Beekeeping equipment for sale is vital for both professional as well as hobby beekeepers. Without the basic tool and supplies, man-made hives may no longer be able to function like they were meant to (by those that created them in the first place).
While there are myriad of tools and equipment available to aid professional beekeeping, only a few are actually needed. The others can be avoided as most hobby beekeepers or even backyard beekeepers may not have any use for them.
The type of equipment needed to maintain beehives is directly dependent on the type of hive you have. A backyard beekeeper has different needs. A commercial beekeeper with an acre of land dedicated to beekeeping has different needs.
So, tools required for beekeeping depend on the size of your honey bee production. Let me initiate this article keeping the above statement in mind.
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Beekeeping Equipment for Sale Write-Up Contents:
1) What is Beekeeping Equipment?
2) Essential Beekeeping Equipment List a Beekeeper Needs to Build a Man Made Hive
3) How to Maintain Beekeeping Equipment in Perfect Shape?
4) Beekeeping Equipment a Beekeeper Needs to Handle a Beehive
5) What is the Role of Honey extractor in Beekeeping?
6) What are the Advantages of Beekeeping?
7) What are the Disadvantages of Beekeeping?
8) How to Find Beekeeping Equipment on Sale?
9) My Conclusive Analysis
What is Beekeeping Equipment?
Equipment that is required to create a man-made hive is termed as beekeeping equipment. Even supplies (including tools and machinery) that are needed to run a hive successfully are included in this list.
The list of equipment is diverse. You do not need all the equipment available in the market to run a man made hive. The need for tools and implements needed to run a beehive is directly dependent on the scale of your business.
The equipment could be as simple as a wooden structure for the hive. It could also include combs, panels for the hive. For the sake of protection, you may require a safety suit and a pair of gloves.
A bee extraction machine is also needed to run a profitable honey business. Food preparation dishes and special dishes to serve bee feed are also included in the equipment list.
What you need is directly dependent on the scale and nature of your beekeeping business.
Essential Beekeeping Equipment List a Beekeeper Needs to Build a Man Made Hive
Man made hives are not natural. They are made by beekeepers in such a manner that bees stay happily inside the structure for a long time period. Here, outside weather conditions and natural predators are kept at bay.
This helps improve honey production. The final result is a profitable venture for the commercial beekeeper. Well, here are a few pieces of equipment a beekeeper needs to keep in mind while developing a hive:
The Basic Construction Types:
Langstroth is the most commonly used style and design while making a man-made beehive. Apart from this structure, the 10-frame hive is also a popular design. Both of these have the ability to please your eyes.
Most importantly, these structures have the ability to keep bees happy. This in turn maximizes honey production. So, you need to decide which design of beehive is best suited for your needs.
The Stand on which Rests Your Beehive:
The stand may or may not be used by a beekeeper. The purpose of this stand is to raise it above the ground level. It is positioned onto the floorboard of the hive.
Once placed, the stand tends to remove the dampness levels present within the hive. The floorboard is also saved from rains. This prolongs its overall shelf life.
Stand also helps the hive remain safe from insects that often prey on larvae and even bees. Hive stand is also useful for keeping the hive free from the natural vegetation present on the ground.
The Floor Board of the Hive:
Worker bees that forage for nectar, water and food often use the floorboard of a hive as their launch pad. So, you need to have a floor board ready. The opening of a floor board is three eighth of an inch.
The hive is tilted forwards in order to ensure that the floor board fits perfectly. Doing so also keeps water from accumulating in the hive during heavy rainfall. At the same time, this board can be used on either side.
The Main Structure of the Manmade Hive:
The next piece of equipment that you need is the main structure of the hive.
>>> Datant: The most popular one is termed Dadant. This structure is 6 ½ feet in height. It can be raised to 7 ½ feet (as per the preference of the beekeeper). This is also termed as medium depth super body of a hive.
>>> Shallow Depth Super: The shallow depth super category of beehive is also considered ideal for some beekeepers. The height of such a structure is usually less than 6 feet. This is light in weight – approximately 15 kilograms.
>>> Section Comb Honey Super: This is a structure that is 4 and a half feet in length. Here, sections of honeycombs need to be placed within the structure. This is a complicated procedure and is best suited for advanced beekeepers.
>>> The Eight Frame Hive: Here, there are 8 frames present in the hive structure. The frames are standard and deep. You can build an 8 frame structure at home. You may even hire a woodworker for accomplishing this task. Cardboard may be used in place of wood for constructing this hive.
>>> The Brood Chamber: This is vital for allowing the queen bee to lay eggs in peace. You can choose amidst single, twin or three full depth hive structures. The choice depends on your personal discretion.
