Beekeeping Information

Beekeeping Supplies Hawaii

Beekeeping has become increasingly popular in Hawaii in recent years, as more people become aware of the vital role that bees play in our ecosystem. Whether you are a seasoned beekeeper or just starting out, having the right supplies and equipment is crucial to the success of your hive.

In this article, we will explore the various beekeeping supplies available in Hawaii and the importance of each in maintaining healthy and productive hives.

No matter where you are looking for beekeeping supplies in Hawaii, we’ve got you covered.

Beekeeping Equipment

When it comes to beekeeping, having the right equipment is essential for the health and productivity of your hive.

  • Hive components such as bottom boards, supers, frames, and covers are necessary for providing a safe and comfortable home for your bees.
  • Protective gear, including veils, suits, and gloves, is crucial for keeping you safe while working with the bees.
  • Tools and accessories such as smokers, hive tools, and bee brushes make hive inspections and maintenance much easier.
  • Extracting and bottling equipment like honey extractors, strainers, and bottles are essential for harvesting and storing your honey.
  • Feeding and medication supplies, such as feeders and treatments, are crucial for providing nutrition and controlling pests and diseases within the hive.

Beekeeping in Hawaii

  • Hawaii has a reputation for producing some of the world’s rarest and most exquisite honeys, such as the famed Lehua honey.
  • Hawaii also holds a significant position in the global beekeeping industry as one of the largest queen producers in the world. The islands supply approximately 25% of all queens shipped to the Mainland United States and an impressive 75% of the queens sent to Canada.
  • Hawaii ranks 19th in the United States in honey production, with an annual yield of 1,400,000 pounds.

Beehive Components:

Beekeeping is an essential and fulfilling practice that requires the proper equipment to ensure the well-being of honeybee colonies. Before embarking on a journey in beekeeping, it is crucial to understand the necessary bee supplies.

Hive Boxes: The Living Quarters for Honeybees – Hive boxes, also known as supers, are among the most vital components of a beehive. They serve as the living quarters for honeybees and their honeycombs. Beekeepers have the option to choose from different hive styles, such as Langstroth, top bar, and Warre hives, based on their preferences and the needs of their bees.

Frames: Providing Structural Support – Frames, suspended within each hive box, provide structural support for the honeycombs and serve 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: Offering Stability and Ventilation – 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 serve as a defense mechanism against intruders.

Inner Covers and Outer Covers: Completing the Hive Structure – Completing the structural integrity of the hive, inner covers and outer covers provide insulation and protection to the honeybees. Inner covers add an extra layer of insulation, while outer covers safeguard the hive from harsh weather conditions, including rain, snow, and wind.

Having high-quality hive boxes, frames, bottom boards, inner covers, and outer covers is essential for successful hive management. It is crucial to accommodate various stages of bee colony growth and maintain the comfort and productivity of honeybees.

Protective Clothing:

Beekeeping is a rewarding and fulfilling activity, but it’s important to prioritize safety and protection while tending to your honey bee colonies. One critical aspect of beekeeping is acquiring top-notch protective clothing.

Bee Suit: A bee suit stands as an invaluable piece of protective clothing, offering indispensable defense against bee stings and ensuring comprehensive coverage during beekeeping undertakings. When choosing a bee suit, beekeepers have two primary options to consider:

Professional Beekeeping Suit and Goatskin Gloves
  • Canvas Beekeeping Suits: Known for their durability and outstanding resistance to bee stings, canvas beekeeping suits provide robust protection for beekeepers.
  • Ventilated Bee Suits: Crafted with a breathable mesh fabric, ventilated bee suits afford beekeepers the ability to work comfortably in hot weather conditions, while still ensuring steadfast protection from bee stings.

Bee Gloves: The selection of the appropriate pair of beekeeping gloves is crucial to safeguarding hands against stings while preserving dexterity. Beekeepers can choose from two primary options:

  • 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 comprise an essential addition to beekeeping supplies, ensuring that feet remain safeguarded during tending of honey bee colonies.

Beekeepers 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.

Purchasing Options and Considerations

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

Investing in superior-quality protective gear is pivotal for beekeepers to guarantee safety and comfort during their beekeeping endeavors. Acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the diverse options available for bee suits, gloves, boots, and veils empowers beekeepers to make informed decisions that will elevate their beekeeping journey.

Beekeeping Tools

Beekeeping in Hawaii requires the use of specific tools to effectively manage hives and ensure the safety of honeybees. Here are some of the most crucial beekeeping tools that every beekeeper should have in their arsenal.

