brewing.
This optical instrument is ideal for measuring the refractive index which determines the Brix percentage of sugar in liquid solutions.
The dual-level LCD displays the temperature as well as the measurement. The same display shows the battery operation with a Low Power indicator.
To save battery, the unit turns off automatically after three minutes of non-use.
The Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) is another key feature of this product that is highly appreciated by its users.
This is also a great option for measurements in the field because it is portable. Furthermore, it is very easy to set up and store.
According to some more experienced users, this unit is only semi-portable, because it is less compact than other similar products.
Also, it seems that it is not as easy to use as other units. Still, most users are pleased with this item, so it can also be a matter of personal preferences.Buy from Amazon.com for ($124)
9. Vivo Stainless Steel Honey Strainer Double Sieve Bee Keeping Equipment Filter
If you are looking for an effective method to filter honey, this strainer is a great option, as it is designed with two separate screens. Since the mesh is made of 201 stainless steel, the strainer is resistant to oxidation and rust and, therefore, very durable. Furthermore, it is also very easy to clean.
The VIVO Honey Strainer Double Sieve has a diameter of nine inches and a depth of four inches. It is also equipped with extendable arms with a total reach of 15.5 inches. It should easily fit over honey pans and five-gallon buckets.
You will get light-colored and consistently smooth honey by processing it through this 1875 micron upper mesh and 650-micron bottom mesh. You might also be interested in the fact that this double sieve strainer comes with a limited one-year Manufacturer warranty and also very friendly tech support that will help you with any concerns or questions you might have.
You can enhance your beekeeping experience with this honey strainer that features a double sieve in order to progressively filter out debris.
This way of processing honey results into a smooth and consistently light-colored liquid which does not harden as fast as unstrained honey.
Moreover, this product is very durable thanks to the stainless steel material. It measures nine inches in diameter and four inches in depth.
The arms this strainer is equipped with extend to ideally fit over uncapping tanks, pails, or five-gallon buckets.
You also get a limited one-year Manufacturer warranty if you decide to purchase this product.
The extension rods seem a bit wobbly which does not have a negative impact on usage, but you might want to be careful if you are placing this strainer over a wider bucket than a 5-gallon one.
When it gets clogged with beeswax, the strainer starts to drain the honey very slowly.Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.99)
10. Little Giant Farm & Ag Beelog Beehive Log
If you are a serious beekeeper, you are keeping track of all of your hives. This activity helps you even more if you are a beginner. This product is not necessarily a must-have, but it is certainly very useful.
The Little Giant Farm & Ag BEELOG Beehive Log was designed to help you keep track of all of your beehives regardless of the weather conditions.
Since it features Rite In The Rain patented water-shedding paper, you can use this notebook even in the heaviest of rains, or on the hottest of days, for that matter.
With the help of this beehive log, you will be able to record and measure all the hives in your apiary to the most important details. The notebook comes with a hundred pages for logging your activity as a beekeeper. To take down notes, you can use a regular pen or pencil, but in wet or cold weather, a mechanical pencil works better.
Using this notebook you can measure and record all important details concerning the beehives in your apiary.
The most important feature of this log is the quality of the pages. They feature the Rite In The Rain patented water-shedding paper which can be used even in heavy rains.
The journal is great for keeping track of multiple hives because each page has a space dedicated to identifying the hive you are making notes about.
You can use regular pens and pencils to take notes, and mechanical pencils in wet or very cold weather.
You get 100 pages in this log, which is more than enough for a normal apiary.
Although the notebook contains 100 pages, you should know that there are only 50 separate logs in one journal.
A few beginner beekeepers who bought this log would have liked it to include a glossary or explanations for some of the checks that are not so clear.Buy from Amazon.com for ($10.52)
11. Mann Lake FD357 Bee Patties
If you have an apiary, you will also need to provide good feed to your hardworking bees. Pro Health is a digestive health support which also increases the consumption of patties as well as of medicated feeds. The Bee-Pro patties from Mann Lake are filled with Pro Health.
This product is perfect if you are looking for faster consumption and increased nutritional value.
The Bee-Pro patties are ready to feed, and they do not require any mixing which does not create any mess. For increased convenience, the patties go directly from the box to the hive in a matter of seconds.
Each patty is about one pound, and you can find this product available in a ten-pound size. According to most customers, their bees love these patties, although some of them were unsure whether to purchase them or not. Moreover, this product is available for a very reasonable price.
