Beekeeping Equipment and Supplies

Beekeeping Supplies Delaware

The beekeeping industry in Delaware has been growing steadily over the past few years, with an increasing number of individuals and businesses taking up beekeeping as a hobby or as part of their agricultural operations. With this growth comes the need for a reliable source of beekeeping supplies that can cater to the diverse needs of beekeepers in the state. No matter where you are looking for beekeeping supplies in Delaware, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your beekeeping operation, having the right equipment and resources is essential. In this article, we will explore the various beekeeping supplies available in Delaware and the importance of each in maintaining healthy and productive hives.

Beekeeping in Delaware

  • With its favorable climate and suitable agricultural conditions, Delaware has become a hub for beekeepers.
  • The number of beehives has witnessed a steady increase over the past decade, indicating the growing interest in beekeeping among residents.
  • Delaware is home to approximately 1,500 active beehives.

Beekeeping Equipment

Beekeeping is a practice that requires the right equipment to ensure the well-being of honeybee colonies. Understanding the necessary bee supplies is crucial before embarking on a beekeeping journey.

Beehive Components

Beehive components are essential for managing honeybee colonies and ensuring their well-being. Understanding the various components is crucial for successful beekeeping.

  • Hive Boxes: Hive boxes, also known as supers, serve as the living quarters for honeybees and their honeycombs. Beekeepers can choose from different hive styles, such as Langstroth, top bar, and Warre hives, based on their preferences and the needs of their bees.
  • Frames: Frames provide structural support for the honeycombs, acting as a foundation for brood rearing and honey storage. Properly assembled frames play a key role in the bees’ ability to organize their colony and facilitate beekeeping management.
  • Bottom Boards: Bottom boards act as the base of the beehive, offering stability and ventilation while providing an entrance for the honeybees to come and go freely. They also defend the colony against intruders.
  • Inner Covers and Outer Covers: Inner covers and outer covers provide insulation and protection to the honeybees, completing the structural integrity of the hive. Inner covers add an extra layer of insulation, while outer covers safeguard the hive from harsh weather conditions.

Understanding the essential beekeeping equipment is crucial for the successful management of honeybee colonies. High-quality equipment ensures the well-being of the bees and the harvest of high-quality honey.

Beekeeping Protective Gear:

Beekeeping is a rewarding and beneficial activity, but it comes with its own set of risks, particularly bee stings. To ensure a safe and enjoyable beekeeping experience, it is essential to invest in top-notch protective gear.

Bee Suit: A bee suit is an indispensable piece of protective clothing that offers comprehensive coverage and defense against bee stings. When considering bee suits, there are two primary types to take into account:

  • Canvas Beekeeping Suits: Canvas beekeeping suits are known for their durability and outstanding resistance to bee stings. They provide robust protection for beekeepers, ensuring their safety during beekeeping activities.
  • Ventilated Bee Suits: Crafted with a breathable mesh fabric, ventilated bee suits allow beekeepers to work comfortably in hot weather conditions while still ensuring steadfast protection from bee stings.

Bee Gloves: Selecting the appropriate pair of beekeeping gloves is crucial to safeguarding hands against stings while preserving dexterity. There are two primary options to consider:

  • Goatskin Bee Gloves: Celebrated for their exceptional tactile sensitivity, goatskin bee gloves empower beekeepers to handle delicate tasks with ease while shielding against stings.
  • Cowhide Bee Gloves: With their thick leather construction, cowhide bee gloves provide robust protection, assuring beekeepers’ hands remain safe throughout beekeeping activities.

Beekeeping Boots: Engineered to impede bee access to the feet, beekeeping boots are an essential addition to beekeeping supplies, ensuring that feet remain safeguarded during tending of honey bee colonies.

Beekeeper’s Veil: A dependable beekeeping veil, meticulously created from fine mesh, plays a critical role in shielding the face and neck from bee stings, offering optimal visibility while preventing bee contact with the skin. It’s important to note that many bee suits come equipped with a detachable veil.

Purchasing Options and Considerations

In many instances, beekeepers can procure a combo pack consisting of a bee suit and bee gloves at a discounted price, providing a convenient and cost-effective solution for acquiring indispensable protective clothing for beekeeping.

Beekeeping Suit When Worn 3

Protective gear is an essential aspect of beekeeping, and investing in high-quality bee suits, gloves, boots, and veils is crucial to ensure safety and comfort while tending to honey bee colonies. By understanding the different types of protective gear available and their unique features, beekeepers can make informed decisions to enhance their beekeeping experience.

