Beekeeping is an incredibly interesting and rewarding hobby. It dates back to 10,000 years ago, and is now having a surge of popularity.
Urban beekeeping, or backyard beekeeping has been popping up everywhere due to recent interest in sustainability. If you are interested in beekeeping, this article will discuss the benefits of beekeeping and the best bee hive for beginners.
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Benefits of Beekeeping
The best known benefit of beekeeping is the delicious honey you get to harvest. Fresh honey from your own hive tastes so much better than any store bought honey. Just one bee hive can yield 20 – 60 pounds of honey, so you’ll have plenty for yourself and you can sell the rest for profit. Bees also produce beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly – all things that can be harvested for human use.
If you are a gardener, bees are essential for pollination. In fact, bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the world’s plants and $20 billion to the value of US crop production. Some crops, such as cherries and blueberries are 90% dependent on bee pollination to produce fruit. Almonds are 100% dependant on honey bees for pollination.
Even if you are not growing fruit and vegetables on a large scale, bees will definitely help your garden. The most bountiful harvests are due to pollinators.
Save the Bees
Despite how essential bees are to the food we eat, bee populations are dwindling. Beekeepers have reported massive losses of their colonies in the last year. Colony collapse disorder, pesticides, and mites have all contributed to bee decline. Beekeeping, even on a small scale, is the best thing you can do to help the bees restore their population.
Best Bee Hives for Beginners
There are 3 different types of bee hives – the Langstroth, the Top Bar, and the Warre hive. Each have their own pros and cons, but for beginning beekeepers the best hive to get is a Langstroth hive. It is the most commonly used hive today, so there are many resources available for beekeepers using a Langstroth Hive.
- 10 frames (9 1/8” with Natural Waxed Rite-cell Foundation)
- Telescoping cover
- Bottom board with entrance reducer
- 9 ½” hive tool
- Leather gloves (large)
- Alexander bee veil
- Dome top smoker
Mann Lake is a dependable brand of quality beekeeping products made in the USA. This beekeeping starter kit is considered one of the best bee hives for beginners because it comes fully assembled and painted. It includes most of the items you will need to start beekeeping – leather gloves, a veil, and a smoker.
Another great feature of this bee hive kit is that it also comes with assembled wood frames, already set up with yellow waxed Rite-Cell foundation. This is a great bee hive for beginners because it is ready to use, straight out of the box.
- Telescoping Top Cover Capped with Galvanized Steel (100% Wax Coated)(18-1/2″ x 22″ x 2-7/8″)
- Inner Cover (16-1/4″ x 19-7/8″ x 3/4″)
- Plastic Queen Excluder (16-1/4″ x 19-7/8″ x 1/8″)
- 1 Deep Brood Box (100% Wax Coated)(16-1/4″ x 19-7/8″ x 9-5/8″)
- 5 Deep Brood CellTech Plastic Frames/Foundations (100% Wax Coated)(1-3/8″ x 19″ x 9-1/8″)
- Solid Bottom Board (100% Wax Coated)(16-1/4″ x 22″ x 2-9/16″)
- Entrance Reducer (14-5/8″ x 3/4″ x 3/4″)
- Elbow Length Leather Gloves
- Extra Protective Jacket
- Reinforced Up Right Veil
- The Original Smoker
- Curled Hive Tool
This is a really fantastic beekeeping starter kit from Hoover Hives. The first thing you may notice is that it comes with a lot of supplies. Out of the 3 kits I reviewed today, this is the only one that includes a bee jacket. Other accessories like gloves, a veil, and a smoker are also included.
The hive box is really well made, as are all of the beehives from Hoover Hives. The wood is coated in 100% real beeswax, offering it natural protection from the elements.
You can get this kit with either 5 frames or 10 frames. The 5 frame version is considered “nuc ready”. That means that there is space for the 5 frames that typically comes in a nuc.
- 10 frame Langstroth hive
- Smoker with fuel
- Bee Brush
- Hive Tool
- Frame Feeder
- Beekeeping for Dummies Book
Little Giant Farm’s Beginner Hive Kit is another great bee hive for beginners. This kit contains one 10 frame Langstroth hive. It’s frames arrive with foundation already installed. Other supplies included are gloves, a veil, smoker and fuel, a bee brush and hive tool, and a frame feeder. Frame feeders are not the easiest to use, especially for beginners, so you may want to get an entrance feeder instead.
Another great thing about this beekeeping kit is that it includes the book Beekeeping for Dummies. It is a great informational book that teaches you everything you need to be a successful beekeeper.
It is a great time to take up beekeeping as a hobby. Beekeeping has many benefits – Bees are the best pollinators for your garden, harvesting honey can be lucrative, and you can do your part in ensuring the survival of bees.
The best bee hive for beginners will include at least one 10 frame hive and other useful beekeeping supplies. Look for a beehive starter kit with gloves, a veil, a hive tool, and a smoker. An entrance feeder is also useful to have, but not all kits come with one.