Beekeeping equipment

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Note: Most of the content was retrieved from the books "Beekeeping Manual for beginners" by Holeta Bee Research Center and the APIRE project [1]. and from "Advanced Beekeeping Manual by Ethiopian Beekeepers Association and Netherlands Development Organization (SNV-Ethiopia).[2]

Beekeeping equipment is material used for beekeeping and beekeeping related activities. Some of the most important materials needed for modern beekeeping are:


Beehive (frame hive): use and reuse of frames/combs is possible; handling (inspection, supering, reducing supers, pest/predator control …) is easier and honey extracting without damaging the combs is possible. In some parts of Ethiopia, using this hive leads to an annual honey yield of about 25 to 45 kg. With experience and good beekeeping practice even a better honey yield is possible.


Frame wire: the wax foundations get attached to the wires.


Casting mould: to produce wax foundation sheets.


Transformer and Embedder: through heat, the transformer or embedder are used to attach the foundation sheets to the wire.


Embedded knifes: hot iron sheets or knifes help to fix the wax foundation sheets tot he frame wire.


Queen excluder: a device to separate worker bees from the queen, drones and brood. This guarantees honey combs without brood in it. The queen excluder can be produced from plastic, flat iron sheets, wires, aluminium or stainless steel metals.


Chisel (bee keeper's or hive tool): is made of iron metal and has a sharp surface on the end. Mostly, it is considered as a hand tool of a beekeeper used to open the hive, cleaning purposes and other un necessary materials seen in the hive. It can be made locally or its purpose replaced by homemade knife.


Bee brush: a soft brush used to remove bees from frames or to clean the bottom board of the hive.


Smoker: during the inspection of the hive, smoke (herbals, plant based and natural materials) can be used to calm the bees.


Protective Clothes for the beekeeper: this includes gloves, a bee veil, an overall, or jacket (bee suits) and boots.


Water Sprayer: is sometimes used to calm down the bees during bee colony transferring and swarm catching.


Uncapping – fork or knife: the fork is used to manually decap the combs prior to putting them in the honey extractor.


Honey extractor (centrifuge): hand or electrical driven. Honey combs are inserted in the honey extractor and the honey gets out of the combs through centrifugal force.


Honey strainer: is a double course screen used to remove the bits of wax and other debris during the normal extractions of honey from the comb.

Honey storage tank: extracted honey is best stored in a tank made of stainless steel or food grade plastic and a very tight lid. The tank should be storage in a dark and cool place.

Honey weighing scales: to weigh honey prior to selling it.

Honey jars (glass or plastic): for selling the harvested honey.


Pollen Trap: The pollen trap is mounted in front of the hive entrance. If closed, the bees walk through a tight mesh and lose their collected pollen. The pollen falls in a drawer, which easily can be collected by the beekeeper.

Propolis grid: the propolis grid, made of wood, metal or plastic, can be placed under the lid of the hive, or between the frames in the hives. Bees are driven by their instinct and close the holes in the grid with propolis. The propolis can be harvested by placing it in a cold room, or a refrigerator.


  1. Holeta (unknown date). Beekeeping Manual for beginners.
  2. Ethiopian Beekeepers Association & SNV (2011). Advanced Beekeeping Manual. Express Printers PLC, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.