This contains several layers of beeswax. You may opt for a thin or a thick comb. The thin one is used to house cut comb or thick honey. Even crust honey falls under this category.
For a thicker foundation, you would need nylon threads to run within sheets of plastic for strengthening the comb. Thicker combs help in the retrieval of extracted honey.
Basically, the frame shall be made of plastic. You may use wooden frames as well instead of plastic ones. In case you need to reinforce combs of your man made hive then, use 30 gauge wires. Nonetheless, to achieve this aim, your bombs need to be professionally drawn.
Usually, frames are 15 ½ inches in length and 9 1/8th to 5 3/8th inches in height to encompass the combs perfectly. Some frames may have a height of 6 ¼ or 7 ¼ inches as well.
The bars at the top of the frame are generally grooved & suspended via rabbets. The bottom ones are solid. Shoulders often support the frame for avoiding any compromise on bee space. The recess of the frame is often reinforced via nailed strips made of metal. These are usually shaped like the letter ‘V’.
Frames are to be used in the case of swarming or when new colonies are being formed. New frames shall help increase the flow of nectar, which in turn shall increase honey production.
The Queen Bee Chamber:
This is a special excluder that is used to house the queen bee. This chamber rears the brood and also helps in pollen storage. Excluders have narrow opening, which may cause apprehension in worker bees to store nectar.
It is therefore recommended that you include this chamber only after worker bees have started storing nectar in the Super Area of the man-made hive. Plastic metal and even grilled wires are usually used in constructing this chamber.
The queen chamber is also devised to avoid sudden swarming.
Enclosure of the Hive:
There are two enclosures of the hive. The first covers the structure of the hive. It encapsulates the hive in such a manner that both air flow and insulation is maintained within the man made structure. This cover also helps protect bees from cold weather.
The second cover is one that encapsulates the inner cover. This cover helps in keeping the hive safe from accidental breakages. These could be caused by nature or predators.
How to Maintain Beekeeping Equipment in Perfect Shape?
While getting hold of a hive is vital to ensure the success of your yield, maintaining the hive is equally important. If your hive is not tended to in an apt manner, it can come apart and lead to loss of money and equipment.
Well, here are a few tips to maintain the man made hive and make it last longer:
Painting the Outsides:
The external part pf the hive needs to be protected against weather. For this very reason, you need to ensure that you paint it. Use paint that has good quality oil or latex.
Usually beekeepers use white color as an exterior paint. Apparently, white color reflects the sun’s harsh infra-red rays. So, the bees inside remain cool during the hot summer months.
Choosing Durable Equipment for the Hive:
Opt for durable instead of cheaply constructed beehives. The main reason for doing so is to ensure that you are able to sustain the purchased hive for years to come. So, be ready to spend extra money in getting hold of wooden structures that are meant to last long.
Knock Down Variants are Best:
You need to ensure that you opt for assembled units instead of completely built up ones. Buy knock down hives and then assemble it via the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Foundation Needs Professional Help:
To prolong the life of your man made beehive, you need to seek professional help for its upkeep. For example, the frames of the man-made hive should be covered with foundation sheets. Doing so shall enhance the shelf life of combs.
Choose More of Plastics:
Compared to redwood and pine based beehives, plastic hives are far better. This is with special regards to their shelf life and maintenance free nature. Plastics can also withstand weather conditions of all kinds.
Hives made from plastic are light in weight and easy to install. Nonetheless, they do tend to encourage sunlight to seep in way more than necessary. This is why you need to make sure that you determine the product type (wood or plastic) taking the natural sunlight element into consideration.
Look for the Used Market:
If you wish to save money then, you can always lookout for the used market as well. Used beehives in good condition can not only save you cash, they can also serve the purpose of getting the job done (honey extraction for money). Just ensure to purchase hives that fall under the standard dimension category.
Look Our for the Inspection Certificate:
State apiary inspector is an authority when it comes to inspecting a man made beehive. He/she shall deliver an approval or a disapproval certificate with special regards to the condition of the hive. So, before buying a used or a new one, do look out for this certificate.
Beekeeping Equipment a Beekeeper Needs to Handle a Beehive
While beekeeping is a lucrative business owing to the honey yield, maintaining the hive is not an easy task. While it is not as tough as it seems, beekeeping needs constant efforts on your end. For a starter, you need proper equipment to keep your hive functional.
Here is a list of the beekeeping equipment a backyard beekeeper needs to maintain his/her man-made hive:
This is a device that emits smoke. It is powered by various fuels. Shaped like a small cylinder with less than an inch wide funnel, the smoker helps calm bees. When you have a smoker at hand, you have the ability to inspect hives without getting bitten in the act.
