Beekeeping is an extremely rewarding hobby to get involved in. Not only can one bee hive yield up to 100 pounds of honey, bees are excellent pollinators that would enhance any garden. Beekeeping helps the environment too. Bee populations are declining everywhere due to pesticides and disease. Starting a bee hive helps increase the population of bees, which helps the ecosystem at the same time.
The easiest way to get into beekeeping is to buy a bee hive starter kit. But, what should you look for in the best bee hive starter kit? All starter kits include a complete bee hive. Others will include the complete hive and accessories, such as gloves, a veil, a smoker, and tools. You will also need to get a bee suit.
For the quickest start, choose a bee hive starter kit that is assembled and comes with accessories.
If you would like to get your hive and supplies separately, you can also purchase a bundle of accessories only. The easiest way to get a bee hive starter kit is purchasing online through a retailer like Amazon. That way the hive and supplies will be delivered straight to you, most likely with free shipping.
What to Look For in a Bee Hive Starter Kit
There are a few things to consider when buying a bee hive starter kit. The design of the hive, assembly, and type of beehive are all important things to think about.
The first thing you want to look at is the design of the hive. Most hives are made out of wood. You want the wood to be of good quality and construction to be sturdy. Now is good time to think about how you would like to harvest honey from the hive. Most hive designs require you to use a honey extractor, but some hives are designed so the honey is drained from the hive through a tap.
Be aware that some bee hives come fully assembled, while some will require assembly. For the quickest start, choose a beehive that is assembled and painted. But if you would enjoy a construction project you may want to assemble your own beehive. Beehive assembly typically takes 2 – 4 hours, depending on how many boxes you are building. Also keep in mind that you will then have to paint your hive and give it time to dry and off-gas.
Type of Beehive
There are also different types of bee hives to consider. The top three types of bee hive used are the langstroth hive, the top bar hive, and the warre hive. The langstroth hive is the most commonly used hive today, and would likely be the best type for a beginner.
Find the Best Bee Hive Starter Kit
|Mann Lake Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit||-Made in the USA|
-Includes beekeeping supplies
-Frames contain yellow waxed RiteCell foundation
|Buildabeehive 10 Frame Deluxe Starter Bee Hive Kit||-Includes beekeeping supplies|
-Easy to lift hives
-Includes 2 10 frame wooden bee boxes
|Honey Keeper Bee Hive||-Includes 10 deep and 10 medium frames|
-Solid bottom board, entrance reducer, inner cover, and queen excluder
-Complete kit that is easy to assemble with pre cut finger joints
|Happybuy Langstroth Bee Hive||-Made of pine wood|
-Includes 20 deep and 20 medium frames
-Telescoping roof top built with a galvanized metal cap
|Flow Hive 2||-easily extract honey without harming bees|
-patented flow hive technology
-made in the USA and Australia with high quality BPA free and BPS free food grade plastic and premium red cedar
|Cestari Mason Bee House||-Designed with tubes of varying diameters|
-Hand crafted from FSC certified pine wood
-Durable and sturdy
-Safe habitat for native bees
-comes in 4 colors
|Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Bee Hive||-Solid cedar wood construction |
-Peaked roof design sheds water, keeping hives dry
-Ventilation control with adjustable airflow
-Allows for natural honeycomb building
-2 Windows to view your hive
The Mann Lake Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit is made in the USA and comes completely assembled and painted. It includes an alexander bee veil, leather gloves, a smoker with guard, a hive tool, and an educational book – Starting Right With Bees. This Langstroth hive kit also consists of 10 9 ⅛ inch assembled wood frames with yellow waxed Rite-Cell foundation. Rite-Cell foundation is a textured cell interior that allows bees to create honey faster.
The hive cover is telescoping and also includes an inner cover. A con of the Mann Lake Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit is that it does not come with a bee feeder, so that will have to be purchased separately. Overall, this bee hive starter kit is a great and affordable way for you to get started. It contains a simple to use bee hive, accessories, and even a book for further beekeeping education – basically everything you need to start a bee hive, but the bees!
The Buildabeehive 10 Frame Deluxe Starter Bee Hive Kit comes unassembled, so if you are more of a hands on person, this is the bee hive for you. The supplies included with this bee hive starter kit are gloves, a bee veil, a smoker with 1 lb of fuel, a hive tool and an entrance feeder.
This hive kit also includes the book, First Lessons in Beekeeping. Buildabeehive also offers a money back guarantee, so you are able to return the hive if you are not satisfied with it. A con of the Buildabeehive 10 Frame Deluxe Starter Bee Hive Kit is that is it unassembled, so unless you have some experience in basic carpentry, it may be difficult to put together.
