Frustrated by the lack of quality beekeeping supplies that were available in the market, Jack and Betty Thomas founded Mann Lake. Starting out in their garage, they soon discovered that they weren’t the only beekeepers who had issues with substandard beekeeping tools. When they figured the increasing demand for quality trumped the acreage of their garage, they moved the business to a city called Hackensack. In the years that followed this big move, it spread its tentacles to California, Minnesota, Texas and Pennsylvania. With no offspring to inherit the business, Jack and Betty gave Mann Lake over to its employees.
Mann Lake continues to provide high-quality beekeeping supplies to the budding beekeeper, the hobbyist and the expert beekeeper by maintaining the goals and missions of its founders. Its extensive and rich product line includes hives, protecting clothing, beekeeping tools and honey extraction devices.
Starting out with bees? Mann Lake offers you its 10-Frame Starter Kit which comes with a painted hive body where your bees can live, grow and produce their young ones. It’s both large and deep enough to house the bees, their food (pollen) and their reserves of honey. This bee hive kit is designed to provide your critters with all the love and cozy comfort they need.
Trust us, Mann Lake knew you were just starting out and decided to help you with the nitty-gritty of assembly. So when you purchase this kit, you don’t need to worry yourself sick with the step-by-steps of setting up a bee hive kit because it already comes assembled.
You also get to learn all the basics of beekeeping from its book, ‘Starting Right with Bees’. Provided you stick with this comprehensive guide, there’s hardly any reason why you would have anything short of a good start. Moreover, in a matter of hours you’ll be able to teach a newbie how to get an apiary running.
It has a painted telescoping outer cover as well as an inner cover to keep the weather and elements out of your hive. The telescoping cover is larger than the hive body and the entire hive so that it can fit over the hive and cover the sides. This protects your bees from unsolicited guests.
The Mann Lake 10-Frame Hive kit also features ten 9-1/8-inch painted and assembled frames with the high-quality and naturally waxed Rite-Cell foundation. This foundation is durable and can allow you scrap the comb easily with a hive tool without damaging it.
Its entrance reducer, as the name implies, is the insurance your bees need to protect themselves from unwanted visitors and foreigners such as rodents that may upset their colony. This entrance reducer also helps to control the hive’s temperature, ventilation and traffic so that your bees don’t die under extreme weather conditions or as a result of a poorly ventilated environment.
Bees love you and that’s why they give you their honey, but they can develop a mind of their own when you visit them unprotected. In an unpleasant situation where you go to the hive unprotected, a lone and angry bee may coordinate the rest of the colony to start a stinging spree on you, leaving you with a bitter experience. You may have to spend a considerable amount of time nursing the sting bites away from the apiary. Then it becomes a sad tale of a convalescing beekeeper and his neglected bees. If you’re also allergic to their stings the tale may be even more horrifying. That’s why Mann Lake has included its economy leather gloves and an Alexander bee veil to protect your hands and pretty face from those painful bites whenever you have to do your routine maintenance checks.
Other beekeeping offers from Mann Lake include:
BuildaBeehive is one beekeeping buddy you can always count on. When it comes to beekeeping, it truly wants to build your beehive with you. It boasts of fast shipping and prompt resolutions of its customers’ issues, as well as a range of high quality products that get to its customers at affordable prices. Till date, BuildaBeehive maintains its philosophy of giving its clients the most personalized and effective service they can ever get. It also ensures that it provides high quality and functional products for budding and professional beekeepers.
The BuildaBeehive Deluxe Starter Kit is designed to give you an easy start at beekeeping, but if you’ve already gone pro, this kit will help you hone your beekeeping skills. Owning a kit like this means having it all.
This 8-Frame Starter Kit features two easy-to-lift supers that provide the much needed room for the 8 frames to sit in conveniently. The 8 frames in this kit measure 6-5/8 inches each and are designed to hold the honeycomb with room to spare. Each frame can be removed easily so that you can check the bees for pathogens or to simply extract the honey that’s been produced.
Moreover, an extra protection from pathogens and rodents is provided by the reversible entrance reducer. With the entrance reducer, there’s no way your bees will be able to get out of the hive. It also ensures that the hive is properly ventilated and the bees are insulated from cold and harsh weather conditions.
Its entrance feeder, which has a feeding tray and an inverted syrup container, is easy to refill and makes it easy to see how much bee feed you have left. This way you’re not caught unawares by food shortage and starvation!
The BuildaBeehive starter kit also has a comprehensive guide titled ‘First Lessons in Beekeeping’. If you’re a newbie, this book will prepare you ahead of your beekeeping experience, and if you are a professional beekeeper you can learn about some things you may have missed out on in the past.