Beekeeping Tools

Beekeeping in Delaware requires the right tools to ensure the smooth and safe management of hives. Every beekeeper should have these crucial tools in their arsenal to effectively care for their bees and maintain a thriving colony.

  • Hive Tool: The hive tool is an invaluable instrument used for separating and prying apart hive components during inspections. With its flat blade and curved hook design, beekeepers can easily lift frames, scrape off excess propolis, and remove burr comb without causing harm to the bees or equipment.
  • Bee Smoker: The bee smoker is a vital tool for calming honeybees during hive inspections. Emitting cool smoke that masks alarm pheromones, the smoker pacifies the colony and reduces the risk of stings. It also triggers a feeding response in bees, minimizing their inclination to sting. Every beekeeper should keep a smoker and extra fuel on hand for effective hive management.
  • Bee Brush: Designed to protect the well-being of bees, the bee brush allows beekeepers to gently move bees away from specific areas during inspections. Its soft bristles ensure that the bees are not harmed or stressed during the process, preventing unnecessary crushing or injuries and establishing harmonious interaction between beekeepers and their beloved honeybees.
  • Queen Marking Tools: Queen marking tools are essential for identifying and tracking the queen bee within a colony. These tools consist of small, colored markers that can be applied to the queen’s thorax. The color-coded system provides vital information about the queen’s age and year, enabling beekeepers to easily locate and monitor her during hive inspections, ensuring the health and longevity of the colonies.

Delaware-based beekeepers need the right tools for successful hive management. Each of these tools serves a specific purpose, contributing to the well-being of the bees and enhancing the smooth operation of a beekeeping business.

Hive Feeders:

Beekeepers play a crucial role in providing consistent and reliable nourishment to their bees, especially during periods of scarcity or when establishing new colonies.

Hive feeders are essential tools that enable beekeepers to offer supplemental food, such as sugar syrup or pollen substitute, to ensure the bees have the energy necessary to thrive, produce honey, and expand their population.

  • Entrance Feeders: Among the various types of hive feeders, entrance feeders stand as a popular choice among beekeepers. Positioned near the hive entrance, these feeders provide easy access to supplemental food for the bees. They consist of a small container or tray with small holes or slots to prevent drowning while allowing the bees to feed. Known for their simplicity of use and monitoring, entrance feeders cater to beekeepers of all experience levels.
  • Boardman Feeders: Another commonly utilized hive feeder is the Boardman feeder, particularly favored by novice beekeepers. Similar to entrance feeders, they are placed at the hive entrance and feature a small plastic or glass jar with tiny holes or slits on the lid, facilitating easy access for the bees. Boardman feeders are often used with commercially available sugar water mixes and can hold larger volumes of food compared to entrance feeders.
  • Top Feeders: In contrast to entrance and Boardman feeders, top feeders are positioned directly on top of the hive, just below the outer cover. With their larger capacity, top feeders can hold significant amounts of food, making them suitable for feeding larger colonies or when substantial supplemental food is required. Equipped with floats or caps to prevent drowning, this type of feeder allows beekeepers to provide ample food without frequent disturbances to the hive.
  • Division Board Feeders: Division board feeders are typically positioned inside the hive, replacing one or more frames in the brood nest area, ensuring easy access and minimal disruption to the hive’s organization. These feeders can hold liquid feed, such as sugar syrup or pollen substitute, serving as an efficient means of nourishing the bees. They prove particularly useful during unfavorable weather conditions, such as cold or rainy periods, as they reduce bees’ exposure to external elements while ensuring their nutritional needs are met.

By understanding the different types of hive feeders and their functions, beekeepers can effectively support their bees’ nutritional requirements, contributing to the overall health and productivity of the hives.

Feeding Bees

Honey serves as the primary sustenance for honeybees, but there are instances where additional feeding is necessary to ensure their well-being and efficiency.

Sugar Syrup: Sugar syrup is a popular choice for supplementary feeding. It is easily prepared by dissolving granulated sugar in water, making it convenient for beekeepers to provide additional nutrition for their bees. Here are some key considerations when using sugar syrup:

  • Easy Preparation: Making sugar syrup is a simple process that requires the dissolution of granulated sugar in water.
  • Proper Ratios: For spring and summer feeding, a common ratio is 1 part granulated sugar to 1 part water. In the fall, a ratio of 2 parts sugar to 1 part water provides optimal nourishment.
  • Safety First: It is crucial to use only granulated white sugar when preparing sugar syrup. Avoid the use of honey, brown sugar, or other sweeteners.

