A beekeeper's essential kit list

Published: 01-12-2020

One thing that all beekeepers will tell you is that we never, ever stop learning. No beekeeper will ever say that there’s nothing more to learn – because that’s simply not true! Most days bring a new lesson and fascinating experience that helps us to understand the remarkable little honey bee.

Honey bees on hive top bars - Simon the beekeeper

The same can be said about the equipment we use. We can start out using one thing but over time, branch out and try different variations. For example, we may choose to start with a wooden hive, but then find that poly hives are much better suited to us personally. However, the key list of what every person needs to pursue this wonderful hobby tends to stay the same.

In our blog, Simon explains the main equipment that beekeepers need to get them off on the right foot. So, whether you are a seasoned beekeeper in search of some new kit, or someone who is just starting out, we hope you find some useful information about what each thing does and why it should be on your beekeeping list.

1. Beehive

A vital bit of kit! There’s various different hives on the market to choose from, and in this video Simon explains the different parts of a hive, what those parts are called and what their function is.

View our Hives here:

2. Frames and Foundation

Frames firmly hold foundation sheets in place and enable beekeepers to remove panels of honeycomb for inspection – and you can never have too many prepared! Most beekeeping tasks usually fall between the months of April and July, so building your frames is a great thing to do during the quiet months (so make sure you have plenty). It’s surprising how many you can get through.

Frames and Foundation - Simon The Beekeeper

View our frames and foundation here

For more information about frames and foundation and how to assemble them, please take a look at our blog ‘Assembling British National Frames’ which includes a handy little video and details about equipment.

3. Clothing, gloves, hive tools and smoker

Beekeeping Suits

If you are new to beekeeping, we recommend that a suit is the way to go. There are many on the market and they can range in price. The bee suit should be a baggy size to ensure that you can move freely.

In the videos below, Simon talks through two of our most popular beekeeping suits so that you can see in detail what is included. However, if are looking for a tunic or a jacket, we also stock these and will be loading detailed videos of Simon talking about various items of our clothing range listed on the website very soon.

View our complete range of suits


When purchasing beekeeping gloves, it’s important that you get a nice snug fit around your hands, so they don’t inhibit your grip in any way. Beekeeping gloves are quite special to us as they are the first product that was produced by Simon right at the beginning of the business!

Below, Simon talks about the gloves that started everything, the ‘Buzz Work Wear gloves’ that continue to be incredibly popular, and our Buzz Work Wear ventilated gloves. This gives you an idea of the various things to look for in order to meet your beekeeping needs.

It's worth mentioning that some beekeepers tend not to feel the need to wear beekeeping gloves, but again it is a personal preference and if you're like us, we feel better with that extra bit of protection. However, if you're moving from hive to hive, it's advisable to wear a new pair of nitrile gloves over your beekeeping gloves at each one to minimise the spread of diseases.

View our entire range of gloves

4. Hive Tools

Simon The Beekeeper - View our range of hive tools

There are various different hives tools to choose from, the choice is yours. We stock them separately or offer complete starter kits. Have a look at our range and if you have any questions, contact us and we would be happy to help you.

View our range of tools

5. Smokers

For those of you not too familiar with its purpose, the bee smoker is used to help keep bees calm whenever you disturb the hives. The smoke that is distributed from a smoker masks the communicative pheromones that bees use to ‘talk’ to each other.

Simon The Beekeeper - Smoker

View our range of smokers

Please view our blog ‘How to use a bee smoker’ for much more detail about what a smoker is used for, what to look for in a smoker and how to light it.

The world of beekeeping opens up many doors for the individual to find what personally works for them. There is no ‘one size fits all’ – and that’s just another reason why it stays so fascinating!

We hope that no matter where you are in your beekeeping journey, this blog has helped you in some way.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Happy Beekeeping!

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