Best Beekeeping Starter Kits Guide

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beekeepers tending to their hives

Our goal on this website is to get more people into the art of beekeeping no matter their motivations. Some may do it as a hobby and others are commercial keepers.

It’s not a complicated activity at its basic “beginner” form and to get started doesn’t require further learning or advanced experience. The BeeHiver.net aims to be your one-stop-shop for all of the information you’ll need.

Of course, it’s great to familiarize yourself with all of the basic knowledge and equipment needed to start beekeeping.  For now, keep it simple and go with a beekeeping start kit!

What Should I Look for in a Good Beekeeper Starter Kit?

Most of the time, a beekeeper start kit will have the following included and should only vary a little by from one manufacturer to another.

  1. 8 to 10 frames in the Hive kit.
  2. Beekeeping starter book.  We recommend The Beekeeper’s Bible.
  3. Telescoping cover including an inner cover, bottom board and the entrance reducer.
  4. A hive tool.
  5. Beekeeping gloves
  6. Beekeeping veil
  7. Bee smoker
  8. Bee smoker fuel, depending on the kit.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Top 5 Best Beekeeping Starter Kits

The Mann Lake Basic Kit (USA Made)

We rate this the best of the bunch that we’ve found on Amazon.  It has a traditional design and quality materials which makes this a great starter kit.

The Mann Lake HK170 provides room for expansion and will grow as you grow as it allows an add-on of a second deep hive body.  This is different from most of the starter kits on the market today.Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit, Completely Assembled, Painted, Made In The USA

Mann Lake Includes:

  • 9 and 5/8 hive body
  • 10 assembled wood frames at 9 1/8 inch.
  • Waxed, Rite-Cell foundation
  • Telescopic cover, assembled.
  • Inner cover
  • Pre-assembled bottom board
  • Entrance reducer

Little time to assemble as it’s mostly done for you PLUS a quality-material and craftsmanship in every piece.  It isn’t however finished.  So you may have to apply some sealant or paint.  And you’ll have to properly place and stack the frames for the right bee space.

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The Legacy DIY Beehive Starter Kit

We feel that out of all the products we recommend, Legacy’s values and our own match most closely.  Our passion is about becoming closer to nature and helping the world by helping the bees.

This kit comes pre-assembled so you can get right into your beekeeping.  All you need to do is bring some bees.Legacy DIY Beehive Starter Kit

Starter Beekeeping Kit includes:

  • Great educational material (DVD and print).
  • 10 frame
  • Telescoping cover
  • Inner Cover
  • 10 frame hive body
  • Entrance Reducer
  • 10 wedge top divided bottom far frames
  • I.P.M. bottom board
  • 10 sheets of 9 1/8 inch crimp wire foundation
  • 10′ hive tool
  • Smoker with smoker fuel
  • Protective gloves
  • Hatless veil

If you want to make honey in your own backyard while at the same time helping the bees and our own food sources, then this Legacy starter kit is the way get going now!

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Little Giant Beginner Hive Kit

Included in this kit is a beekeeping guide that’s pretty top-notch and simple enough for beginners to understand while at the same time expanding their knowledge and experience.

The Little Giant Hive beginner kit is made of high-quality materials and is very well and accurately made. The joints fit nicely and, if you wanted to, you could even add some minor tweaks for more reinforcement. It’s a Langstroth design that has 10 frames that are already pre-installed to the foundation.Little Giant Farm & Ag HIVE10KIT 10-Frame Beginner Hive Kit, Medium, Natural

While not a “pre-assembled” beekeeping kit, this set is easy enough for the beginner to put together and start using. (And also learn what makes a good Langstroth hive.

The Little Giant Starter Beekeeping Set includes:

  • Deep box beehive
  • Unisex veil
  • Bee smoker, to include the fuel
  • Bee Brush
  • Hive tool
  • Protective beekeeping gloves
  • Frame Feeder
  • And, of course, a solid Beekeeping Guide Beginners

Keep in mind that if you start off with this like (like most others) you’ll need to acquire or buy honey harvesting tools separately as the kit doesn’t include them.