Pollen Substitute: In times of restricted natural pollen availability, beekeepers can utilize pollen substitutes to fulfill the dietary needs of bees. Commercial options are available and can be mixed with water to provide an alternative source of nutrition for the bees. However, natural pollen obtained from a diverse range of flowers remains the preferred option for honeybee nutrition. Here is a video of a DIY pollen feeder.

Protein Patties: Protein patties are an alternative feeding option to boost the protein intake of bees. These patties are made with a base of soy flour, brewer’s yeast, and essential nutrients, serving as a supplement to the bees’ diet during times of limited natural protein sources.

Probiotic Supplements: Similar to humans, bees benefit from mineral and vitamin supplementation. Many of these supplements contain beneficial microflora that support gut health and immunity in honeybees.

Providing honeybees with a well-rounded diet is crucial for their overall well-being and productivity. While honey remains their primary source of nutrition, additional feeding through sugar syrup, pollen substitutes, and protein patties can be advantageous in ensuring their optimal health.

Pest Control Products for Beekeepers

Beekeepers play a crucial role in protecting honeybee colonies from potential threats and diseases through effective pest control. Implementing proper pest control measures is essential to maintaining the health and productivity of bee colonies. In this article, we will explore the essential pest control products and methods that beekeepers can utilize to safeguard their beekeeping operations.

Varroa Mite Treatments: Varroa mites pose a significant threat to honeybee colonies as they feed on adult bees and their developing brood. It is imperative for beekeepers to prioritize Varroa mite control to ensure colony health and prevent potential demise.

  • Chemical treatments such as oxalic acid and formic acid are commonly used by beekeepers to combat Varroa mite infestations. When applied according to manufacturer instructions, these substances effectively reduce Varroa mite populations in bee hives, minimizing their impact on honeybee colonies.
  • Organic Alternatives for Varroa Mite Control: For beekeepers who prefer natural alternatives, organic treatments for Varroa mite control can be utilized. Thermal treatments, thymol-based products, and essential oils have demonstrated effectiveness in managing Varroa mite infestations, offering an environmentally friendly approach to pest control while delivering positive results.

Wax Moth Control: Wax moths can cause substantial damage to honeybee hives by infesting them and feeding on beeswax comb. Proactive management of wax moth populations is crucial to prevent harm to bee colonies.

  • Chemical Treatments for Wax Moth Control: Paradichlorobenzene and freezing frames are common chemical treatments used to control wax moth infestations in beehives. These methods effectively target and eliminate wax moth populations, reducing the risk of damage to beeswax comb and maintaining overall colony health.

Hive Beetle Control: Hive beetles can infest beehives, causing damage to the brood, honey, and overall colony health. Various methods are employed to combat this pest.

  • Hive Beetle Traps: Beekeepers can utilize various trap designs, including oil-based traps, screen-type traps, or natural traps that utilize diatomaceous earth to effectively control hive beetle populations.
  • Thermal Treatments: Thermal treatments have proven to be an effective method in controlling hive beetles. By subjecting the infested hive to controlled temperatures, the beetles and their larvae can be effectively eliminated, without harming the bees.

By utilizing these pest control products and methods, beekeepers can ensure the safety and success of their bees.

beekeeper supplies Beekeeping Supplies Delaware

Extraction and Processing Equipment

Beekeepers rely on efficient extraction equipment to harvest honey from beehives without compromising its quality. The right tools and machinery are essential for a seamless harvesting process. Here are the key equipment used for extraction and processing:

  • Honey Extractors: Honey extractors are vital for removing honey from honeycomb frames without causing any damage. They utilize centrifugal force to spin the frames, separating honey from the comb. The market offers manual and electric models, each with its own advantages, catering to individual preferences and harvesting needs.
  • Uncapping Tools: Uncapping tools such as uncapping knives, electric uncapping knives, or uncapping forks are indispensable for removing wax caps from cells before placing frames in the honey extractor. These tools ensure an efficient and effective honey extraction process.
  • Honey Filters: Honey filters, also referred to as honey strainers or sieves, are crucial for maintaining high-quality honey by removing impurities and debris. Equipped with fine mesh screens, these filters trap unwanted particles while allowing the pure honey to pass through, guaranteeing clarity and purity in the harvested honey.
  • Honey Buckets: Food-grade buckets are the ideal storage option for extracted and filtered honey. Manufactured from food-safe materials and featuring airtight lids, these buckets ensure the freshness of the honey and prevent contamination.
  • Wax Melters: Wax melters are essential for efficiently extracting and purifying beeswax, allowing beekeepers to maximize resources and minimize waste, contributing to the overall success of beekeeping operations.
  • Bottling Supplies: These include jars, lids, labels, and honey dispensers to ensure proper storage and presentation of honey.