  • 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 effortlessly lift frames, scrape off excess propolis, and remove burr comb. The sturdy construction of the hive tool ensures that beekeepers can efficiently dismantle and reassemble their hives without causing harm to the bees or equipment.
  • Bee Smoker: The bee smoker is a must-have tool for calming honeybees during hive inspections. It significantly aids beekeepers by making their work easier and safer. By emitting cool smoke that masks the alarm pheromones released by guard bees, the smoker helps pacify the colony and minimizes the risk of stings. In addition, the smoke triggers a feeding response in bees, reducing their inclination to sting. For effective hive management, every beekeeper should keep a smoker and extra fuel on hand.
  • Bee Brush: Designed with the utmost care for the bees’ well-being, 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. This tool keeps the bees calm and prevents unnecessary crushing or injuries, establishing harmonious interaction between beekeepers and their cherished honeybees.
  • Queen Marking Tools: Queen marking tools are essential for identifying and tracking the queen bee within a colony. These tools usually consist of small, colored plastic or metal markers that can be applied to the queen’s thorax. The color-coded system established by beekeeping associations provides vital information about the queen’s age and year, enabling beekeepers to easily locate and monitor her during hive inspections. This reduces the risk of accidentally harming or misplacing the queen while effectively ensuring the health and longevity of the colonies.

Having the right beekeeping tools is indispensable for successful hive management in Hawaii. 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: Providing Vital Nourishment for Bees

Beekeepers play a crucial role in ensuring that their bees have a consistent and reliable source of food. While bees typically gather nectar and pollen from flowers, there are instances when supplemental feeding becomes necessary, especially during times of scarcity or when establishing new colonies.

Hive feeders are essential tools that empower beekeepers to offer vital nourishment to their bees. These feeders are specifically designed to hold various types of supplemental food, such as sugar syrup or pollen substitute, which can be readily consumed by the bees. By providing an accessible and controlled source of nutrition, hive feeders are instrumental in ensuring that bee colonies have the energy necessary to thrive, produce honey, and expand their population.

Types of Hive Feeders

  • Entrance Feeders: Entrance feeders are a popular choice among beekeepers, positioned near the hive entrance to grant 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: The Boardman feeder is another commonly utilized hive 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 for Health and Productivity

Beekeeping is a delicate art, and ensuring the proper nutrition of honeybees is crucial for their well-being and efficiency. While honey is the primary sustenance for bees, there are instances where supplemental feeding becomes necessary to support their health and productivity.

Sugar Syrup: Sugar syrup has become a popular choice as a supplementary feeding option for honeybees. It is a simple and readily available source of nourishment that can be prepared by dissolving granulated sugar in water. Here are some key considerations for beekeepers:

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

Pollen Substitute: Overcoming Natural Constraints – During periods of limited natural pollen sources, a pollen substitute can be invaluable in meeting the dietary requirements of bees. These substitutes can provide the necessary protein intake that may be lacking in the bees’ diet. Commercially available pollen substitutes can be easily mixed with water to form a patty-like consistency, offering an alternative source of nutrition for the bees. However, it is important to note that 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: Boosting Protein Intake – Protein patties are another effective alternative to supplement the protein intake of bees. Made with a base of soy flour, brewer’s yeast, and essential nutrients, these patties can be placed directly in the hive to support the bees’ diet during times of limited natural protein sources.

Supplements: Mineral and Vitamin Supplementation to Support Bee Health – Similar to humans, bees can benefit from mineral and vitamin supplementation. Commercially available mineral mixes or homemade solutions containing vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin C can be added to sugar syrup or sprinkled directly onto the hive frames to ensure the well-rounded diet of the honeybees.

Providing honeybees with a diverse and well-rounded diet is essential 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 supporting their optimal health.

Pest Control Products for Beekeepers: Keeping Honeybee Colonies Safe and Healthy

Beekeepers understand the critical importance of effective pest control in protecting honeybee colonies from potential threats and diseases. Preserving the health and productivity of these colonies is paramount, necessitating proactive measures to combat pests and ensure the well-being of the bees.

Varroa Mite Treatments: Varroa mites pose a significant threat to honeybee colonies as they feed on adult bees and their developing brood. The management and control of Varroa mites are imperative to maintain colony health and prevent their decline.

  • Chemical Treatments for Varroa Mites: Chemical treatments, including oxalic acid and formic acid, are commonly utilized to control Varroa mite infestations. When administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions, these substances effectively reduce Varroa mite populations in bee hives and minimize their impact on honeybee colonies.
  • Organic Alternatives for Varroa Mite Control: For beekeepers seeking natural alternatives, organic treatments for Varroa mite control present viable options. 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 wreak havoc on honeybee hives by infesting them and consuming beeswax comb, making proactive management of wax moth populations essential to prevent harm to bee colonies.

