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Beekeeping Supplies – Know the Basics
By McLean Dearth
Every good beekeeper has a modest arsenal of beekeeping supplies at their disposal. Beekeepers who are starting out in this field usually buy bees, a hive, and some protective gear. It may seem that these are the only beekeeping supplies one needs, but in fact there are other supplies which can be bought. Some are used by beekeepers that manufacture and extract their own honey instead of bringing it to a seasoned beekeeper, while other supplies such as videos on beekeeping can be used to help jumpstart the life of a beekeeper.
One of the basic supplies available in the market is the beekeeper’s kit for beginners. It includes everything a new beekeeper should have, such as a small beehive (minus the bees), a bee smoker, and a bee brush. The kit also comes with a book and video about beekeeping, which can provide more information about beekeeping. This kit lets interested parties start out with a small bee colony before they decide to move on to more serious beekeeping if they so desire. Protective gear is important in beekeeping. It consists of gloves, suits (and even jackets), and hats. Other accessories such as headbands to keep long hair in place can be considered as beekeeping gear.
Now there are important beekeeping supplies for those who plan to harvest and make their own honey. The uncapping tools help remove wax bits from the honeycomb. A cappings scratcher, uncapping knife, and an uncapping bench are some uncapping tools used. Next are the extractors which extract the honey from the honeycombs. Some extractors are powered by hand, while others use a motor. Other extractors are compact, which allows a beekeeper to extract honey on their kitchen counter. There are extractors which have an outlet at the bottom, which allows a beekeeper to transfer the honey directly to jars or containers. Beekeepers can buy handles which have filters and can be attached to the outlet so that these filters the honey as the honey is taken out. These filtering handles are called “gates.” There are larger filters, but cheesecloth can also work well.
Containers such as plastic and glass jars (and even bottles shaped like a bear) can be used to store honey. For those who plan on selling the honey, one can have labels printed and then stuck to the containers before shipping it to stores. Many beekeeping supplies can be bought in stores and online shopping websites. One good thing about shopping for these supplies online is that there is a description for each item. This would help shoppers know the purpose of a particular beekeeping item before buying it.