Your safety matters a lot to BuildaBeehive, which is why it has included a pair of sting-resistant gloves, a protective veil and a bee smoker with a pound of smoker fuel. All these work in concert to ensure your safety during visits to the bee hive. The gloves protect your hands from painful and possibly lethal sting bites from the bees. The veil is also a protective covering for your face and body, while the smoker generates smoke from the smoldered fuel which helps to calm the bees down so that they’re unable to flex their sting muscles on you.
BuildaHive places a premium on the quality of its hive kits. If you purchase this particular one, it promises to refund your money to you in the unlikely event that you’re not satisfied. You can trust its customer service team to provide you with all the support and information you need.
So when it comes to beekeeping with BuildaBeehive, you can be sure that you’re truly not alone. It offers more bee hive kits, including:
It took a while for John’s lovely wife, Toni, to consent to his idea to start beekeeping, but she eventually conceded. John started out with 2 hives and a few bees that Toni and the kids had picked up for him on Mother’s Day. This was her way of showing her commitment and support to John’s bee-cause.
They had no honey in it the year that followed its commencement, but John testifies that he found it really rewarding to watch the bees progress in growth and development. The couple took a beginner’s course in beekeeping at Rutgers and joined a coalition of beekeeping organizations. 11 hives and five swarms later, John could truly say that his love for honeybees was almost becoming an obsession. Many years later, he partnered with Darrell and started the Honeybee Headquarters. Today, this New York-situated company has grown to become a generous supplier of bees and a beekeeping equipment brand that boasts of its great service to the northeast region.
Interact confidently with your first swarm of bees by using the fully accessorized Honeybee Headquarters Starter Hive Kit. Its veiled beekeeper’s jacket and extra-large beekeeping gloves guarantee you safety from bees who may want to flex their stinging muscles on you. You don’t have to worry about a bad first impression with these creatures or the possibility of backing off from beekeeping because of an unpleasant experience.
As long as you visit them fully-clad in these protective pieces, you can be sure your meetings with the colony will always be pleasant and trouble-free. Moreover, its small pro-smoker provides a smoking effect that helps to calm the bees when they decide to go on rampage at the sight of a homo sapiens.
This kit also contains a book titled, ‘First Lessons on Beekeeping,’ which is a beekeeper’s guide to starting right and starting strong. This book promises to keep you in the know of the basic information you require to have a thriving and healthy apiary. If you adhere strictly to the instructions this guide provides, who knows, you can even bequeath your hive to your children and possibly their own children. Won’t it be so sweet a legacy to will your beehive(s) to your children? Think about it!
It also has 2 deep broods with 20 frames altogether and one medium super with 10 frames. That’s enough real estate for your critters, don’t you think?
Amazingly, this kit comes with a pair of original beeswax foundation for the deep broods and super. These plates provide the base for the bees to build their honeycomb. More so, on this kind of foundation, bees spend less time and energy making the honeycombs than if they were to build their honeycombs on any other type of foundation. Its thick bottom makes it relatively stronger and better suited to withstand impacts and temperature changes.
Starving bees spell a whole lot of doom. This is why a 2.5-gallon feeder has been included in this hive kit so that you can provide vital feed for the bees when natural sources are unavailable.
At a stage in your beekeeping, you may need to brush the bees off the honeycomb, especially when you need to extract the honey. On such occasions, you need a bee brush like the one Honeybee Headquarters has included in this kit. This soft-bristled brush will help you remove the bees carefully without injuring the bees or damaging the honeycomb.
This bee hive kit is available in both the old, straightforward version and the new gold deluxe model, which also comes with upgraded components.
Goodland Bee Supply is a company wholly-owned by Toolmart Inc. that provides high quality products and excellent customer service to its customers. It not only sticks to the ideals of quality and innovation, it also eagerly anticipates feedback from its customers on how to serve them well. Its success is represented by a product of many years of experience, dedication and resilience and it has infused its customers’ inputs into the production and sales of its products in order to ensure adequate customer satisfaction. Even now, Goodland continues to show its unflinching dedication to meeting the needs of the amateur, expert and beekeeping hobbyist.
The Goodland Bee Supply 3-Tier Bee Hive Kit is a 10-frame Langstroth design made from durable and kiln-dried pine. It includes all the basic necessities of a starter’s kit that makes for a great and rewarding beekeeping. It has a fully telescoping cover that covers the top of the hive to ensure that the hive is protected from the elements while its inner cover makes an air-tight space with the telescoping cover to provide insulation for the hive and the bees.
This kit also has 2 brood chambers which is where the bees live and build their honeycomb. Moreover, this kit has a living space exclusive to royalty called the queen excluder. Because the queen bee is too large to go through the excluder, the queen excluder has been included to keep her in the brood chambers and also prevent her from laying eggs in the super so that only honey is produced.
