Beekeeping Starter Kits – Your Guide To The Best Kits To Get You Started With Beekeeping

Beekeeper Starter Kit

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One of the great things about beekeeping is that it isn’t an overly expensive hobby to get started with. Yes, there are a few upfront costs but you wouldn’t expect to spend more than a few hundred dollars, at most.

However, you need to make sure that you have the basics otherwise you’ll find that you quickly begin to struggle. But by choosing a beekeeping starter kit, you can feel confident that you’ve got everything you need.

In this guide, I’ll be talking through what makes a good beekeeping starter kit and providing you with some reviews on my favorite kits.

What Is A Beekeeping Starter Kit?

Generally speaking, it should cost around $725 to start beekeeping and this includes all of the running costs in your first year. However, a good beekeeping starter kit doesn’t need to cost anywhere near this with even the most advanced coming in below $200.

A beekeeping starter kit should include all the essential tools for beekeeping. Which kit you choose will depend on your needs as there are some that come complete with a hive whereas others, much more affordable ones, come with the basic beekeeping tools such as a smoker, queen bee clips, and a brush, among other things.

One of the main advantages of purchasing a beekeeping starter kit is that you don’t need to make a long shopping list of items. A lot of people enter into beekeeping with no prior knowledge so they may not be aware of all of the tools needed to get started. But this isn’t a problem when you buy a kit as everything will be included.

A Typical Beekeeper Starter Set

What Should I Look For When Choosing A Beekeeping Starter Kit?

Before I dive into my reviews of some of the best beekeeping starter kits, I’d like to provide you with a little information on what you should be looking for. As I have mentioned, different kits contain different items and some are more versatile than others. So it really pays to assess your options and think carefully before you purchase anything.

Size Of The Kit

As I have touched on already, a lot of the more expensive beekeeping starter kits come with a hive and every tool you could possibly think of. If you’re looking to buy everything in one bundle then these larger kits are going to be your best bet. However, some people may have their heart set on building their own hive from scratch or may have been gifted a hive and some basic equipment by another apiarist. In this case, you might be able to go for one of the smaller kits. It’s all about assessing what you need and choosing a suitably sized kit that contains the things you need.

With that in mind, there is a minimum that you’ll need if you want to have a successful first year of beekeeping and that includes the following:

Type Of Hive

When it comes to choosing a beekeeping starter kit, one of the most important decisions is which type of hive you’d like. There are several different types but the Langstroth hive is perhaps one of the most popular.

One of the main advantages of this type of hive is that it’s very easy to harvest honey once your bees are producing enough. What’s more, the Langstroth hive is designed for maximum productivity and, when it comes to harvesting, easy access means you won’t disturb your queen. Moreover, the parts are all standard so you can share them between hives and, if you ever need to move the setup, this is incredibly easy to do.

There are also top car beehives which are often preferred by newbies because of how easy they are to set up. However, you have to consider that the equipment is not standardized and the chances of the colony being affected by extreme temperatures are much more likely. That said, this is one of the most affordable types of hive and harvesting honey is really easy thanks to the ability to work with one frame at a time.

You might decide on a warre hive which is an excellent choice if you want your colony to be protected as it won’t be affected by extreme heat or cold. The design of the warre hive is totally different to the Langstroth and many would agree that it’s simpler and easier for beginners to use. You don’t really need to intervene and the colony will thrive inside all by itself with impressive honey production. However, harvesting honey is not quite as easy as a Langstroth hive.


It’s worth keeping in mind that some starter kits with a beehive will require assembly while others come fully assembled for you. I personally think that putting your beehive together and painting it is all part of the fun but I understand that there are people out there that want to get started as quickly as possible. In this case, a ready-assembled hive is going to be the best option.

Beekeeping Suits

Many beekeeping starter kits come with protective gear in the form of gloves, a veil, and a suit. It’s recommended that you size up when choosing a beekeeping suit so that you have freedom of movement. Not to mention that you’ll be wearing it over the top of your regular clothes so you’ll need a little extra space.

Kits With Beekeeping Manuals

I personally don’t think there is anything better than joining a beekeeping group as this is a way of talking to people who already know what they’re doing. They can impart their wisdom on you and you’ll often find kind people willing to give you equipment.

However, it’s also good to have a little light bedtime reading in the form of a beekeeping manual. I’d always recommend looking for a kit that contains some sort of literature purely because any information you can get your hands on will be of use to you.

Beekeeping Starter Kits – My Top Picks

The market is bursting with beekeeping starter kits and they all have something different to offer. Using the tips above, you should be able to make an informed decision on the best kit for you but here are some of my personal favorites.

BeeCastle Store 10 Frame Beehive and Supplies Starter Kit

While this is one of the more expensive beekeeping starter kits on the market, it’s great if you’re truly starting from scratch as it has everything you need; including the hive with 10 frames. What’s more, I think this is one of the most beautiful-looking hives with its pine frames that are also very hard-wearing. On top of that, all of the screws you need for assembly are included. That said, I would urge you to consider that putting it together can be a little tricky so allow yourself plenty of time.