This product is ideal for quick consumption and maximum nutritional value.
The patties are added with Pro Health which is a digestive health aid that helps increase the consumption of both patties and medicated feed for bees.
These patties are very convenient because they are ready to feed, from the box, directly into the hive. Furthermore, they do not require any mixing so no mess is created.
This pack is available at ten pounds, and each patty is approximately one pound.
You will also be pleased to know that most beekeepers confirm the patties being successfully fed to their bees.
If they have a lot of honey stored, the bees might not eat so much of the patties, as some beekeepers noticed.
It seems that you can get this product for a lower price if you order it directly from the manufacturer’s web page, as some comments were made in this sense.Buy from Amazon.com for ($52.3)
12. Little Giant Farm & Ag BKBR14 Brush
A beekeeping brush is a must-have in this activity. This item is necessary in order to remove the bees on the frame when you pull it up. Although most of them come off of it when you shake the frame, there will be some that don’t. A bee brush that can gently remove the remaining bees is absolutely necessary.
The product we recommend is the Little Giant Farm & Ag BEEKEEPIN Beekeeping Brush that was designed particularly for this purpose.
The tool gently removes bees from the frames both during the honey gathering or during the inspections of the hives. The brush is equipped with special soft bristles that will not cause any harm to the bees.
This item is 14 inches long and it is made from high-quality materials. Still, it is very important to consider that even though the bristles are very soft, you can hurt the bees if you do not handle it with care.
First of all, this type of tool is required when managing beehives. Equipped with soft bristles, this brush helps you remove all the bees from the frames.
Thanks to its high-quality construction, no harm will come to the bees, as long as the brush is handled with care.
The tool is 14 inches long and it represents an ideal choice for this activity.
Although bees do not really like to be brushed in general, most beekeepers who bought this product are pleased with their purchase.
This is also a great tool for beginner beekeepers and it offers good value for the money.
According to some owners, the wood is unfinished and it can stain easily.
Although this is not necessarily related to this particular product, you should know that bees do not like being brushed, so do not be surprised if it makes them angry.Buy from Amazon.com for ($6.44)
Yearly Guide & Report
Beekeeping is a beautiful activity that requires time, knowledge, as well as the appropriate tools and equipment. Bees play a vital role in the agriculture industry because they pollinate plants all over the world.
If you want to start your own apiary, there are some things you should know. This guide is meant to show you what pieces of equipment and tools you need in order to get started.
You will need a place to keep the bees, and that place is a hive. You can buy one or build it yourself. There are many types on the market, so you definitely have where to choose from. Before you get started, it is important to have a beehive plan.
For example, if you use Langstroth hives, you should know that there are eight-frame hives and ten-frame hives and they are not interchangeable. Therefore, you need to know what size you are going to use from the very beginning. The main distinction is that the eight-frame hives are a bit lighter when full of honey, so they are easier to manage.
It goes without saying that you need bees for an apiary, otherwize it is not an apiary. You can either catch a swarm or buy packages of bees.
One of the most important pieces of equipment a beekeeper should have is the veil. Even the most gentle bees can sting you so it is important to keep yourself protected at all times.
The veil will be able to keep you safe from stings to your face or scalp that are particularly painful. Moreover, bees have a curious nature, and they might become interested in small openings like ears or nostrils.
While it is important to get a real beekeeper’s veil, a real beekeeper’s suit is not absolutely necessary. To keep your body protected from bee stings, you could also use clothes that you already have.
For example, a hunting camo jacket, long jeans, and work gloves can do just fine. You can also wear tube socks and tuck your jeans into them. Of course, buying a real suit is not a bad idea either. The important thing is to be able to move around your beehives without getting stung.
You should know that work gloves are appropriate to handle bees, but leather ones can serve you even better. Most beekeeper gloves you will find are leather for the hands and fabric up to the elbows.
If you are going to wear gloves that are shorter, you can use some duct tape in order to cinch the wrists down.
In order to get into the hive, smoke is used to calm the bees. It works by masking the pheromones that these creatures give off to communicate with each other. In your smoker, you can use small twigs, wood chips, pine needles, or leaves.
You will surely need a brush to get the bees off the frame when you pull it up. Most of them come off when you shake the frame, but there will always be some that do not.
A bee brush comes with long and firm, but not stiff bristles that can remove the bees gently. As a beekeeper, you will discover that there are more modern beekeeping supplies you will need. Our intention was to get you started with the most important ones.