Standard, J-Hook or Frame Grip Hive Tool:
Made from blunt metal, this tool helps the beekeeper inspect hives easily. You can pry and scrape dirty objects off the combs and frames using the hive tool. You can choose from standard, j-hook or frame varieties.
It is used for scraping of propolis and removing the combs without damaging them. Even lids in bee packages can be removed via the hive tool. Beekeepers also use hive tool to dislodge bee stings from their skin.
This is a piece of equipment that shall protect your hands against the painful stings. Bees may be attractive to look at but when they get down to business, the stings can make any daredevil perish.
Gloves that you choose should offer superior fit. They need to fit snugly. The sleeves should cover your elbows and protect you against stings. You can choose amidst leather and synthetic rubber.
Marker for Identifying the Queen Bee:
After having identified the queen bee using the queen catcher tool, you need to mark her. So for this very purpose, you need to have a special marker tool. Use a bright color to her hindquarter. This helps in identifying the queen bee during any inspection procedure of the hive.
Beekeeping footwear is as important as the gloves. Boots made of breathable leather not only keep your feet safe from stings, they also provide protection against occasion slips and slides that hobby beekeepers often experience while inspecting hives.
Made of leather and water proof material, beekeeping boots are ideal for ensuring that you maintain optimal safety levels. The sole needs to have a superior grip and the material is made from neoprene.
The Bee Suit:
Made from heavy cotton material or mesh, bee suit is ideal for saving your body from stings. Bee suits often contain several layers of mesh. The wrist and ankle of this one-piece suit is tightened via the aid of elastic garters. Veil is important to ensure that the face of the hobby beekeeper is kept protected.
Essential Oils for Maintaining Man Made Hives:
In order to maintain hives, you need to nourish the hive with essential oils. These include lavender, sage, lemongrass, spearmint etc.
The distinct advantage of using essential oils is to ensure that the hive remains free from bacterial, viral and fungal infections. These oils save the bees from pests thereby acting as natural antibiotics.
What is the Role of Honey Extractor in Beekeeping?
Organic and hobby beekeepers often make use of honey extractors to draw honey from combs. The frame basket is gripped by the extractor. Using centrifugal force, the combs are spun at a fast speed.
This action throws out the honey into a separate container. The combs remain unaffected thereby allowing the bees to re-use the wax embedded within them.
It was in the year 1865 that the first honey extractor was invented. Franz Hruschka pioneered this invention thereby allowing organic beekeepers to extract honey without damaging the combs.
Important Facts on Honey Extractors:
>>> Tangential honey extractor has one side of the comb facing away from the extractor.
>>> When the topmost bar of the frame is away from the body of the extractor, it is termed as a radial extractor.
>>> The force used to extract honey from the combs is termed as centrifugal force.
>>> The cells filled with wax are tapped into by the extraction machine. These cells are uncapped. Honey flows down the wall of the machine and gets accumulated at the bottom.
>>> You need to extract the stored honey from the container via special suction pumps.
>>> Honey stored within the extraction machine needs to be removed in a timely manner. If you allow the honey to stay above the rotor blades then, the motor of the honey extractor can falter.
>>> Honey extractors can come in a single frame or as large as 59 frames.
>>> Small honey extractors can function manually. On the other hand, large machines need electricity to function.
>>> Honey extractors are also powered by gasoline engines.
>>> If you stay in freezing conditions then, opt for electronically powered honey extractors. You should avoid diesel powered machines.
>>> You can use cut-comb, flow hive, crush/strain and chunk honey methods for extracting honey as well.
What are the Advantages of Beekeeping?
Regardless of whether you follow hobby beekeeping, organic beekeeping or professional beekeeping, the benefits derived from the same are immense.
Apart from making money selling honey, bees kept in man-made hives have the following advantages:
Pollination is Priceless:
More than 85% plants and trees in the wild rely on pollination done by bees. This helps plant and agricultural growth as pollen fertilizes plants.
Lots of Income:
Billions of dollar worth of crops is harvested by honey bees. This helps a nation generate a steady source of income. So, nations can earn a lot of money via bees.
Yield is Profitable:
You earn money by extracting honey, pollen, beeswax and royal jelly. So, you can end up earning money on a regular basis. In fact, bees can enable you to have a passive income which may well be above your regular income.
Tax & Savings:
Saving money by selling honey and related products can help save your taxes. Sell them to make money and then file returns accordingly.
A Wow Topic Indeed:
The intricate social circle of bees is an amazing topic of discussion. You can study the behavior of different types of bees and share your study with others.
