Protective clothing options:
- Gloves (prices start from $26.00)
- Veil (prices start from $17.00)
- Jacket (prices start from $129.00
- Full suit (prices start from $165.00)
- Bee brush $12.70
- Hive tool (prices start from $20.00)
- Smoker (prices start from $68.00)
- Cappings scratcher (prices start from $24.00)
- Plain knife $57.00
- Electric knife $238.00
- Extractor (prices start from $440.00)
How do I get a hive of bees?
The simplest way is to buy a single hive from a local beekeeper. This will consist of a brood box and lid, eight or ten frames, a queen and around 15,000 worker bees.
The downside, for a new beekeeper, is the difficulty of inspecting the brood and finding the queen, in a fully populated hive.
A better way to learn, is to buy the box, frames, lid etc and assemble the brood box yourself. Then purchase a nucleus hive which consists of 4 or 5 drawn combs, a young queen and sufficient bees to cover the frames. You place these in the brood box you have made.
With the nucleus hive, it is easier for a beginner to observe the hive, inspect the frames and find the queen.
Experienced beekeepers often capture a swarm to start a new hive. This is not recommended for beginners.
Joining a local beekeeping club is highly recommended. A book with clear diagrams/ pictures and relevant to your country is also of great value. In Australia "The Bee Book", published by the Queensland DPI (Dept Primary Industries), is an excellent manual. We normally stock this book, and a list of local clubs.