  • Chemical Treatments for Wax Moth Control: Chemical treatments such as paradichlorobenzene and freezing frames are commonly employed 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 Inspections for Wax Moth Prevention: Regular hive inspections serve as a key preventive measure for managing wax moth infestations. Active monitoring of bee hives and early identification of potential signs of wax moth activity enable beekeepers to take swift action to address and prevent infestations before they escalate.

Hive Beetle Control: Hive beetles can cause damage to honeybee colonies by infesting beehives, impacting the brood, honey, and overall colony health. Various methods are used to combat this pest.

  • Hive Beetle Traps: Various trap designs are available, such as oil-based traps, screen-type traps, or natural traps utilizing diatomaceous earth.
  • Thermal Treatments: Thermal treatments involving controlled temperatures of 102°F to 105°F (38.9°C to 40.6°C) have proven to be effective in controlling hive beetles, eliminating them and their larvae without harming the bees.

By implementing these pest control products and methods, beekeepers can ensure the safety and success of their bees, preserving their colonies and supporting the essential role of honeybees in the ecosystem.

Honey Extraction and Processing Equipment

Beekeepers rely on the correct extraction equipment to efficiently harvest honey from their beehives. The following tools and equipment are essential for a successful honey extraction process:

  • Honey Extractors: Honey extractors are specially designed to remove honey from honeycomb frames without causing damage. They utilize centrifugal force to spin the frames, separating honey from the comb. There are manual and electric models available, each offering unique advantages suited to individual preferences and harvesting needs.
  • Uncapping Tools: Uncapping tools, such as uncapping knives, electric uncapping knives, or uncapping forks, are essential for removing the wax caps from cells before placing frames in the honey extractor. These tools facilitate an efficient and effective honey extraction process.
  • Honey Filters: Honey filters, also known as honey strainers or sieves, are crucial for ensuring 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. Using honey filters guarantees purity and clarity in the harvested honey.
  • Honey Buckets: Honey buckets are ideal for storing extracted and filtered honey. Made of food-safe materials and featuring airtight lids, these food-grade buckets ensure the freshness and prevent contamination of the honey.
  • Wax Melters: Wax melters play a crucial role in efficiently extracting and purifying beeswax. They help beekeepers 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.

Using the right extraction equipment is crucial for beekeepers to have an efficient and effective honey harvesting process. Honey extractors, uncapping tools, honey filters, honey buckets, and wax melters all play crucial roles in maintaining high-quality honey and minimizing waste.

Advanced Beekeeping Equipment

Beekeeping is a delicate and complex practice that requires the use of advanced equipment to prioritize the health and productivity of bee colonies.

  • Queen Excluder: The queen excluder is a pivotal tool for managing a bee colony by controlling the movements of the queen within the hive. It serves as a strategic barrier, separating the brood chamber from honey supers, allowing worker bees unrestricted movement while preventing the queen from entering restricted zones. The implementation of a queen excluder facilitates honey extraction and maintains a hygienic environment within the hive.
  • Queen Rearing Supplies: Maintaining a thriving bee colony requires the utilization of advanced queen rearing supplies. These specialized supplies, from queen cups to protective cell covers and precision grafting tools, play a crucial role in nurturing replacement queens and supporting the growth of the colony.
  • Pollen Traps: Pollen traps are vital in collecting pollen for the nourishment of bee colonies. Advanced traps ensure efficient pollen collection while preserving the integrity of the hive.
  • Honey Refractometer: The honey refractometer is a valuable device for accurately measuring the moisture content of harvested honey. By ensuring optimal moisture levels, this tool safeguards the quality and longevity of honey, protecting against fermentation and spoilage.
  • Propolis Traps: Propolis traps are essential for maintaining hive hygiene and health. These advanced traps efficiently gather propolis while promoting a hygienic environment within the hive.
  • Hive Monitoring Devices: Integrating technology with beekeeping, hive monitoring devices equipped with sensors and probes offer valuable insights into colony conditions. These devices provide essential data on parameters such as hive temperature and humidity levels, empowering beekeepers to make informed decisions and prioritize the health and productivity of their bees.

Advanced beekeeping equipment revolutionizes beekeeping practices by enhancing efficiency, productivity, and the well-being of bee colonies. From managing 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.

Tips for Maintaining Beekeeping Supplies

Beekeeping supplies play a crucial role in the success of beekeeping operations. Proper maintenance of these supplies is essential to ensure their longevity and functionality.