Low Investment & High Income:
Investing in a beehive is peanuts as compared to selling honey and related products. Beekeeping is a profitable business venture that never dents your pocket.
Hardly a Penny Spent:
The average investment (initially) to set up a man-made beehive is well within the $450 mark. The profits that you get selling royal jelly, beeswax and honey is way more than your initial investment.
No More Distractions:
Beekeeping is a hobby that tends to keep you positively occupied. So, rather than being a couch potato, you head out to the backyard and look after your hive.
If you have a garden that grows organic vegetables or other flowers then beekeeping can enhance the yield. So, you can easily hope to achieve blockbuster yield if you have bees by your side (owing to pollination).
Fits the Fancy Dress Competition:
In order to protect yourself from the stings of bees, you need a special suit. This covers you from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. This special bee suit can easily help you win a fancy dress competition.
The Environment Lessons that Matter:
In order to maintain a healthy environment, you can simply watch the beekeeping cycle. After watching the cycle, the next step is to teach this to your kids. This helps your kids respect Mother Nature.
Helps You Spread Good Health:
Honey is a healthy by product of beekeeping. It is used as a healthy sugar alternative to the regular processed sugar. It has antibiotic and anti-bacterial properties. Honey is also used for treating sour throat. It even helps the scalp develop optimally by reducing dryness and dandruff related issues.
Two by Two Foot Space is all You Need:
In order to rear bees, all you need is a two square foot space. If you have a wooden structure that is two foot in length and two foot in breadth, you can keep bees within it. So, there is no need for an elaborate structure to achieve your beekeeping aim.
What are the Disadvantages of Beekeeping?
While it is an awesome thought to keep bees as it pollinates your garden and gives you honey, there is also a flip side of this hobby/ profession.
Well here are a few cons of keeping bees:
The Stings are Never Welcome:
I have never heard of a hobby beekeeper that has never been stung by bees. Even a backyard beekeeper or an organic one has never been speared of this vicious sting. This is a part and parcel of every professional beekeeping lover.
Fungal and Viral Infections:
Bees are susceptible to virus, fungus, bacterial and natural attacks. This is why protecting them from such damages is a daunting task for any bee keeper. You need to spend a lot of time and money in saving your precious bees from dying an unnatural death.
Expenses do Happen:
It needs to be noticed that investment is available at every step of beekeeping. Regardless of whether you indulge in having bees as a hobby or profession, you need to spend money for the upkeep of your hive.
For a starter, you need to purchase a suit, a pair of gloves, a pair of boots and a beehive. You also need a honey extractor, a queen bee marker, a queen bee separator and ample space in your backyard to rear bees. All this costs hundreds of dollars.
Honey Bees are Bad for the Natural Plantations:
Wild bees are best suited for pollinating plants in the wild. Nonetheless, when you indulge in beekeeping, you tend to negate wild bees and give preference to only honey bees.
Honey bees tend to capture the natural environment and shoo away wild bees. This may result in compromised production of crops and plants in and around your area. Nonetheless, rearing honey bees would increase your honey production capabilities.
How to Find Beekeeping Equipment on Sale?
>>> To start with, you need to find a local market that deals in hobby beekeeping. Once you have access to a local market, you shall find hives and other beekeeping equipment.
>>> Gain knowledge on the cost and other factors related to beekeeping equipment. When you have an idea about the cost, you can easily find equipment that costs less than the standard rates.
>>> Learn to negotiate with beekeeping equipment manufacturers. Rather than opting for a retail store, opt for buying beekeeping equipment directly from the factory outlets.
>>> Hives and bee clothing can be had online as well. There are several websites such as Amazon and eBay that sell such equipment at highly competitive pricing.
>>> You can opt for used beekeeping equipment. Look for dealers that offer such products. You may also try to get the equipment online.
>>> Never go for super-branded equipment. They have a higher price owing to their brand name. Instead, opt for beekeeping tools that are reliable, less costly and unbranded.
>>> Never purchase any equipment that you may not use. Instead of stocking up on various tools and equipment, buy only those that serve your purpose. This stops you from spending unnecessarily.
My Conclusive Analysis
Beekeeping is a lucrative profession. It is also used as a means of keeping your mind fit and healthy. Organic as well as hobby beekeeping has emerged owing to the high mental satisfaction quotient enjoyed by beekeepers.
As the initial investment is very less, backyard beekeeping can help you sustain your household. So, you have to make sure that you gather all the necessary tools needed to maintain a man made beehive successfully.
When you have the necessary tools in hand, generating a lucrative income from beekeeping is an easy chore.