Do you have a beekeeper in your life?
If you’re wondering what to get them for a gift, I have a few ideas …
The first is: practically one of everything in the bee supply catalog. We beekeepers feel that we can never have enough bees. That means we can never have enough hives, queen-rearing equipment, feeders, entrance reducers, nuc boxes, and on and on and on.
On second thought, maybe two of practically everything in the bee supply catalog?
If your budget doesn’t allow for that, most beekeepers always want and need another hive tool. This vital piece of equipment is extremely useful for inspecting bees, cleaning up equipment, and … beheading things—like small hive beetles and wasps. Sure, you could just smash those critters when you find them in a hive, but let’s be honest—beheading them with a hive tool brings an exquisite amount of satisfaction.
When it comes to beekeeping equipment, other than a veil, in my humble opinion, a hive tool is the only other truly essential piece of equipment. So why would a seasoned beekeeper need another?
A hive tool looks innocent enough, but it has the uncanny ability to grow legs and wander away. Hive tools can also hide better than the most elusive queen bee. Even if your beekeeper has several thousand hive tools all ready, you can never have enough. Every time I work bees I spend several head-scratching minutes wondering where the hive tool I JUST HAD IN MY HAND disappeared to.
And hive tools are really good for head scratching as well.
A basic hive tool runs about $5; the one I highly recommend—the one with a j-hook—runs anywhere from $10 to $20. That hook sure makes removing frames easier. (Google j-hook hive tool; they’re widely available.)
Successful beekeeping requires life-long learning, and there will be lots of bee schools in the months ahead for both new-bees and experienced beekeepers alike. As here in the Midwest we typically can’t work our bees for the next several months, gathering with people who are also fascinated with this insect is the next best thing. I highly recommend Kalamazoo’s bee school. Check it out at the home page of this website.
Finally, for your beekeeper or anyone in your life who could use a gentle laugh, appreciates nature, or wants to learn more about bees, here’s a shameless plug for my book: Dronings from a Queen Bee: The First Five Years. The full-color book is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and directly from me, for $10 (soft cover) as well as via e-book. All profits go to Loaves & Fishes, a hunger-addressing charity, a favorite of my late husband’s. Contact me through FB or through www.hubbardhive.com for a copy. I’ve gotten rave reviews from readers (including people I don’t even know! J and non-beekeepers), and for $10, you can spread laughter as well as help the hungry.
Finally, I see there’s in the comments for other blogs that someone is looking for a t-shirt with a bee head on it. While I didn’t go through all three billion things they offer, I did go to cafepress.com and do a search on ‘bees’ – they have so many interesting, fun, true, cute bee-themed items. Two of my favorites are the ‘Varroa Sucks’ line of apparel (I think only beekeepers will get that double entendre) and the ‘Global Swarming’ t-shirt. And who could argue with the ‘Beekeepers Make Better Lovers’ hoodie? J
Charlotte Hubbard; www.hubbardhive.com
on FB: Charlotte Hubbard, Beekeeper and …