Having the right equipment ensures the success of honey extraction and storage, ultimately contributing to the overall success of beekeeping operations.

Advanced Beekeeping Equipment

Beekeeping is a sophisticated and intricate art that relies heavily on the use of advanced equipment to ensure the well-being and high productivity of bee colonies. Advanced beekeeping equipment plays a crucial role in revolutionizing traditional beekeeping practices, providing hive management solutions that enhance efficiency, productivity, and the overall health of the bee colonies.

  • Queen Excluder: The queen excluder is a fundamental tool for advanced beekeepers, essential for efficient honey extraction and maintaining a hygienic environment within the bee colony. Typically made of a grid or mesh material, the queen excluder is strategically positioned between the brood chamber and honey supers to control the queen’s movements, allowing worker bees to pass through while keeping the queen separated.
  • Queen Rearing Supplies: Maintaining a thriving bee colony requires the use of advanced queen rearing supplies such as queen cages, grafting tools, and mating nucs. These specialized tools and equipment are indispensable for nurturing replacement queens and supporting the overall growth and development of the bee colony, contributing to the strength and health of the queen bee.
  • Pollen Traps: Pollen traps are crucial in collecting pollen for the nourishment of bee colonies. Utilizing advanced traps ensures efficient pollen collection while preserving the integrity of the hive, supporting the nutritional needs of the bee colony and contributing to its overall well-being.
  • Honey Refractometer: Honey refractometers are valuable devices for accurately measuring the moisture content of harvested honey. By ensuring optimal moisture levels, this tool safeguards the quality and longevity of honey, protecting it against fermentation and spoilage, and maintaining its high standard.
  • Propolis Traps: Propolis traps are essential for maintaining clean hive conditions and promoting bee colony health. These advanced traps efficiently gather propolis while supporting a hygienic environment within the hive, contributing to the overall well-being of the bee colony.
  • Hive Monitoring Devices: Hive monitoring devices equipped with sensors and probes integrate technology with beekeeping, offering valuable insights into colony conditions. Providing essential data on parameters such as hive temperature and humidity levels, these devices empower beekeepers to make informed decisions and prioritize the health and productivity of their bees.

Advanced beekeeping equipment revolutionizes traditional beekeeping practices by enhancing efficiency, productivity, and the overall well-being of bee colonies. From controlling the queen’s movements to supporting queen rearing and harnessing data-driven insights, the utilization of advanced tools elevates beekeeping practices and promotes successful beekeeping operations.

Where to Buy Bees in Delaware

Are you in search of places to purchase bees and nucleus hives (nucs) in Delaware? Look no further. Below are some of the top locations to buy queen bees, packaged bees, and nucs in the state.

  • Bee Clubs: Local bee clubs can serve as valuable connections to reputable suppliers of queen bees, packaged bees, and nucs. These trusted sources ensure the quality and health of the bees you wish to purchase.
  • Local Breeders: Another option for purchasing bees in Delaware is to buy directly from local breeders. This allows you to inspect the bees and their living conditions before making a purchase, ensuring the quality and health of your bees.
  • Online Sources: For those unable to find bees locally, online suppliers provide the convenience of purchasing bees from the comfort of your home. However, it is crucial to research and select a reliable supplier to ensure the quality of the bees. Be cautious of purchases from Craigslist as many are old queens, come with substandard equipment, and some may have diseases.
  • Farm Supply Stores: Another option for sourcing beekeeping supplies in Delaware is through farm supply stores. These stores typically carry a range of agricultural and livestock-related products, including beekeeping equipment.
  • Beekeeping Conferences and Events: Beekeeping conferences and events often feature bee suppliers, making them another avenue for purchasing bees and nucs. These events also provide opportunities to learn from experts in the field.

When purchasing bees in Delaware, options include local bee clubs, breeders, online sources, farm supply stores, and beekeeping conferences. It is important to thoroughly vet suppliers and inspect the bees and their living conditions before making a purchase.

State Association

The state association is the Delaware Beekeepers Association.

