Updated March 27, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

The 7 Best Bee Hive Kits

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This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in February of 2016. Over the past decade or so, bees have been dying all over the world at an alarming rate. Be a part of the solution with one of these beehive kits, which allow you to start your own colony and collect not just delicious golden honey, but also harvest beeswax and royal jelly, or simply let the little buzzers pollinate your orchard, farm or garden. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best bee hive kit on Amazon.

7. Honey Keeper Complete

6. Legacy DIY Starter Kit

5. Flow Classic

4. BuildaBeehive Deluxe Starter Kit

3. Mann Lake HK160

2. BestEquip Auto Flow

1. Mann Lake HK110

Reasons To Own A Bee Hive Kit

Bees are the largest pollinators on the planet, moving from flower to flower collecting and distributing pollen on their hind legs.

There are many reasons to own a bee hive kit. Even in an urban area, the amount of reciprocity experienced from housing a colony of your own is well worth the investment. The most obvious reason to care for a bee hive is honey. Bees create honey through foraging.

The process begins when forager bees drink the nectar from flowers and then transfer it to house bees. These house bees then add enzymes to the nectar, and place the liquid into the honeycomb. Bees fan their wings to evaporate the liquid in the honey.

Once it reaches a water content of around eighteen percent, the honey is capped off with wax and stored for later use or harvested by a beekeeper. Beekeepers must be certain they only harvest honey that the bees are not using, however. Taking too much honey from a hive can cause them to die off during the winter months due to lack of food.

Pollination is also another deciding factor in owning a bee hive kit. Many plants require external pollination. Bees are the largest pollinators on the planet, moving from flower to flower collecting and distributing pollen on their hind legs.

Many people choose to own a bee hive kit to make a positive impact on their environment. Bees have a huge impact on the planet, and require little from it in return. While many worry over the effects of colony collapse disorder, others do something about it and acquire a bee hive kit. Colony collapse disorder is much less likely to happen in a private hive, as exposure to many contributing factors is limited.

The other byproducts of caring for a bee hive are fascinating as well. Things like propolis, royal jelly, and beeswax are all used in natural health products. Raw honey and hive byproducts have been used as skin care treatments, immune system boosters, antioxidants, allergy relievers, and anti-microbial agents.

How Important Are Bee Hive Kits?

Providing bees with a new home in your bee hive kit is not only beneficial to you, it protects bees as well. Colony collapse disorder, or CCD, is a worrying factor for bee hives. CCD occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony leave behind the queen, nurse bees, and all the food in their hive. This abandonment destroys the hive and reproduction rates, and the worker bees die without a home. Colony collapse disorder is a substantial threat to humans as well, as bees pollinate around one third of global crops.

This leads many people to postulate that these pesticides cause CCD.

Colony collapse disorder seems to have peaked in the winter of 2006-2007, with some beekeepers reporting losing up to 90 percent of their hives in one winter. Checking agricultural records from the last century yields little evidence of past occurrences of CCD. Occasional disappearances or dying colonies have been observed for centuries, but nothing of this magnitude.

There is a link between certain pesticides like neonicotinoids and high rates of bee death. This leads many people to postulate that these pesticides cause CCD. While this cannot necessarily prove causality, it is an influential factor. Colonies exposed to neonicotinoids at high levels experience high mortality rates.

Even at sub-lethal levels, exposure to these pesticides impaired honey bees winterization process before leading to CCD. Affected bees mainly showed signs of cognitive impairment. This may explain the strange behavior of abandoning a queen and all of their food, though is not the only proposed reason. Others believe that exposure to certain environmental pesticides may increase the colony's vulnerability to varroa mites, causing them to abandon an infested hive. There are also links between bee health and certain microbes, such as the Israeli acute paralysis virus.

A regularly cleaned personal bee hive kit keeps a colony exposed to as few pathogens and pesticides as possible, and may help reduce rates of CCD from all sources.

Starting Out Right With A Bee Hive

Starting out a new hive can be a painstaking experience. The window to capture a swarm is relatively low, and bees can be picky. It is important to know how to start out right. After purchasing a bee hive kit, the largest hurdle you will come across is where to get bees. Collecting honeybees one by one will not prove fruitful, but luckily there are some tried and true ways to get bees into your hive.

Feral bees from the local area are also well adapted to the environment.

The best method to start out a hive is to catch a swarm of feral bees with the help of an experienced beekeeper. Wild bees are more likely to survive, have been exposed to less medications, and are more effective pollinators than captive bees. Feral bees from the local area are also well adapted to the environment. The chance of a local wild hive encountering adversities they cannot adapt to is much lower.

If feral bees are not an option, many beekeepers experience success through using a simple bait and trap method. During the swarm season, bees are on the lookout for new places to build their hives. When both of these options do not work, many people simply buy bees through the mail and experience great success.

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Ezra Glenn
Last updated on March 27, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label operator from New York City. He has traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again. Ezra holds a bachelor's from Bard College, and is currently enrolled in the MBA program at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. His professional experience includes a stint at the Brooklyn-based website “Rap Genius,” and he has run his own artist management and development agency. For the Wiki, he has developed expertise in the areas of travel, exercise, and home goods, and has researched extensively in the areas of electronics, furniture, and pet care.

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