Product: Starter Kit National Bee Hive in Cedar with Frames and Tools
Place to Buy: Amazon
My Rating: 9/10
Beekeeping Starter Kit – Product Review
When I joined the beekeeping group where I worked we were fortunate to have our company buy all the equipment that we needed to get started. As I got more and more into the hobby it almost became an obsession that I wanted to have my own hive and the sooner the better. I did some research and found that the best way to start would be to buy a Starter Kit which gave me all I needed in one fell swoop and all I needed after that were the honeybees.
This Starter Kit is what I started with as it gives you everything that you need to get going, except for the bees which you will have to get from a honeybee producer.
The Hive is a British National Hive which is ideally suited for a beginner as it allows you to go and look at the bees and see what and how they are doing. It is made of Cedar which is one of the best natural woods for hives as the natural oils within the wood make it less prone to warping, doesn’t let bugs in and is less likely to rot. If left in its natural state it will weather to a light grey colour. It can be painted with a non-toxic paint if you wanted to brighten it up after a while.
The kit also contains all the basic equipment that I have covered in the Beekeeping Equipment with the exception of a feeder and porter bee escapes that you will need to buy separately. Everything is made from good quality materiels that will last a number of years.
The beehive comes as a flat pack which you have to assemble yourself but it is really easy to do. It took me a day to put the brood box and super boxes together and another couple of days to assemble the frames with the wax foundation. When putting the boxes together I did use two clamps to keep them together and square while the glue set and then for added strength I used screws in all the joins instead of nails. For the frames you will need nails somewhere between 5 and 10mm in length. I used a pair of pointed nose pliers to hold the nail while I knocked it into the frame (I have large fingers lol)
Don’t forget that you will be getting the hive some time during the autumn or winter so you will have plenty of dark nights to put it together as your bees are not going to arrive much before May unless you have ordered bees that have been over wintered.
For the bee suit I would get one that is about two sizes to large for you so that you have plenty of room to move about in it and also in autumn/winter can wear a nice warm coat under it. My normal size is Large, 42ins chest and I bought an XL size and then found that perhaps I could have done with an XXL.
In comparison, for the gloves you need to stick to a size which is comfortable for your hands to get into and preferable your fingers touch the end of glove fingers. This makes it easier to get hold of frames without crushing any of your ladies in the process. The material that the hands are made from is hide and usually does not take to washing very well so to stop propolis getting onto them I would suggest putting disposable gloves over them before going into the hive.
When getting suited up always make sure that all the zips are fastened and the gloves are pulled up over the sleeves of the bee suit. If is a fact that bees will always move up so it is a good idea to be wearing wellington boots so that the legs of the beesuit are inside the boots. This stops any of your low flying ladies inspecting your leg at close quarters.
For comparison if you buy the kit as separate pieces it will cost you approximately £500 so this kit will give you a saving of £245.
I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about the Starter Kit National Bee Hive in Cedar with Frames and Tools or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below