Aside from a Langstroth hive or two, backyard beekeeping requires very little gear - just protective garb and a couple of tools.
Also in beekeeper Rob Keller's trusty field kit? A blowtorch for sanitizing tools and the notebook he uses to keep meticulous records.
Suit: Prevent bee stings – on most of your body, anyway – by donning a ventilated jumpsuit, which will set you back around $100. Then slip on tall socks, boots, and the next two accessories.
Veil and Gloves: Available in hood or hat form, for about $15, a good veil will attach to your suit. Expect to spend an additional $20 on elasticized elbow-length gloves.
Smoker: Stoking this handheld fire chamber will calm bees as you manage the hive. A 4″ Á— 7″ model, usually priced around $30, suffices for hobbyists. Don’t bother buying smoker fuel; just fill the cylinder with dry organic matter (shredded paper or pine needles will suffice) and ignite with a grill lighter.
Hive Tool: Use this metal, crowbar-like device ($10 or less) to open and close the hive and separate frames for inspection.
A veteran beekeeper, Keller rarely suits up anymore, but novices should make it a habit.
Keller employs a smoker, fueled by natural materials.
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