Farnham Beekeepers (FBKA) frequently know of second hand equipment for sale and can assess the value. So do contact the Secretary before buying. Items will also be published in the monthly Newsletter. Anything bought second hand should always be flamed to make sure that they are free from disease, and second hand frames should never be used.
Veil is the minimum requirement but a full suit with veil attached is preferable. Make sure it is large enough to hang loosely (you will be bending and stretching) and that the veil will detach for careful washing.
Washing-up gloves with sufficient cuff to cover the wrist of suit.
Disposable gloves – can be bought by the hundred from many places with cotton household gloves (eg from Boots) underneath. These save the hands sweating and are far more flexible, but might be too small for large hands.
Leather gauntlets are good against stings but make it very difficult to handle the bees sensitively (so you can end up with more stings!) and are unhygenic as they're difficult to wash so there is a risk of spreading disease. Disposable gloves over the top avoid that but then they're even more clumsy to use!
Usually Wellington boots, although some find shoes with sock long enough to well cover trouser bottoms are sufficient. Beware bees like to crawl up!
With fuel and matches or lighter.
Please do NOT buy the beginners kit from Thornes - they include things not recommended by beekeepers. For one colony you will need two hives. Bees are bound to swarm sooner than you think.
The first consisting of :-
The second hive will be essential when the colony decides to swarm and needs to consist of :-
Contact feeder is essential, others useful at times.
To carry odd bits of equipment such as coloured drawing pins, marker pen, spare smoker fuel, matches, match box, queen cage etc.
Three is a good number. Final size about 2” larger than the size of a super, and weighted at two sides. Plastic is easy to buy, use and discard. Material would have to be easily washable and weights easily removed (sealed in a placket with a safety pin!)
There are many and your mileage may vary with each.
For starting out we like The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping (2/e) and The Haynes Bee Manual.
Ted Hooper’s Guide to Bees and Honey or Clive de Bruyn’s Practical Beekeeping are both good reference books and there are many many more!
Members can hire extractors from FBKA.
Nuclei from swarms can, after health check, be supplied to members, but ongoing temper can never be certain. Professional suppliers can provide nuclei of assured good temper but at substantially greater cost.
For the Honey crop. Food safe plastic buckets and glass jars can be bought from many suppliers.
And finally don't forget a packet of household washing soda crystal for cleaning tools and other equipment.