Kit Review

I have purchased a fair amount of kit from a variety of suppliers in the UK. On this page I give you my personal opinion of that kit. 

Beekeeping Protective Clothing

First up, the Bee Proof Suits' ventilated jacket with Astronaut hood. This is my favourite in terms of beekeeping attire as it is well made and the ventilation really makes a difference. The back is almost all ventilation (shown on the front by the patches with circular holes). Sadly, these seem to not be for sale on their website any more, but you might be able to pick up a second hand one (but you can't have mine). I paid about £60 for it and it came with free trousers at the time, so was a real bargain. I bought some of their gauntlet gloves at the same time which go well past the elbow and are very tough.

I also have a classic Sheriff bee suit, which most people in the UK seem to use. I have an khaki one so I am slightly camouflaged when I am tending to my hives in my apiary - this means I am less likely to be seen by potential thieves interested in stealing my hives - a sad reality of these times. So I tend to use my khaki coloured Sheriff suit at the apiary and my Astronaut suit when I am swarm collecting, as everyone sees me from a mile off and have little doubt that there are bees in the vicinity. The Sheriff suit is not as tough as the Bee Proof suit and I have been stung through it (never been stung through that Bee Proof suit), although one sting now and again won't bother you much.


When I started keeping bees I was led down the British National hive route and I still think that is a good hive; manageable, suits the British climate and looks pretty good too. I bought mine from Thornes. Now I run 2 Top Bar hives too, which are also sold by Thornes, but are made by Bees For Development I think; or at least some of the money goes to them when you buy one. Recommend you buy the unassembled versions and build them yourself. 

Winter Hive Protection

I tried this insulated exterior sleeve on one of my British National hives in the 2012 winter. I had hopes it would do a good job of keeping my weakest colony warmer through the winter (and it was a cold and wet winter). The colony survived, which was great, but the sleeve seemed to hold a lot of water between the sleeve and the wooden hive body; my hives are cedar and although they make great hives, they can hold water really well too. I was unconvinced that the water retention was worth the warmth they potentially gained from the jacket. I won't be using it again.
More kit to follow...


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