Inside my bee basket.


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
  • Knifestolen borrowed 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
  • Basketborrowed stolen 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.

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6 Comments on “Inside my bee basket.”

  1. Jenn says:

    I never knew that’s why the smoke worked to keep them away from the hive while working with it. I’m excited to get to follow you through this beekeeping journey.

  2. Vanessa says:

    “Like a Honey Badger.” ❤ it!!!
    I like your approach, my mom said when she was a kid they had bee hives and she would go and sit and play with the bees, and let them crawl all over her hands and arms, only got stung if she freaked out when one got inside her clothes.

    • 😀 That’s what I’m hoping for Vanessa. My understanding is that if you can calm yourself and be still inside, move slowly and be respectful to the bees then you’ll be fine. I hope I can find (or allow) that stillness inside myself.

  3. yours bees will be lucky to have you and your spray bottle!!! and high five on not spending a fortune on your gear! can’t wait to hear how the zen approach works. bees have never alarmed me at all…a whole hive would take some deep breathing, but i think that must be half the fun! a sort of jedi mindset!

    • Thank you Ivey! I hope my Zen approach does work. It’s really the only plan that I have. I’ll have to remember the Jedi mindset before going out to the bees. That’s the best term for it yet.


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