I have always been fascinated with beekeeping and bees, although I’m not a fan when they land on me, especially when they have malicious intent. After going to an Airbnb where they had their own personal beehive in their rather small backyard, I was inspired to get one of my own beekeeping starter kits. So, I decided to go ahead and buy the beekeeping starter kit based off reviews I found on the BeeKeepClub website.
These starter kits have been created so that you can get started on beekeeping as soon as you buy the bees. The cool thing about this site is that it lists a bunch of different reviews for different kinds of beekeeping starter kits. I’m going to go over the top 3 Beekeeping starter kits that I considered along with the Brushy Mountain’s beehive beginner’s kit, which is the one I eventually bought.
Once I got my beehive, I was a little tentative about what to do. Thankfully I read through the provided book and spent some time watching the DVD. After I had more information, I was much more ready to work around creatures I generally try to avoid. After putting my entrance reducer on the beehive, and placing the frames inside, I felt ready. I had my bees in one container and a queen bee with her attendant in another, so I made sure that my jacket, gloves, and veil were firmly in place. I put a 1:1 sugar to water mixture in their food bowl, just for the first day.
Then I put the queen bee and her attendant into the hive still in their cage and let the bees into their new home.
Throughout the next three days, I made sure not to bother the bees, besides changing their food, so that they could get used to their home. On the fifth day, it was time for the first hive check. During this, I calmly checked to make sure that the queen was out of her cage. Unfortunately, she wasn’t, so I had to remove the piece of candy from her cage to let her out. Be very careful with her; she’s the future of your hive.
Then I checked to see if the bees had been foraging outside the hive, which they hadn’t yet, so I left their feeder there for the time being. There are different ways to do hive checks depending on their species, so make sure you know what type of bee you’re getting. After the first hive check, I left them alone again for about six days. Then on day 12, I did my second hive inspection. At this point, I saw some little larvae popping up as well as signs of foraging on the worker bees, so I removed the feeder.
From this point on, I did a weekly check to make sure that my bees were flourishing and didn’t have any illnesses. Once I started working with my bees, I became entranced by them and no longer feared them as I once did. I mean, I’m not going to go pick up the next bee I see in the wilderness, but I’m not going to run away from one screaming anymore.
What is the Brushy Mountain's Beehive Beginner's Kit?
The Brushy Mountain's Beehive Beginner's Kit is a start from scratch beekeeper kit. You have everything you need in this kit to start your very own beehive in your backyard starting with the DVD that will walk you through the process. It has the hive, the clothes you need to deal with tiny stingers, and everything you need to collect your honey when the time is right. Once upon a time, bees lived only in the wild without help from the human race.
But now that humanity is encroaching on their territory and health; bees have been more than willing to create their homes in manmade hives. Since bees are highly sensitive to their environment and weather, it’s a good idea to make sure they feel sheltered and secure in their new hive. Bees automatically go to where they feel safe, which is above the ground and inaccessible to predators. If you’re just starting your first beehive, it’s good to keep in mind that bees like to live somewhere where they can expand a bit and raise more baby bees.
This is similar to a couple buying a two- or three-bedroom home when they aren’t even pregnant yet: they are expecting more. When you’re picking out a good spot in your backyard for the hive’s location, remember to find a dry spot that’s well ventilated. If you can, invest in a screened bottom board, and elevated hive stands so that water can’t get inside their hives, even from the bottom.
Beekeeping starter kits all have varying quantities and products included, but the ones that came in the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm starter kit are the beehive itself which has a charming English A-frame top with an inner cover. It comes in small, medium, or large, for whatever size hive you feel like creating. It also comes with an entrance reducer as well, to keep predators out.
They come with 16 assembled black super frames to collect the comb and honey as well as a beekeeping brush. Of course, you'll need to dress yourself appropriately to keep those potential stings away, so a beekeeping jacket, beekeeping gloves, cowhide gloves, and a hatless veil are also included. Just in case you need a little more information on beekeeping, there's also a beginner's DVD and a book called Backyard Beekeeper.
A smoker and fuel are included, along with a 10-inch hive tool and a beekeeping brush. I would recommend this beekeeping kit for hobbyists and animal enthusiasts.
This kit comes in at around Out of stock which isn’t that much when it comes down to how many quality items you’re receiving. And although this comes in small all the way up to extra-large, the price remains the same for any size. I found it on Amazon at that price with free shipping, so I took what I thought of as a deal. If I had gone through the Brushy Mountain Bee Farm website though, it would have been between $320 and $370, depending on the size I chose, also with free shipping. Compared to the BuildaBeehive kit, I got an amazing deal. Especially with the quality of the all the different products I received.