The kit also includes a full bee suit and veil. However, I should point out that this is a one-size-fits-all affair so if you’re particularly small or particularly large, you may want to double-check the measurements to ensure it’ll fit comfortably.

One of the things that really impressed me about this kit was the number of tools it has. There’s a bee smoker, which is a must as well as a range of 19 other tools including scrapers, brushes, honey filters, and much more.

Beekeeping Starter Kit And Complete Beekeeping Course

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that this kit doesn’t come with a hive. Considering the price at $129.99, you could argue that this wasn’t great value for money. However, you have to think about the fact that this comes with a wealth of information that is invaluable when it comes to learning how to keep bees.

There are four hours of videos as well as another couple of hours of extended information within the course. It also comes with a workbook and you’ll get a certificate when you’ve completed everything. If you’re like me and love to get stuck into the theory side of things then this is likely the starter kit for you.

However, it also comes with a range of essential beekeeping tools. It’s not as advanced as the BeeCastle kit but it certainly has everything you need and the quality of the tools is not to be sniffed at.

Little Giant 10 Frame Deluxe Beginner Hive Kit

If you’re looking for something that’s super high quality as well as easy to use then this premium kit will be right up your street. It includes all of the necessary equipment to get started including a 10-frame hive.

The Langstroth hive is fully assembled so I think this is a brilliant choice for those who want to get started as quickly as possible without the need for a DIY project. The hive also includes a mite grid for added protection for your bees which I thought was a nice touch.

Where the BeeCastle kit excels in terms of how much you get and the previous kit is great for educating yourself, the Little Giant kit is the perfect balance. As well as all of the basic equipment, the kit also comes with the Beekeeping For Dummies book which is packed with useful information and tips on getting started.

However, there are a couple of downsides to this kit in that there is no queen excluder which is something I’d like to have seen. What’s more, while you do get a veil and gloves, there is no full bee suit so this is something you’ll have to purchase separately.

BeeCastle Beekeeping Supplies Starter Kit

For anyone that already has a hive, spending unnecessary money on a large kit with a hive is just a waste. That’s why I love this supplies kit from BeeCastle that includes everything you need to get started at a very affordable price.

While I do think that this kit has some great tools, one thing that is missing is protective gear. There are gloves included but no bee suit or veil so be sure to add those to your shopping list.

While I do think that this kit has some great tools, one thing that is missing is protective gear. There are gloves included but no bee suit or veil so be sure to add those to your shopping list.

UCAREM Beekeeping Supplies

Throughout these reviews, you’ll have noticed that not all kits come with a bee suit. Moreover, the ones that do are often designed to be worn as a one-size-fits-all. But that’s hardly convenient or comfortable. The great thing about the UCAREM kit is that it not only comes with a full bee suit but there is a choice of sizes.

It features a camo bee suit which will also make you less obvious to the bees, further reducing the risk of upsetting them. It’s also one of the best quality bee suits in a kit I could find and is made from high-quality materials with excellent stitching and secure fastenings. However, as one reviewer points out on Amazon, the camo design makes it more difficult to see any bees that land on you so be sure to check thoroughly when you’re done.

As well as the suit and veil, the kit contains all the tools you will need for your first year of apiculture. This includes clips, a bee finder, a varroa checker, brushes, scrapers, and a whole lot more. For the price, which is less than $100, I’d definitely say that this was one of the best value-for-money kits.

Alternative Beekeeper Start Kits To Compare:

Additional Equipment You’ll Need To Buy

While some of the larger beekeeping starter kits come with a lot of equipment, there are some things that generally are NOT included in any kits. One of those things is bees. You’ll need to source these elsewhere such as online suppliers or local beekeepers.

You’ll also need to make sure that your bees are healthy and using a varroa mite treatment is a must but these typically are not included in your starter kit so be sure to add these to your shopping list.

Additionally, when it comes to winter, you’ll need to prepare the hive and this is usually done with a variety of overwintering tools. These are not usually included in your starter kit but the good news is that you don’t really need to invest in any of this until fall.

Finally, most beekeeping starter kits do not come with honey extraction tools. That said, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll need these in your first year anyway because a new colony will barely make enough honey to sustain itself, never mind provide any extra for you.

Final Thoughts

Getting started with beekeeping isn’t overly expensive. However, there are certain pieces of equipment that you’ll need to get you through your first year and buying them all separately will ultimately mean spending more money than you need to.

The best way to go about obtaining your beekeeping supplies is with a beekeeping starter kit. There are different kits that contain different things so it’s worth shopping about to find something that has everything you need.

From diverse kits with a hive, protective gear and all the tools you’ll need to educational kits that give you a look into beekeeping, there’s something for everyone.