How to Order Beehive Kits and Parts
3 of 11 in Series: The Essentials of Setting Up a Backyard Beehive
Beekeepers use all kinds of fantastic tools, gadgets, and equipment. Quite frankly, part of the fun of beekeeping is putting your hive together and using the paraphernalia that goes with it. The makings for a beehive come in a kit form and are precut to make assembly a breeze. The work is neither difficult, nor does it require too much skill. Some suppliers will even assemble the kits for you.
Honey bee hive manufacturers traditionally make their woodenware out of pine and/or cypress. Hardwoods are fine, but too expensive for most hobbyists. A custom mahogany hive, for instance, runs more than $1,000 versus a standard pine and cypress hive for about $150 to $300.
Many beehive suppliers offer various grades of components from a commercial budget-grade to a select best quality-grade. Go for the highest quality that your budget allows. Although they may be a little more expensive upfront, quality parts assemble with greater ease, and are far more likely to outlast the budget versions.
Any of this stuff is available from beekeeping supply stores. Most of these vendors are now on the Web.
Don’t wait until the last minute to order your first startup kit. In the United States, springtime is the beginning of the beekeeping season. If you wait until spring to order your kit, you will likely have to wait to get it (the suppliers become swamped with orders at that time). Ideally it’s best to get all the stuff you need a few months before you plan to start your hive.
Many suppliers offer a basic startup kit that takes the guesswork out of what you need to get. These kits often are priced to save a few bucks. Make certain that your kit contains these basic items:
Lower and upper deep
Honey super (shallow or medium)
Inner and outer covers
Frames and foundation for both deeps and the honey super
Hardware to assemble stuff (various size nails, foundations pins, and so on)
Veil and gloves