How it Compares
We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Brushy Mountain's Beehive Beginner's Kit
BuildaBeehive Garden Hive Beekeeping Starter Kit
The BuildaBeehive Garden Hive Beekeeping Starter Kit has pretty much everything you need to start your very own beehive in your backyard. It was a close tossup between this one and Brushy Mountain’s beekeeping kit, but in the end, I was disappointed that several customers complained about a brand-new cover that couldn’t be held together without support on the BuildaBeehive.
I understand that this is a huge kit that will hold hundreds of bees, but that is a much steeper price than the kit I chose. This kit seems very easy to use, shipped fully assembled with everything but the bees. You can even paint the outside whatever color you want (before putting your bees in, of course). I would give the ease of use 5 stars as well as the assembly time.
Since this arrives completely assembled and with all the accessories you need, and you can even customize the outside color of the hive, the quality is awesome. But, I wasn’t the biggest fan of what the hive itself looked like–a bit boring and somewhat cheap looking. I would give the build quality a 4. There is a money back guarantee on all BuildaBeehive products, and they also offer awesome customer service so that I would give the warranty 5 stars.
The BuildaBeehive people are super confident in their products so if I did decide on going with a different one; I would have chosen this.
Mann Lake HK110 Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit
The Mann Lake HK110 Basic Beekeeping Starter Kit is one of the highest ranked beekeeping starter kits on the market. The price comes in currently at on sale for $218.04 with free shipping from Amazon. That’s a really good deal for the products included, but they did seem a bit lower quality, and the hive itself seemed much smaller from the pictures.
I would give the price 5 stars. This kit seems incredibly easy to use. The Amazon site says that the hive and all of its various accouterments come fully assembled and painted. But according to customer reviews, after receiving it, the frames and door inserts still need to be placed. That would be a fairly easy adjustment, but I would still give the assembly time 4 stars. From the pictures, this looks like a pretty impressive beehive, one I would be proud to have sitting in my backyard.
Then again, I would be proud to have any of these beekeeping kits in my backyard, if for no other reason than to keep the bee population thriving. This kit is also listed as ‘Amazon’s Choice for Bee Keeping Kit’ but the hive just looks a bit dinky to me, plus you still have to buy a feeder along with this kit, so I would probably give the build quality a 4.
The Mann Lake company has a very strict return policy (even if they messed up!) and I can’t seem to find any mention of any other type of warranty. They also don’t allow returns on any products sold through Amazon (even though Amazon named them their top choice for beekeeping kit) so I would give their warranty 3 stars.
Honeybee Headquarters Beekeeping Beehive Starter Kit
The final beekeeping starter kit I considered buying was the Honeybee Headquarters Beekeeping Beehive Starter Kit. I originally looked at this hive because of its quaint cottage-style construction and continued looking at it because of Honeybee Headquarters’ awesome reputation. But currently this kit is completely sold out on Amazon, and I’m not sure when it will be listed there again.
This is a fairly easy to use kit and even comes with beeswax foundation for the frame. The book is very explanatory, so you’ll be tending bees in no time! I would say the ease of use warrants 5 stars. It does take some time to put together and doesn’t come with nails to put the hive together, so I would have to give the assembly time 3 stars, especially when most of the other kits come fully put together.
All of the items Honeybee Headquarters uses are super high quality, but it looks like they primarily sell their products at farmer’s markets in New Jersey. There’s just not enough information on the internet about them. I would give their build quality 5 stars from observation alone. There are no warranties on any of their products though, and they all come as is. There is a limited return policy for which you would have to pay the restocking fee so I will give the warranty 1 star.
Ease of Use
I would give the Brushy Mountain’s beehive beginner’s kit 4 out of 5 stars. It has a moderate price, the beehive itself has a decent design, although not the cutest one out there, plus it does have a warranty if it is defective. I really wanted to help the environment,, and I knew that with the bee colony collapse, another hive of bees was the best thing I could do to help. A little over a decade ago, scientists alerted the public that bees were dying fairly quickly from colony collapse.
And that data was applicable to the entire world. Because of this, many countries have taken action to prevent more bee deaths and have been more closely monitoring them. Although we are still losing a lot more bees every year than we can afford, the numbers are looking up. I like to think that has a little something to do with hobby beekeepers, like myself.
Without bees, we won’t have avocados, tomatoes, or over one-third of the plants that we currently eat. Just keep that in mind when you check out these super cool starter kits.