- Protective gear, at least a veil, but most likely also gloves until you are confident
- A hive tool for opening the hives and removing frames
- A smoker, including lighter and fuel - we keep ours in the metal bucket, not in the bee bag!
- A small container to keep burr comb that you remove from the hive (this can be melted down to beeswax when the container is full)
- A notebook and pen to record what you find when you open the hives, as you get more hives or inspect less frequently this is one of your most important tools for managing your bees
- First aid supplies, including antihistamine tablets and ointment, cold packs and aloe vera, just in case your or someone with you has a bad reaction to a bee sting
- Small hive beetle traps if they are a problem in your area (and management for other pest or diseases that may be an issue for you)
|hive tool and smoker|
|Pete modelling the protective gear you will need at first|
|a few first aid supplies just in case|
This depends how many hives you have and how much honey you expect to produce. If you only have a few hives you can use the crush and strain method of extraction, or find someone else with a spinner who will let you borrow it. We have a small two frame manual spinner, which is great for 10-20 hives. As you get more hives you will eventually need a larger motorised spinner. You also need a strainer and buckets to keep your bulk honey. Sally explained it really well in her interview with me here. Don't spend too much money on this part until you know how many hives you will have and if you really like beekeeping, as you don't need to extract honey right away.
A bee brush and escape board are also really handy for getting the bees off the honey frames!