There are a few pieces of equipment that are essential for any aspiring beekeeper. It’s not much, but investing in these items will help make your beekeeping adventure much more successful.

Face Protection

You have many options in this category, but depending on your comfort level a full bee suit or jacket is the best place to start. As you gain experience, you may find a simple hat or veil to be all you need.

MANN LAKE Professional Beekeeper Suit with Self Supporting Veil, Large

MANN LAKE Professional Beekeeper Jacket with Self Supporting Veil, Large


There are many options on the market, but goatskin gloves will provide the best mix of comfort and protection. Many times you can work a hive without gloves but in this case it’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

Humble Bee 110-L Goat Leather Beekeeping Gloves (Large)

Hive Tool

My favorite is miniature pry bar. Hive tools are inexpensive but easy to lose. It’s nice to have more than one.

Mann Lake HD584 Steel Standard Hive Tool, 9-Inch


My preference is a smoker with a guard. The guard is a metal mesh that protects you from burns, and lowers the likelihood of you starting a fire. (Side note: Having your smoker lit and working before opening the is very helpful.)

Mann Lake HD555 Stainless Steel Smoker with Guard, 4 by 7-Inch


Having a bucket is more useful than you might expect. You can use it to store the lit smoker, tools, and equipment. I use a metal trash can but any bucket will do.

Behrens 6106 6-Gallon Locking Lid Can

Nuc box

I firmly believe that every beekeeper should have some sort of external swarm control. It helps your apiary grow, and prevents problems like angry neighbors with a tree full of bees. Ideally it’s in the same style, so if you have a top bar hive, top bar Nuc.  In a pinch a cardboard box and some lemongrass will do.

Now Foods Essential Oils, Lemongrass Oil, 1 fl oz

With just these few items, you’ll have your apiary up and running in no time. It’ll be easy to check your hives, care for your bees, and have you’ll have a great time doing it.

One last item that can be useful is a hive stand.  Many people have found that the ultimate hive stand is useful.

Ultimate Hive Stand for Beekeepers (10 Frame – Deluxe) from Farmstand Supply

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