Q. What do I need to get started?

A. Here is some of the basic equipment a beekeeper might need to begin beekeeping,
along with their approximate cost.
Beekeepers hear some of the same questions each year from "newbees"
wanting to give beekeeping a try.  
The information below addresses some of those questions.
First of all it is a really good idea to read everything you can get your hands on about beekeeping, keeping in mind that most
books on beekeeping are methods used in the lower 48
those differences are discussed at length at the Beginner Beekeepers Class in the spring.

These are a few recommended books, with more listed on the
Books About Bees page.
The Beekeepers Handbook
4th edition
by: Dana Sammataro
and Alphonse Avitabile

Guide to Bees and Honey
by: Ted Hooper
A basic hive usually consists of the following,
You do your own assembling and painting.

Wooden telescoping cover
2 medium supers
2 deep supers
Frames & Foundation
Inner cover
Bottom Board

approx cost for assembled: $316.00
approx cost for unassembled: $266.00
In addition you may need some or all of the following tools
<------ Telescoping cover
<------ Inner cover (not visible)
<------ Medium Supers
<------ Deep Supers
<------ Bottom Board
which may or may not look like this one  
<----- Each super will
contain 10 frames
with foundation for
the bees to build the
comb on
<------ Smoker
approx cost: $45
<------ Hive tool
approx cost: $6
approx cost:
plastic: $7
metal: $17
cost: $24

price varies)
<------ Bee Brush
approx cost: $6
:approx cost: $20

Then there is the cost of bees...which is in addition to the equipment and tools.
This price will depend on which type of bees you order, and which supplier you order them with.

A package of bees with a queen is:   Approximately $200

There are many variables:

  • Used equipment, if it is available.  
         (It is not recommended you purchase used equipment unless you have an
          experienced beekeeper inspect it for disease, etc).

  • Use your own gloves and hat, a mosquito net for a veil.

  • You could use another type of tool for a hive tool.

  • You could use a paint suit instead of beekeepers coveralls, or just tape up all openings on clothing.

  • You could use rolled up newspaper or a handful of green grass, or straw  for a bee brush.

 These are just a few suggestions if you are wanting to cut costs  
<------ Frame with   
approx cost: $17
Our local beekeeping equipment suppliers and SABA Members are:  
Steve Victors:   www.stevesbees.com  
and Alex King:  www.royalalaskahoney.com
The Complete Guide to
by: Roger A Morse

The Prairie Beekeeping Manual
by: Dorothy Murrell
and Donald N. MacDonald
Copyright © SABA 2007 - All rights reserved
Southcentral Alaska Beekeepers Association
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