The Honey Keeper Bee Hive is a 20 frame complete box kit. This hive also comes unassembled, but the wood is notched, which makes assembly easier. You can expect it to take about 2 hours to put this bee hive together. This hive includes a telescoping metal roof, 10 medium and 10 deep frames, a solid bottom, and a queen exluder. This is a great bee hive starter kit if you want something larger, as it holds 20 frames, while most others hold 10.
Cons are that this kit does not include any accessories so you’ll have to get them separately. The wood is also untreated, so you will have to paint the hive yourself (outside only) if you want it to last longer.
The Happybuy Langstroth Bee Hive is a 4 layer 20 frame bee hive kit. This starter bee hive kit is made of pine and comes with 20 deep and 20 medium frames. It does not come with any additional accessories. This hive has a plastic textured cell foundation and a metal telescoping outer cover, as well as an inner cover.
The Happybuy Langstroth starter bee hive kit is made out of 100% natural pine wood and is comes unassembled. This bee hive kit does not come with nails, so be sure to have some nails, a rubber mallet, and wood glue on hand before starting this project.
Some people have also found that their hive did not come with assembly instructions. The solution for this is they watched you tube videos showing bee hive assembly. Owners of this bee hive have reported that it takes 3 – 4 hours to put it together. Because of this, I would say it is not the best beehive starter kit for people inexperienced with carpentry.
5. Flow Hive 2
The Flow Hive Classic 6 Frame Bee Hive is certainly fancier looking than the other stater bee hive kits on this list, but both beginner and experienced beekeepers would appreciate this hive. The Flow hive is made from sustainably sourced red cedar. It comes with a brood box and 6 frames, a queen excluder, tubes and a key. It ships in 2 separate boxes and does require assembly. However, Flow customers have reported that assembly is easy.
The Flow hive is different than other hives in that you are able to enjoy fresh honey on tap with a simple turn of the flow key.The Flow Hive is patented, so this is the only bee hive that is able to do this. It is the ultimate hive for honey lovers.
A con of this starter bee hive kit is the price. The Flow Hive costs much more than other hives, and a beginner may not want to spend that much on a new hobby. Therefore, the Flow Hive isn’t the best beehive starter kit if you are on a budget. However, if it is in your budget, the Flow Hive is a high quality and attractive bee hive.
The Cestari Mason Bee House is a different type of bee hive than the ones previously discussed. Mason bees are solitary bees who do not produce honey, but are amazing pollinators. This is the best bee hive starter kit for someone who would like some extra pollinators in their garden, or someone interested in bee preservation.
This mason bee house is much smaller than a langstroth bee hive and can be easily mounted to a tree or other hard surface. Just be sure to place your mason bee house on the south or southwest side of your home in an area that does not get a lot of wind or rain.
The Cestari Mason Bee house is handmade from FSC certified pine wood. It contains 75 tubes for bees to nest in and lay eggs. The tubes are over 4 inches long, allowing plenty of depth for each mason bee to lay their eggs.
If you are interested in beekeeping for pollination purposes and not for honey, this mason bee house would be a wonderful addition to your garden. It is much cheaper and easier to use than langstroth hives.
The Ware Manufacturing Home Harvest Bee Hive is an easy to use complete Warre hive set up. The simple design of this hive allows bees to create natural honeycombs, and the viewing window allows you to see it all.
This starter bee hive kit includes 2 hive bodies, 2 windows, 1 insulated quilt box, 2 support legs, 1 base, and 18 top bars. The roof is peaked, keeping the rest of the hive dry. This hive does come unassembled, so expect to spend some time on set up.
This is a great hive if you are interested in using a Warre hive. Warre hives are similar to Langstroth hives, but are smaller, so this would be a good hive if you lack space. It’s viewing window also allows you to check on your bees without being too intrusive. Some older reviews of this hive site poor craftsmanship, but recent reviewers have had more positive things to say.
If you are interested in learning about or trying beekeeping, it is a great time to start! As you can see, there are so many options when it comes to starter bee hive kits. Depending on your carpentry skills you may want to get a hive that is already assembled. Or, if you are more hands on, you may enjoy building your own starter bee hive kit.
There are also several different types of beehives you can choose from – whether you want to produce honey, or want extra pollinators for your garden. Choose the best bee hive starter kit that fits your needs and you’ll be sure to enjoy your new hobby!