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Kit List

Peter’s Kit List

Peter Field, our former Secretary, started beekeeping a few years ago and has compiled a kit list, as he says, by ‘trial and lots of error’, that other beginners may find useful. Explanations and alternatives are given in some instances and the list is by no means exhaustive. Like most things in beekeeping the list is a starting point for discussion and adaptation to suit your own way of doing things.

Protection

Full suit – as bees get under the elastic on smocks. Zip pocket for phone and car keys! Wellington boots.

Tools

Kit list, hive tool   J-hive tool – multifunctional and keeps fingers out of stingers way. Grinding the sharp end to a longer taper does less damage to bee boxes.

Large smoker (4” diam) with separate internal canister (baked bean tin with holes in the base?) – easier to keep alight.Kit list, smoker

Rubberised gloves with canvas gauntlet. Cheap and washable, almost sting proof to give confidence, but useless for fiddly work. Progress to washing up gloves when more confident.

Plastic Queen clip or cage – To catch the Queen and aid splitting and marking. A match box will do.

Water spray bottle – for when they get really feisty. Also useful to control a swarm.

Bee brush or bunch of goose feathers.

Magnifying glass (or visit to optician!) – to see the eggs.

Fine pointed tweezers – to extract dodgy looking brood for inspection.

Hives & stands

Kit list, National hiveNational hives – very widely available and can grow into 14” x 12” if required. Ekes very useful too when feeding/varroa treatment etc.

Flat roofs – turn upside down to rest supers on.

Plywood brood boxes, cedar supers and ply tops. Woodpecker proof and cheap for the over wintered parts. (Note: is anything woodpecker proof?  Ply is more dense than cedar and may produce more condensation on the inside.)

Hive clips to attach floor to brood box.- oh the times they came apart when I didn’t want them to.

Manley super frames and Hoffman brood frames. Self spacers reduce risk of losing the plastic end bits. Hoffman frames can be easily extended (Burnett extension pack, from Thorne) to make 14” x 12”.

Spare floor to swap when cleaning your other one.

Pallet (sawn in half) and bricks/blocks for hive stand. Cheaper and allows hive parts to be placed next to hive.

Swarm kit

Cardboard box with lid for swarm collection. Cheaper than skeps and just as good.

Kit list, sheet for hiving swarmsOld white sheet  -for swarm collection and hiving of swarms.

Accessories

Tool tray to carry bits to apiary. An old rucksack is useful if you need to be hands-free.

Thorne’s plastic feeder box with lid. Large, flat. Can refill without opening the hive. Bees do not drown. Less spillage and cheap.

Blow torch with piezzo igniter. Saves fiddly matches which blow out.

Foam strips for temporary entrance blocks. I always carry a spare. Helps to deter robbing.

Hive ratchet straps for hive moving – 2 per hive essential – I have had several slip and had a car full of bees.

Antihistamine cream for stings!

Washing Soda Crystals for cleaning your gloves, hive tool, etc. Make a 20% solution. Caution – alkaline.  Wear appropriate protective equipment.

Newspaper, egg boxes and wood shavings for the smoker.

2 x tea towels for a manipulation cloth. Must be easily washable.

Drawing pins to mark the frame / attach mouse guards.

Metal one piece mouse guards – cheap and less fiddly.

Heavy plastic sheet for floor of car boot.

 

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News & Events

Axminster Tools & Machinery
Free event
Sat 29 September 2018
11:00 – 14:00 hrs
at the Axminster Store – An introduction To Bee Keeping With East Devon Beekeepers

There’s a great deal of interest in bees these days … would you like to find out what it is all about?Our ‘Introduction to Beekeeping’ event will be hosted by John Badley, Chairman of East Devon Beekeepers, who will cover the history of hive design, definition and importance of bee space and required materials for construction. This will be followed by a demonstration by the Axminster team, on how to build the key components of your own wooden beehives.

John’s presentation will start at 11am and should run for about an hour, and he’ll be available for questions and one-to-one discussions afterwards. This is a free event, between 11:00-14:00, with light refreshments provided so come and find out what all the buzz is about!

Scientists sew trackers to Asian Hornets to find and destroy nests before they kill honeybees
Britain’s beekeepers are turning to technology to prevent aggressive Asian hornets destroying their colonies. In a first successful trial, experts at the University of Exeter attached tracking devices to the backs of the voracious hornets and then followed them back to their nests.
Asian hornet information
The June edition of the BBKA News has extensive information about the Asian hornet threat. In particular, pages 209 and 210 have full colour reproductions of the Asian hornet alert document issued by the Non Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) for you to cut out and use as your personal guide to identification of this invasive species.
EU agrees total ban on bee-harming pesticides
More information can be found at:          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/27/eu-agrees-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
LATEST ASIAN HORNET WARNING
The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of a single Asian hornet in Lancashire. More information can be found in the Defra Press release:   https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-lancashire