Local bee clubs in Delaware:

  • Lewes Beekeeping Club
  • University of Delaware Beekeeping Club

Tips for Choosing the Right Beekeeping Supplies

Whether you are a seasoned beekeeper or just starting out, the quality of the supplies you choose can make a significant difference in the outcome of your beekeeping operation. Here are some essential tips to consider when selecting the right beekeeping supplies.

  • Quality of Equipment: Investing in high-quality beekeeping equipment is essential for the overall success of your beekeeping venture. Durable and well-made supplies are more likely to withstand the test of time and provide a better experience for both the bees and the beekeeper. High-quality equipment can also contribute to the health and productivity of the bee colony.
  • Compatibility with Hive: Different types of hives may require specific equipment, so it’s important to consider the compatibility of the supplies with the type of hive being used. Factors to consider include the size of frames and the type of foundation. Choosing supplies that are compatible with the hive can streamline the beekeeping process and contribute to the overall efficiency and productivity of the colony.
  • Pricing: While cost is a consideration, it’s important to strike a balance between affordability and quality when choosing beekeeping supplies. Opting for supplies based solely on price may lead to less effective equipment, while overspending on unnecessary items may not be the best use of resources. It’s essential to consider the value and long-term benefits of the supplies when making purchasing decisions.
  • Durability: Beekeeping equipment is subject to wear and tear from regular use and exposure to the elements. Choosing supplies that can withstand these challenges will offer a longer lifespan and better value for the investment. Durable equipment is essential for the ongoing maintenance and management of the bee colony.

Choosing the right beekeeping supplies is essential for the success and sustainability of a beekeeping operation. By considering the quality, compatibility, pricing, durability, and suitability for the local climate and environment, beekeepers can ensure the well-being of their bees and the overall success of their beekeeping venture.


Obtaining high-quality beekeeping supplies is crucial for the success and well-being of your bee colony. Whether you choose to visit local beekeeping supply stores or prefer the convenience of online suppliers, Delaware offers numerous options to meet your beekeeping needs.

Additionally, joining local beekeeping associations and participating in meetup groups can provide valuable guidance and support throughout your beekeeping journey. By investing in the right beekeeping supplies and staying connected with the beekeeping community, you can ensure a fulfilling and productive experience as a beekeeper in Delaware.


Which kind of protective clothing should I wear while beekeeping?

  • To protect yourself from stings, it is recommended to wear a full beekeeping suit made of durable, breathable fabric. Pair it with thick gloves, a hat with a veil, and sturdy boots. Adequate protective clothing is crucial for maintaining your safety during hive inspections and honey collection.

Why is it important to use quality beekeeping supplies?

  • Using high-quality beekeeping supplies is crucial for ensuring the health and productivity of your beehives. They provide a safe environment for the bees, help prevent diseases and pests, and facilitate effective management of the colonies, enabling you to optimize honey production.

Where can I find reliable Beekeeping Supplies in Delaware?

  • There are numerous places to find bee supplies in Beekeeping Delaware. You can check out local beekeeping supply stores, agricultural supply centers, or even online platforms dedicated to beekeeping equipment. It’s important to choose reliable sources that offer high-quality products to ensure the success of your beekeeping venture.

What is a smoker, and why is it important in beekeeping?

  • A smoker is a tool that produces cool, white smoke, which helps calm the bees during hive inspections. The smoke masks alarm pheromones and encourages the bees to peacefully retreat deeper into the hive. It is an essential device for effectively managing and working with your hive.

How should I choose beekeeping protective clothing?

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  • When selecting beekeeping protective clothing, prioritize safety and comfort. Look for a full-body suit or jacket made of durable, lightweight fabric that provides ample protection against bee stings. Ensure that the clothing has a veil or hood that securely covers your face and neck, as those are particularly sensitive areas. Additionally, gloves, beekeeping boots, and a hat can further enhance your protection.

Are there online sources for purchasing beekeeping supplies in Delaware?

  • Yes, there are online suppliers that offer the convenience of purchasing bees from the comfort of your home, but thorough research is needed to ensure the quality of the bees.

What honey harvesting equipment do I need?

  • To harvest honey, you will require a few key tools. These include a fume board or escape board to clear bees from honey supers, a bee brush to gently remove bees from frames, a honey extractor to spin out honey, and suitable containers for storage, such as jars and bottles.

What should I look for in a beekeeping supplier?

  • When you are looking for the best beekeeping supplies in Beekeeping Supplies Delaware, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First of all, you want to make sure that the beekeeping supplies you purchase are of the highest quality. It is also important to make sure that you are buying supplies from a reputable beekeeping supplier.

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