Don’t worry, though if you have issues, the Little Giant has an excellent customer service system and a great reputation for being helpful.  This starter kit has good, solid reviews on Amazon.

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BuildaBeehive Starter Kit for Beekeepers.  Novice and Pro alike.

This is a pretty fantastic starter kit and you get plenty of value for your money. This kit comes fully assembled and is one of the quickest and easiest ways for new beekeepers to get started.

This is a large Langstroth design that, as long as you take care of the bees and colony, you’ll be able to reap lots of honey from.

The one feature that sets the BuildaBeehive apart from some others is its two brood boxes and a super box (which is build in an extra-medium size.) Also, in most cases getting a super box to fit well is a tedious task.  This one comes with one already!Deluxe Beehive Starter Kit - Premium Bee Hives for Beginners and Pros and All The Beekeeping Supplies You Need, 10 Frames

The Starter Beekeeper Set includes:

  • Beekeeping Guide that has a great inclusion called “First Lessons in Beekeeping” written by expert beekeeper Keiths Delaplane.
  • Instruction manual
  • Bee smoker with fuel
  • Bottom Board
  • Frames with the foundations
  • Outer and inner covers
  • Hive tool
  • Entrance Feeder
  • Queen Excluder
  • Beekeeping veil
  • Bee Brush
  • Beekeeping Gloves

Some consider the BuildABeehive starter kit to be the “bee’s knees” for beekeeping beginners.  We can’t argue with that!

The company has great customer service that knows the product inside and out.  They also offer full, money-back guarantees on their products.  They’re that confident in their work and product!

We want to save the honeybees passionately and so does BuildaBeehive!  We can all have fun doing it together.

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Goodland Bee Supply Complete Beginners Starter Kit

This starter kit is another one of our favorites and one of the sets that took us the most time to research.  It’s really great and complete.  When Goodland decided to make a beekeeping starter kit, they evidently had the idea of “go big or go home”.

The kit comes with TWO deep boxes and TWO shallows supers.  Once assembled (it doesn’t come fully assembled) what you end up with a large Langstroth beehive with telescoping over and bottom entrances.

This Goodland Starter Beekeeping Kit includes:GoodLand Bee Supply GL-2B2SK Beekeeping Double Deep Box Beehive Kit

  • Frames
  • Foundation
  • Telescoping cover
  • Queen Excluder
  • Entrance Reducer

If there’s a con here, it’s that the kit doesn’t come with all of the tools and there is a bit of assembly required.  So, while this is a great hive, it may not be the best choice on the list for a true beginner beekeeper.

What it comes down to in the end, is that a large hive that just needs a great location and bees to start thriving.  There is plenty of room for your bee colony to thrive, store honey, and grow!

The kit is easy to remove boxes and replace them on the stack.  It has a great, precise build so that all grooves and joints fit snugly and securely.

With a kit this good and a great warranty that ensures quality, you really can’t go wrong. Unlike other kits, this one doesn’t have a starter guide or book.

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Who Sells Beekeeper Starter Kits?

We are an Amazon Associates Affiliate.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

We have done extensive research and have found some amazing starter kits on Amazon.  We chiefly recommend these products to our readers.  Start Here to order!

What Materials are used in Beekeeping Starter kits?

Traditionally hives were wooden and stone (clay), and many of the top beehiver and experts exclusively use wooden hives.  However, recently more and more plastic and synthetic material hives are popped up.  We firmly believe that wood is still, and always will be, the best material for beekeeping.

Do I need anything else to Start Beekeeping?

You’re right to ask!  We would never claim that it’s as easy as throwing up a hive and getting a healthy colony that reaps loads of honey.  Of course, there’s going to be things you’ll need in addition to a basic beekeeping starter kit.

You’ll need to take care of your bees in order for them to survive, become fruitful, and reap a honey cache!

You’ll need to inspect the hive at least 3 times per week to provide food, water, and ensuring a dry hive with the proper ventilation.

