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.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Amazon, another great website is Galena Farms. Their beehives are all great quality and made in the USA. They offer a selection of bee hive kits for beginners with nuc ready brood boxes and supplies such as a bee jacket, veil, smoker, gloves, and more.
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. Almost all hives are made out of wood. You want the wood to be of good quality and construction to be sturdy. You also need to decide on if you want to paint your hive, or if you would like wax coated wood.
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.
If you would enjoy a construction project you may want to assemble your own beehive. Unassembled beehives are generally cheaper than painted and assembled hives as well.
Beehive assembly typically takes 1 – 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
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|Mann Lake Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit||-Made in the USA -Completely assembled -Includes beekeeping supplies -Frames contain yellow waxed RiteCell foundation||Yes||Click Here|
|Top||Hoover Hives Wax Coated Beehive||-Includes 3 boxes -30 frames -Wood coated with beeswax -Food grade plastic foundations coated with beeswax||No||Click Here|
|Buildabeehive 10 Frame Deluxe Starter Bee Hive Kit||-Includes beekeeping supplies -Easy to lift hives -Includes 2 10 frame wooden bee boxes||Yes||Click Here|
|CO-Z Bee Hive||-Constructed with durable cedar and pinewood - Can generate 20% more honey than 8 frame hives -Pre assembled metal roof||No||Click Here|
|VIVOHOME Bee Hive||-Includes 20 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 dovetail joints -Inner boards have vents for proper ventilation||No||Click Here|
|Bee Castle||-Heavy Wax Coated Deep and Medium Brood Boxes -Includes Inner Cover, Plastic Queen Excluder, Entrance Reducer, & Nails for Assembly||No||Click Here|
|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||No||Click Here|
|NuBee Hive||-2 brood boxes -1 super -Dovetail joints -Frames and foundation included -Foundation is coated with real beeswax||No||Click Here|
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!
This Langstroth beehive from Hoover Hives is a favorite among beekeepers. It comes with 3 boxes, which is good because you won’t have to buy more boxes to add on any time soon. The bottom 2 boxes are deep, so they should be used as brood boxes. The top box is a medium, so it should be used as a honey super.
Each box comes with 10 frames each, so you get 30 total. The pine frames come with food grade plastic foundation that is already coated with real beeswax. This beehive comes unassembled, but dovetail joints make assembly quick and easy. Nails and a detailed instruction guide are included.
Something unique about this hive is that the wood is coated with beeswax. The wax protects the wood from the elements and makes the hive look attractive at the same time. So painting this hive is not necessary.
I’d highly recommend this beehive for any beekeeper, new or experienced. It comes with everything you need to start your apiary. Plus, you don’t have to paint the hive and wait for it to off-gas, which saves a lot of time.
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 CO-Z Bee hive is great for starters because it includes everything you need to build a beehive. With this kit, you’ll get one deep box, one medium box, 20 frames, a metal roof, a solid bottom board, entrance reducer, queen excluder, and inner cover. The measurements of this hive are 16-1/4” x 22” x 19-8/9”.
Durable cedar and pine wood are used to construct this hive, making it strong and long lasting. While this hive comes unassembled, assembly is quick and easy.
The VIVOHOME Bee Hive House is a 3 layer 30 frame bee hive kit. This hive also comes unassembled, but the cedar wood is notched with dovetail joints, which makes assembly easier.
Some people have reported assembling this hive in as little as 30 minutes. For faster assembly, use wood glue and pre-drill the holes in the wood to avoid splitting.
This hive includes a detachable bottom board, entrance reducer, an inner cover, top cover, queen excluder, 20 deep frames, 10 medium frames and all foundation. This is a great bee hive starter kit because it includes 2 brood boxes and one honey super.
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.
6. Bee Castle
The Bee Castle Bee Hive is a 2 layer bee hive kit. This starter bee hive kit is made of premium wax coated pine. Also included are frames, foundation, a solid bottom board, metal capped top cover, inner cover, queen exluder, entrance reducer, and nails for assembly.
The most notable thing about this hive is that the wood is wax coated. That means that no paint is necessary because the wax naturally protects the wood from the elements. Overall, this is a really attractive and well designed bee hive starter kit.
7. 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.
I’ve linked the Flow Hive listing on Amazon below, but the hive has been out of stock for several months. In that case, I’d recommend purchasing a Flow Hive directly from their website. You can do so here.
8. NuBee Hive
The NuBee Hive is an easy to use complete Langstroth hive set up. This hive is made of high quality pine. It’s an affordable and well made beehive.
This starter bee hive kit includes 2 brood boxes and 1 super. The roof is metal capped, keeping the rest of the hive dry. Also included are an inner cover, solid bottom board, a queen excluder, entrance reducer, frames, and foundation.
The foundation is covered in real beeswax which helps the bees make comb faster. The foundation also comes in 2 colors. Black is for the brood boxes so you can easily see eggs. And yellow is for the super.
Overall, this is a great basic beehive kit that would work well for any beekeeper. It includes everything you need to get started and the foundation is already waxed.
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!