This kit has 2 deep hive boxes and a shallow hive boxes placed on top of the deep hive boxes. Each of the deep hive boxes has 10 frames while the shallow hive box has 10 small frames all made from pine wood. These frames provide a frame in the beehive to hold the honeycomb. It can be removed so that you can be sure your bees haven’t been infected with pathogens. You can also remove it to extract honey.
Its pierce waxed foundations fit the wooden frames perfectly, which makes it even easier to use. These foundations are coated with 100% beeswax which makes them resistant to the notorious wax moths whose aim is to destroy your hive and upset your bees.
Goodland offers many more hive kits and they include:
Award-winning Apimaye is a company of bee engineers and scientists. It was introduced into the US by a bee-loving family: an erudite beekeeping father who happens to be a world-renowned professor in beekeeping, his wife, a beekeeper and engineer, and his child who is also a beekeeper and an engineer. Apimaye constantly engages with its customers and provides solutions to their beekeeping needs. Its strengths lie in its wealth of experience in apiculture and its prompt delivery of innovative solutions that help the everyday beekeeper. Apimaye is always ready to provide answers to customers and beekeepers who may be struggling with their apiary.
Apimaye’s Langstroth-size Bee Hive Set is one of the easiest hive kits to work with. It’s suitable for experts and beginners alike. You should really have no worries when it comes to assembly because it comes fully assembled so that you can get on with beekeeping as soon as your order is delivered to you. You also don’t need to paint this hive because it comes completely painted in orange and a few highlights of green. It’s also available in a white top cover, which works better for warmer climates.
This beehive provides adequate ventilation and double insulation to keep the bees warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Its heavy-duty and UV-resistant plastic construction makes it durable and resistant to impact and harmful heat rays from the sun. The material used in its construction is of the highest food grade so that it’s suitable for the purpose – beekeeping.
This kit, unlike wooden hive kits, doesn’t absorb moisture which may create an environment for bacteria and other pathogens to thrive in. At winter, this double insulation helps you control food consumption so that there’s enough food for the bees and at springtime, this kit makes beekeeping productive by stimulating colony growth.
Although this kit, doesn’t come with frames of its own, it allows you to use plastic or wooden frames that’ll fit its Langstroth size perfectly. Moreover, frames of this kind can also be used interchangeably in the hive.
It features an entrance reducer keeps rodents out, prevents looting and provides a lock system for security and safety reasons at winter. Its standard screened bottom board with ventilation slots helps to fight moths and mites and also prevent moisture buildup in the hive so that the bees don’t die or get infected with diseases. This bottom drawer also has a pollen collector so that you can trap fresh pollen from the bees which eventually fall into the bottom drawer.
If you want a bee or queen entrance or ventilation in the brood boxes and supers, you can take advantage of the multifunctional slots on the boxes and super to achieve any of these. In the event that you want to unite 2 colonies or divide a colony, you can use its specially-designed division board.
What if you don’t have all of the 10 frames that this kit requires? Worry not. This kit features 4 frame spacers on top of the frame area which prevent the frames from shifting or sliding when the kit is being carried.
Feeding the bees without opening the hive or disrupting their activities is easy with the top cover feeder which allows you to feed the bees with syrup or candy whenever you choose.
Finally, this kit also features ergonomic handles which make carrying the hive easy and side latches to secure the super, brood boxes and hive cover together so that they don’t fall off when the hive is being carried.
Apimaye has other beekeeping products for your consideration:
Beekeeping has become a rewarding venture for experts, amateurs, and hobbyists. It’s true that it takes a lot to achieve such success, but it’s definitely worth the try. Apart from the fact that bees produce the sweetest thing ever, beekeeping in itself has grown to many scales of lucrative businesses for those who choose to sell the honey. But having the right bee hive kit is the first step to the wonders of beekeeping.
The traditional bee hive kit readily appeals to someone who has a penchant for nature. So he goes for an unassembled or DIY kit; there’s the extra thought on a little carpentry with a hammer and a number of nails from his toolbox, but he isn’t befuddled by this little step on his journey to sweet greatness. So he goes for the wooden hive kit and begins his beekeeping. A few swarms, the right information, a complete protective outfit and the right attitude set him on the right path and, in a matter of no time, he has the honey! That’s the reward of doing the right thing with the right tools and the right information
But that’s not all he earns. He also gets the satisfaction of having sent out the honey into the market where people use it for such things as skin care treatments, antioxidants, beeswax cosmetics and allergy relievers.
He goes to bed every night knowing that there are many people out there who have found answers to their problems and solutions to their needs by his decision to make the right choice.
This is the story of a man who made the right choice of a bee hive kit. I know you want such a story as this to be told about you. But the first chapter of that story is about the right choice of a bee hive kit. So, come along and let’s help you write that story.
