The Best Bee Hive Starter Kit for Beginners

One of the biggest obstacles for keeping bees is the number and amount of items you need to get started. It can often be challenging to know what you actually need, what types of hives to start with, and and what items can be purchased later.

Buying a bee hive starter kit for beginners is generally the easiest way to get started and can save you money at the beginning on your bee keeping journey. From here you can continue to add and built your bee keeping supplies.

Since the bee starter kit will form the base of your supplies it’s important to choose the best kit for your setup and preferences. Below you can see a quick look at the best bee hive kits. Scroll down for more details as well as what to consider when selecting a honey bee starter kit and additional suggestions on where to purchase a kit.

You might also like:

Dave and I have been keeping bees on and off for about 12 years.  We started raising bees to help with pollination, sustain  the honeybee population and harvest some honey.  The recommendations below are based on our experience as beekeepers as well as extensive research.
Best Bee Hive Starter Kit
Best Bee Hive Starter Kit


Quick Look at the Best Bee Hive Starter Kits

Below you can see some of the best bee keeping kits available. Scroll down for more details on the different bee kits and information on what to look for in a kit.

10-Frames Complete Beehive Kit

This is a great starter kit with a hive and frames.  This kits comes as a 10 frame or an 8 frame.  You will also need to purchase your other bee keeping supplies separately.

Bee Keeping Supplies Kit (everything but the hive)

This is a great kit for all the supplies except the hive.

Starter Kit with 10 Frame hive body and Supplies

This kit includes both the hive body and bee keeping supplies.

Auto Flow Bee Hive

This is a complete beehive kit that comes with a cool autoflow honey system.

Basic Beehive Starter Kit

This is a kit with the basic.  Pair this kit with a bee keeping suit and hive and you'll be off to a great start.

5 Layer Beehive Starter Kit

This is a full 5 layer beehive that is a great starter option.

Bee Keeping Suit

Most of the hive kits above do not come with a bee keeping suit.

How to Choose the Best Bee Hive Starter Kit

A beehive kit can be a great way to get started beekeeping. If you are planning to start beekeeping with just one hive then a kit is the most cost effective way to do this. You can then build up your bee hives and supplies over time. Below are a few things to consider.

Type of Hive

It’s important to know what type of hive you want to use for the long term. This way the hive you get to start beekeeping can be used and added to as you buy more equipment. In general, the basic bee hive is a Langstroth hive with either 10 frame or 8 frames. We prefer the 10 frame hive. Check that the hive you get can be combined with other parts.

Cost and Material

Beehive cost is important, especially when you are getting started. You should prioritize the best beehive quality for the cost. Keep in mind that your hive will be out in the elements, so you want a hive made from cedar or other rot resistant wood. For the other bee keeping supplies, their longevity is more dependent on how you care for them.

How Many Hives do you Plan to Have?

If you only want to have a single beehive than a starter kit is the perfect way to get started beekeeping. This way you ensure you have the right equipment and as long as your hive is a standard size, you can buy just a few additional or replacement parts as needed.

If you are planning on starting a larger bee keeping operation, you are best off buying a basic bee keeping supply kit with just the tools you need and purchasing the hives separately. You can see some options on the list below, but you can also purchase your hives from somewhere local.

What’s Included

The final considerations is what’s in the beekeeping kit. Some of the kits truly come with everything you need to get started (except the bees), while some of the other kits on this list are the supplies and the hives listed separately. Pay attention to what’s included.

If you plan to get a bee keeping suit, you will need to get this separately since it is size dependent. You can see one option below. We typically just use a bee jacket and hat and wear heavy duty pants.

Bee Hive Starter Kit

List of Beekeeping Supplies for Beginners

Below are a few things to consider while try to choose between the best honey bee starter kits. Here is a list of the absolute basics you should have to get started bee keeping. Most of the general bee keeping kits for beginners either include all these items or include a hive kit and a beekeeping tool kit.

  1. Langstroth Bee Hive
  2. Frames
  3. Bee Smoker
  4. Hive Tool
  5. Bee Hive Brush
  6. Bee Keeping Suit (you can also do just a jacket and wear normal heavy work pants)
  7. Bee Gloves
  8. Queen Excluder

Beekeeping Starter Kit Details

10-Frames Complete Beehive Kit

This is an excellent starter bee hive kit. The kit includes just the beehive and the frames. This is a good quality hive with weather resistant material – the wood is pine but it is sealed which makes it a good hive for the cost. You will also want to purchase one of the bee keeping equipment kits like the ones below. The hive kit comes with:

  • Heavy Beeswax Coated Deep Brood Boxes with 10 Premium Pine Frames and Beeswax Coated Foundation Sheet
  • Heavy Beeswax Coated Medium Super Boxes with 10 Premium Dovetail with Beeswax Foundation Sheet
  • Beeswax Coated Solid Bottom Board and Telescoping Top Cover
  • Inner Cover, Plastic Queen Excluder, Entrance Reducer, & Nails for Assembly

Beekeeping Supplies Bee Keeper Starting Kit 

This kit has the essential tools and equipment for keeping bees except for the hive and the bees. The only item not in this big kit that beginners may want to consider is a bee keeping suit. You can see a good option for one of these suits below.

10 Frame Bee Boxes, Frames, and Supplies

This is a great option for a complete bee kit that comes with both the hive itself and the bee keeping supplies you need to get started. You will also need to buy some additional bee boxes to expand your hive once you have bees. This is a great starter kit.

8 Piece Bee Keeping Tool Kit

This is a basic tool kit that comes with the most important tools for beekeeping. You will get exactly what you need for beginner beekeeping at an affordable price. Combine with kit with one of the bee hive kits on this page and you will be off to a good start.

5 Layer Beehive Starter Kit

Combine this complete bee hive starter kit with one of the bee hive supply kits below and you are off to a good start. This hive has many boxes, but note that you will need to get frames as well. You can see some frames here.

Bee Keeping Suit

None of the kits above come with a bee keeping suit as you will need to get a suit that fits your size. While many people keep bees without a full suit, if you are a beginner bee keeper, a suit will make you more comfortable.

Make sure you select the correct size when ordering a bee keeping suit.

List of Bee Keeping Supply Companies

The options above are some of the best bee keeping kits for beginners at a reasonable price that are readily available online. Depending on where you live, it’s also possible to purchase your hives locally – this is important especially if you are getting a lot of hives. It’s worth searching locally for a bee supply company. They can also give you advice on where to get bees and often run their own classes or offer local advice.

If there isn’t a shop locally, you can find several reputable hive companies online. A few companies to explore are:

Best Bee Hive Starter Kit: Dave adding bees to a hive

How to Get Started Beekeeping

Finding and purchasing a bee hive starter kit is just one step towards getting started bee keeping. Bee keeping is a complicated activity. You can see our quick article on getting started bee keeping here. If you are brand new, we firmly believe that you should start with a bee keeping course. Start by searching for ‘beekeeping classes near me.’ This will be an invaluable resource as you will meet others just getting started and can troubleshoot as you go along. If you can’t find a course, check at your local extension office for recommendations.

If you are unable to find a local bee keeping course, or the class doesn’t work for you, you can also find some excellent online bee keeping courses to get you started. Below are a few options to check outline that have been recommended:

The next important step is to find a good bee keeping book. Both the bee keeping courses and bee keeping books will have their own set of instructions and supply list for getting the best bee hive starter kit, so you may want to wait to purchase your kit until after you take the course or read the book.

You can find our list of the best bee keeping books here.

Getting a bee hive starter kit is just the first step on your beekeeping journey! We’ve loved keeping bees over the years and find that they are a key element to our homestead.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *