The 7 Best Bee Hive Kits
7. Legacy DIY Starter Kit
- helpful dvd and instructional guide
- scraper and brush included
- expensive for a small kit
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
6. Honey Keeper Complete
- preassembled metal roof
- includes all assembly hardware
- large frames may be a bit loose
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
5. BuildaBeehive Deluxe Starter Kit
- reversible entrance reducer
- guidebook for beginners
- assembly isn't very straightforward
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
4. Mann Lake HK160
- can be stacked to make larger hive
- comes fully assembled
- wood requires finishing
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
3. Apimaye Langstroth
- top feeding port
- slide-out screened bottom board
- 20 plastic snap-in frames
|Rating||5.0 / 5.0|
2. Flow Classic
- honey flows through six clear taps
- extraction doesn't disturb the bees
- high quality cedar construction
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
1. Mann Lake HK110
- painted wooden ten-frame box
- telescoping metal cover
- great for first timers
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
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.