Inside my bee basket.Posted: April 11, 2012
Yesterday, I got all of my beekeeping supplies together and put them in a basket. I had to chuckle to myself because the contents were few, and not what you would normally expect to use to keep bees. There was no bee veil or suit, gloves, no smoker, or hive tool. Most importantly to me, I didn’t spend $125 or more for supplies.
Contents of the basket include:
- Thrifted white men’s dress shirt – $3
- Knife –
stolenborrowed from my kitchen – $0
- Mosquito head net– generally used for hiking – $4
- Hat – worn under the net to help keep the net off my face (found in closet) – $0
- Squirt bottle – used instead of a smoker to encourage bees to fly elsewhere – $3
- Basket –
borrowedstolen from my yarn stash – $0
That’s it! I’m not sure how these tools will work exactly, but I’d rather start out with too few items and add to my basket as I see a need than buy everything I’ve heard beekeepers ‘must have’ only to find out I won’t be using much of it.
I do hope to never use a smoker, and this is why. During my bee studies, the explanation of why Beeks (industry term for beekeepers) use smokers really rubbed me wrong. The idea is if you blow smoke on the bees they will think there is a fire. They rush into their hive, gobble up all the honey they can because they think they have to move elsewhere and then they leave. What that does for the beek is, it occupies the bees and gives them a bigger threat to deal with than a giant poking around in their hive. It also makes sure that the bees are so full of honey that stinging is difficult for them.
I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a terrible practice. I don’t want my time with my bees to be traumatic for them. I can’t imagine that it would be the best for their health and well-being for them to constantly think that their house is going to go up in flames.
Hopefully, a little mist from my squirt bottle will be all that I need to get the girls to fly elsewhere. Maybe I won’t need that at all? I’ve seen other seasoned beeks handle their hives without smoke or water and not be attacked. We shall see. I have no idea really how any of this is going to play out.
Now, I’m not saying this is all I’ll ever use to keep bees. Goodness knows, if I start getting stung up like a honey badger, I’m going to take precautions.