  • Proper Storage and Maintenance: To prevent damage and deterioration, it is crucial to store beekeeping supplies in a dry and secure location. Proper storage can significantly extend the lifespan of these supplies. Additionally, regular maintenance practices, such as cleaning and oiling, are essential to ensure their longevity and functionality.
  • Regular Cleaning and Inspection: Regular cleaning and inspection of beekeeping supplies are vital to ensure they are in good working condition and free from contaminants. This practice is essential for maintaining hygiene and functionality.
  • Upgrading and Replacing Worn-Out Equipment: Over time, beekeeping supplies may become worn out and require replacement. Upgrading to newer and more efficient equipment benefits both the bees and the beekeeper. Regularly assessing the condition and replacing worn-out equipment ensures smoother operations.
  • New Technologies: Staying informed about advancements in beekeeping technologies is crucial. Keeping up with new technologies can improve beekeeping practices, enhancing operations and efficiency.
  • Resourcefulness: In some cases, beekeepers may need to find creative and do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions to overcome challenges or meet specific equipment needs. Being resourceful and finding innovative solutions ensures the smooth functioning of beekeeping activities.

Where to Purchase Bees in Hawaii

Looking to purchase bees and nucleus hives (nucs) in Hawaii? Whether you’re a seasoned beekeeper or just starting out, finding a reliable source for bees is crucial. Here are some of the best places to purchase queen bees, packaged bees, and nucs in the state:

  • Bee Clubs: Local bee clubs are a valuable resource for connecting with reputable suppliers of queen bees, packaged bees, and nucs. These clubs work with trusted sources that ensure the quality and health of the bees you purchase.
  • Local Breeders: Purchasing bees directly from local breeders allows you to inspect the bees and their living conditions before making a purchase. This hands-on approach gives you peace of mind and ensures the quality of the bees you bring home.
  • Online Sources: For those unable to find bees locally, online suppliers offer the convenience of purchasing bees from the comfort of your home. However, it is crucial to research and choose a reliable supplier to ensure the quality of the bees.
  • Farm Supply Stores: Farm supply stores are another option for sourcing beekeeping supplies in Hawaii. 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 gatherings also provide opportunities to learn from experts in the field and connect with fellow beekeepers.

Whether you prefer local, hands-on sourcing or the convenience of online shopping, there are several options for purchasing bees in Hawaii. By connecting with reputable suppliers and staying informed about best practices, you can ensure the health and success of your beekeeping endeavors.

State Association

beekeeping supplies in Beekeeping Supplies Hawaii

The state association is the Hawai`i Beekeepers’ Association.

Here is a list of local bee clubs in Hawaii:

  • Big Island Beekeepers Association
  • Hawaii Veterans Beekeeping Program
  • Oahu Buzz Beekeeping Club


Beekeeping supplies in Hawaii are diverse and essential for the success of beekeepers at all levels. By utilizing the right supplies and understanding the specific needs of their apiary and the local environment, beekeepers can ensure the health and productivity of their bees, as well as their own success and satisfaction in this rewarding pursuit.


Which beekeeping supplies are essential for beginners?

  • For beginners, essential beekeeping supplies include a complete beehive (including frames, foundation, and supers), protective clothing like a bee suit and veil, a smoker, hive tool, and a feeder. These supplies will cover the basic needs of starting and maintaining your first beehive.

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 Hawaii?

  • There are numerous places to find bee supplies in Hawaii. 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.

Can hive feeders be used year-round?

  • Yes, hive feeders can be used year-round to ensure that bee colonies have access to vital nourishment, particularly during unfavorable weather conditions.

How does the climate in Hawaii impact beekeeping practices?

  • Hawaii’s climate offers unique advantages and challenges for beekeepers. While the consistently warm temperatures promote year-round honey production, high humidity levels can increase the risk of diseases and pests. Adequate hive ventilation and regular monitoring are crucial to address these concerns.

How should I choose beekeeping protective clothing?

  • 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.

What are some common challenges for beekeepers in Hawaii?

  • Beekeepers in Hawaii may face challenges such as Varroa mites, small hive beetles, and the invasive Africanized honey bees. Additionally, ensuring bees have access to a diverse range of floral sources throughout the year can be a challenge due to limited forage availability and potential competition from non-native species.

How should I store my beekeeping supplies during the off-season?

  • To ensure the longevity of your beekeeping supplies in Hawaii’s humid environment, store them in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Protect them against pests like rodents and wax moths by using airtight containers, or by wrapping large items like beehives in protective materials.

What should I look for in a beekeeping supplier?

  • When you are looking for the best beekeeping supplies in Beekeeping Supplies Hawaii, 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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