The holiday season is nearly upon us: This year, why not give the gift of a new hobby? Beekeeping is a dynamic, exciting experience for people of all ages who want to help pollinators. Helping your loved ones become beekeepers themselves is truly the gift that keeps on giving!
Usually, when folks start venturing into the world of beekeeping, they are filled with questions. Typically, their main question is: Where do I even start?
Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Our starter kits are the perfect choice for someone ready to give “the big gift” this year. A complete set of everything needed to get started, our starter kits are a perfect launchpad into the world of beekeeping! Choose the hive type (click here if you’re not sure which style is right for you!) and choose between two types of sustainable, FSC-certified wood, our premium Western Red Cedar or our new Sugar Pine. From there, your starter kit will bring all the essential tools and materials needed to start a beekeeping adventure. The kit includes:
American Smoker: Our stainless steel American-style smokers are easy to use and a great way to calm bees before inspecting a hive. Smoke masks the alarm pheromones that bees release to communicate with each other, and coaxes them into docility so you can inspect the hive as efficiently as possible.
Hat, Veil, and Gloves: Because worker bees die after stinging, they generally only do so as a last resort in order to protect the colony and their honey stores from intruders. Even so, the occasional sting can happen and it’s important to adopt a safety first attitude, especially as a novice beekeeper. Our gloves protect hands and arms while still allowing movement to work; and the hat/veil (with optional jacket upgrade) protects your face, neck, and body.
Hive brush: Sometimes during an inspection, you may remove a top bar or a frame of comb and find that it is covered with bees, with no comb actually visible! A hive brush is used to gently brush bees off the comb so you can inspect it before putting it back in the hive.
100% Pure Tung Oil (8 ounces): 100% pure tung oil is a beautiful and natural way to finish and weather-proof a hive. It saturates the wood, rather than sitting on top of it which helps to strengthen and protect from the elements. Since it’s free of additives and chemicals, it’s completely safe for the bees. Learn how to apply tung oil to your hive by watching the video below:
Ultimate Hive Tool: Our ultimate hive tool is hand-forged by a local blacksmith here in Portland, Oregon, and is designed to help you in countless ways during hive inspections. Whether you’re detaching comb from hive sides, cutting and scraping propolis, or prying frames, this handy tool will quickly become your hive inspection go-to. Bonus: it is effective on all three hive styles!
Hive-Specific Book: We believe that learning as much as you can before heading out to your hive is crucial to having a successful start to beekeeping. Each Starter Kit comes with a must-read book that is specific to the hive style you will be working with. Depending on your hive style, you will get one of the following books to read:
For Langstroth Hive: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping by Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer
For Top Bar Hive: Top Bar Beekeeping by Les Crowder and Heather Harrell
For Warre Hive: Natural Beekeeping with the Warre Hive by David Heaf