Beekeeping requires a few tools. Here are the basic ones any beekeeper should own.

The bee’s smoker

The smoker is the first essential. Every step from regular checks to harvest requires the smoker, which gives control to the beekeeper over the bees’ communications. Its size may differ and needs to be suitable for the number of hives you own. We encourage you to buy one with a security grid to help prevent burns. The smoker is the true beekeeping’s emblem, as smoke is to this day the best way to protect us from bees. It was indeed believed for a long time that the smoke provoked bees to over-feed themselves making them too big to use their sting. In 1957, Goillot discovered that the smoke did not in fact have an effect on bees’ feeding but it had an effect on their communication. The smoke prevents bees from communicating and thus to act cohesively during external aggression.

Ideally, you want cold, white and thick smoke, which implies a minimum humidity rate. If you use smoke fuel, don’t add grass on the top because it might come out from the spout, eventually preventing the humidity from coming out and you’ll never have a cold smoke. The darker the color of the smoke, the hotter it is. It it heats up, add smoker fuel otherwise you will burn your bees and they will get aggressive. Most beekeepers use smoker fuels with high rates of cellulose, such as pine needles, tree barks, untreated wood sticks, haystack or even cow dung.

The hive tool

Hive tools are mainly used to detach the frames from the hive body. The American model also allows you to clean up the top of your hive by scraping the wax and propolis excess. In case you forget it one day when visiting your apiary, it can be replaced by a screwdriver.

Bee brush

The bee brush helps you removing bees from the frames and your clothes. It can however be a disease vector so be sure to bleach it regularly.

Beekeeping clothing

Despite the use of a smoker, beekeepers still risk being stung. Appropriate clothing is thus required to protect yourself and to work safely. Here are our recommandations:

Suits / Jackets:

  • Choose white ones, because bees react less aggressively to it
  • Choose ones with elastic-ends to the sleeves and pants
  • Choose ones with a removable veil, for more convenience when cleaning it
  • Choose ones with lighter fabric, as most beekeeping handlings happen in hot weather you need to be careful not to get too hot for your confort

Hats / Veils:

  • Choose ones with a dark colored veil, paler colors will disturb your vision
  • Avoid plastic options, again, the heat can be unbearable under the sun when wearing plastic ones

There also are some more affordable options:

  • Suits can be replaced by white painters’ overalls
  • Hats can be DIY, using a regular hat and black tule
  • You can find affordable gloves in hardware stores

Also, be aware of active venom on your clothing when coming back home from your apiary. Few stings might be stuck on your clothing’s fabric and hurt you.