6 Best Bee Hive Kits | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. And you thought bees were only good for making honey. With one of these bee hive kits you can not just collect that delicious golden liquid, but also harvest beeswax and royal jelly, or simply let the little buzzers pollinate your orchard or farm. Skip to the best bee hive kit on Amazon.
6 Best Bee Hive Kits | March 2017

Overall Rank: 2
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 4
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
If you're wondering why the Mann Lake HK160 Traditional bee hive kit costs so much less than other kits on the market, it's because it sells as the hive only. Your order will not include gloves, a bee veil, a smoker, or other tools.
The Little Giant Farm Beginner bee hive kit is a great way to set up a small, but fully functional, beehive. You can learn the basics of beekeeping while tending to this small hive, and then you can expand it with added tiers.
Perhaps the best thing about the Legacy DIY BeeHive Starter Kit, aside from the honey it helps you produce, is the fact that it's not all that DIY, as it arrives 100% assembled and ready for you to start using.
The Honeybee Headquarters Beekeeping Bee Hive starter kit lets you create a stacked hive that's much larger than most starter hive sets, meaning you can be enjoying more honey in less time. Of course, it also costs more than others.
  • comes with protective jacket and gloves
  • "first lessons in beekeeping" book
  • nails needed for assembly not included
Brand Honeybee Headquarters
Model H002
Weight pending
The BuildaBeehive Deluxe Beehive Starter Kit comes with everything a beekeeper needs except for bees. From the bee veil to the 10 frame hive, you'll be raising bees and enjoying honey in no time with this kit.
  • features reversible entrance reducer
  • simple assembly required
  • good reviews by users
Brand BuildaBeehive.com
Model pending
Weight pending
The Mann Lake HK110 10-Frame Traditional Basic Starter Beehive Kit comes with just about everything you need to establish a healthy, thriving hive, including a helpful manual called "Starting Right With Bees."
  • assembled painted wood frames
  • comes with dome top smoker
  • telescoping cover
Brand Mann Lake
Model HK110
Weight 42.7 pounds

Reasons To Own A Bee Hive Kit

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.

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.

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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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information