Protective gear for beekeepers is always a must-have.  You’ll need to inspect the hive and harvest the honey and these beekeeping suits will keep you from getting stung.  These suits contain the suit, hat & veil, boots, and gloves.  If you’re new to beekeeping, we never recommend you go out to the hive unprotected.

Then, of course, you’ll need the bees.  You can’t keep bees without the bees to keep! 🙂 You can catch the bees in the wild but you’ll need to know what you’re doing, or, you can always buy bees.

Location and Placement of the Beginners Bee Hive and Other Factors

Sun Exposure

Bees don’t do well at all in dark, damp places and in most cases will abandon such a nest.  Make sure that you place your new hive where the sun can easily reach it throughout the day.

Is there Water Nearby?

Bees love water that has organics and natural “floaties” in it.  So they do great near creeks, farm ponds, and other small, slow-moving water sources.  If worst comes to worst, you can always place a large birdbath near the location.  Just make sure it always has water.

Consider the Fauna

Beehives naturally thrive when they are closest to their necessary pollen and nectar.  Remember, the further the bee has to go for such things, the longer it takes, and the less honey they produce.

Predators

Keep sure to place your hives away from where mites may gather and other bee predators.  This is why we, as good beekeepers must observe what is going on in the area around our hives and inspect them multiple times a week.

Wind

Keep the hives out of areas where strong winds or gusts often pass as this will greatly disturb the nesting procedures.  A fenced area works great for keeping the winds down.

After Purchasing a Beekeeping Starter Kit:  Your Next Moves

You’ll need bees.  We suggest getting two separate colonies.  This will help balance your entire flock.  If one colony is weaker, then you can use the second colony to help strengthen and build it up.

Catching a Wild Bee Swarm

It might sound scary.  It does to most.  The idea of intentionally putting yourself near a wild swarm of bees can send shivers down some people’s backs.

The best definition of “swarm of bees” is that of a means used by bees in order to further their species.  When a bee colony gets too large, it needs to separate because it will be too difficult to survive in the needed small cavity of a hive.

For you to be able to catch a bee colony safely and establish it in your own hive, you should be aware of whether it’s a swarm or a cut-out.

If you’re beginning then you should be aware that bee swarms are not long-lasting entities. They may keep at rest for an hour or up to 24 depending on the flying strength of the queen bee they’re following.  Queens are bigger and not built for flight so they require rest time.

It is while they’re swarming at rest that the bees are on the hunt for a new home, or hive.  A bee swarm is a docile entity.  There is no honey, brood or home to viciously defend…yet.  Once those colonies get established they go full territorial mode and get defense easily.  Make sure that you’re handling all of this with skill. If needed, find a local beekeeper that is seasoned and try to get an assist. Try finding local keepers in your area using our forums.

Top 2 Methods of Catching the Bee Swarm

The main goal when catching a bee swarm is to get as many bees in the box as possible, keeping in mind that the queen (the most important!) will be near the center of the swarm.  However, if you don’t capture her on the first try, chances are that she’ll follow where the majority of bees has ended up.

Cut and Lower Method

If your swarm is hanging on a small branch then this is the way to go.  You’ll want to use clippers to sever the branch above the swarm and then lower the swarm into the beehive box.

If you’re using the Langstroth or Warre type hives then be sure to leave the frames in place so that the bees will hang from the top of the frames.

This works great because even if you miss some bees, the stragglers will join their swarm after.  This method also allows the bees to keep the impression that they found this great new hive on their own.

Shake and Catch Method

If the swarm is high in a tree or the branch that the swarm is attached is really strong and thick then this method is your best bet.

This method needs to thought out, planned and executed quickly.

You simply position the box below the swarm and start shaking.  Many of the bees fly away but the queen is a sure bet to follow a chunk of the hive down and into the box.  Once the queen is in, the rest will follow.

What Next?

Once you get the swarm secured in the box and in place close to where they’ll finally end up, don’t disturb the swarm for at least a week.  They’ll need that busy time to repair comb and start raising the brood.  This is when the colony will start to flourish.  If disturbed, the bees are still “free” in that there is nothing to keep them from leaving

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