Quality comes at a higher price than sub-standard goods do. That’s why we’ve left out the cheap bee hive kits from our product review. We realized that the best these low-quality hive kits can give you is a year’s worth of beekeeping with hassles and regrets. Because you matter, we’ve kept our selection within a price range that’ll give you great value for your money.
It’s also important to note that, among many other reasons, one reason there are variations in the prices of bee hive kits is the number of accessories each has. So, fully-accessorized bee hive kits tend to be pricier than less-accessorized ones is a no-brainer. Nonetheless, bee hive kits generally fall into the price range of between $20 and $770.
Great beekeeping starts with the right bee hive set, and if you’re starting out or simply honing your skills, you need to look out for the features that make a good hive kit. These features include:
Most beehives arrive unassembled, which makes the shipping process simpler and shipping costs relatively less for you. Depending on how many components the hive kit has, it may take you 30 minutes to 1 hour to assemble it and a hammer and the required number of nails will do the magic. Assembled hive kits, on the other hand, usually require little to no assembly to have it set up, but many beekeepers think an assembled hive kit doesn’t justify the shipping costs they have to pay. The frames and foundations may also come assembled or unassembled. You may also want to factor this in before you order that kit.
Hives are often made from wood or heavy-duty plastic. It’s more common to see wooden hives because they’re sturdier and their parts are easy to come by, in case the need to replace them arises. Some people prefer the wooden hives because of the natural feel to it. On the flip side, wooden hives have a fair chance of retaining moisture which makes them susceptible to fungus growth, but we’ll root for their durability any day. This isn’t to say that plastic hives aren’t durable. Provided they are made with heavy-duty plastic, you shouldn’t worry about the durability of a plastic hive. They’re also lighter and sometimes infused with UV-resistance that shields the hive from harmful sun rays.
Langstroth sized hives are the most common. These type of hives have the same (Langstroth) width and length dimensions of 1-3/8 inches and 19 inches respectively. Of the 4 hive boxes, the deep bodies are the deepest while comb supers are the shallowest. So the number and dimensions of supers and brood boxes matter in your choice of a hive kit because this information determines how much real estate your bees will have. More space, more bees.
Why would a creature that produces the sweetest thing ever, sting so bad, and so painfully? While you’re figuring out an answer to that question, do yourself a favor and ensure you visit the hive fully-protected or you’ll have a sad story to tell. Bee hive kits may come with all, some or none of the protective equipment you need to put on before you visit the hive, which means you may have to buy some of these necessities separately.
So the question is: what should your protective wear include? Your hand will probably visit the hive before the rest of your body does, which is why you should ensure you wear sting-resistant gloves each time you need to go to the hive. This isn’t to say that the rest of your body becomes magically clad in Iron Man’s suit. You should also protect your head! Oh, yes, we know wearing a veil attached to a beekeeper’s jacket will make you look like you’re going to the moon and not a bee’s hive but it’s better safe than sorry, don’t you think? Errm… don’t even think about it. Just do it!
Now with the veils.
Some may form a cylindrical shape around your head while some have a vertical front form, known as the ‘fencing veil’. The choice is yours! But be sure that, if the veil is a standalone type, it has a clear fastening with the jacket or it’ll be leeway for wandering bees. Rarely do bees sting through a veil. Nonetheless, it’s better when the veil is held away from your face than when it’s close to it to prevent such an occurrence.
Pants and boots are also in the protection mix but there are reports of beekeepers who prefer wearing their regular jeans and sneakers. This info is for free: a determined worker bee can penetrate heavy-duty jeans and into your skin, so you may need to think twice on jeans.
So, what to do? Go foolproof by selecting a full body suit that’s bigger than your body size for your safety, proper ventilation and easy movement. And ensure the bottom and wrists of your body suit are tucked into your boots and gloves.
Guides and instructions….
If you’re a newbie, you’ll definitely need a beekeeping guide. This means a hive kit with a beekeeper’s guide will be an awesome blessing to you. It should help you with the basics of beekeeping and hive maintenance. In addition, except you double as a rookie handy man or you have one around you, be on the lookout for hive kits that have assembly instructions if you must go for an unassembled kit. If you insist, some unassembled hive kits that don’t have assembly instructions may have a video or two on YouTube.
To paint or not to paint…
Plastic hives come painted, so they don’t form a subject in this discussion. Wooden hives do, although some wooden hives also come painted! This is good news if you don’t like painting, but if you have a color bias, then by all means, get your brushes out. In all your painting, while it’s common to paint beehives made from pine because it extends longevity, it’s quite unnecessary to do the same for cedar beehives. The only (not so compulsory) extra job done on cedar hives is to coat them with Tung oil for a beautiful polish and protection against the elements. Of course, you should be prepared to allow some time for your paint job to dry.
To the components of a bee hive
You either have all or some. Here are a few components that a standard beehive should have:
It’s advisable to go for kits that come with all accessories to prevent buying items that neither match nor fit.