Beekeeping 101: Step 2 - Equipment

Let's keep it simple, here is all you need to know.

If you are not familiar with the landscape, it can be hard to know which way to go:  Langstroth hive, top bar hive, flow hive, Warre hive.   5 frame, 8 frame, 10 frame.   Here is the bottom line for the new keeper, just go with the tried and true 10 frame standard Langstroth hive.  Read on to get all the information you need. 

The Hive Body

Wooden bee hives

Parts of the Bee Hive

When you are getting started, the lingo can be confusing.

Starting at the bottom, is the bottom board. These can be screened ( for hot summer ventalation ) or solid. Next is the deep super, this is where you want the queen to primary lay her eggs and raise the brood. Next can be a second deep box, or a medium box for honey. The medium box is the same outside diameter, but the frames are not as tall, to keep the weight more managable. Then the inner cover and top cover. And yes, there are other options and configuations, but this is all you need as a new beekeeper.

We like the Bee Castle Wax Coated Hives alot.

Want to learn more? This web site did a good job of explaining a little detail.

Bee Suit / Protection

Beekeeping Suits

You can buy either a full length suit, or a just top 1/2 suit. All bee supply and Amazon carried them.


You will want bee leather gloves to started. Over time,you may stop using them, or change to nitrile gloves which are thinner and easier to use when in a hive.

Other Equipment


Yes, you will want a smoker. As the year goes, the need for a smoker increases in the summer and fall.

Hive Tools

My favorite 2 two hives tools are a standard hive tool and a frame grabber. Again, you can get both at any bee supplier or Amazon.


Im showing a frame feeder here, I tend to like these better. But entrance feeders will work ok as well. The entrance feeder can attractive robbing and yellow jackets in the fall more than the frame feeder.

Hive Stand

You will want to keep your hives off the ground. Again there are many products you can buy, but most anything will work ok. Shown here is a simple cinder block and 4 x 4 post setup. Some people use old pallets, or make metal racks.

Final Word of Caution

There is no shortcut.   Dont start with gimics or specialized hives.   Start will the tried and true and then after a couple of years if you want to experient and expand it will be the right time.   For this reason, I do not recommend new beekeepers start with a flow hive or a top bar.   They add to the level of difficulty.  So start with the tried and true.   See our blog post on the history of the hive.

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