There are dozens of potential gifts for beekeepers in your life ranging from relatively inexpensive tools and books to top-of-the-line equipment. And there are plenty of items that beekeepers might not think to buy themselves but would love to receive.
Beginning beekeepers are sure to appreciate receiving gifts that lower their upfront costs. Established beekeepers may need to replace aging or broken items.
In this article, we cover all kinds of items that can make fantastic gifts for a beekeeper.
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Buying Gifts For Beekeepers
The costs to start beekeeping or to expand an apiary can be rather high so a thoughtful gift is sure to be appreciated.
Potential gifts for beekeepers come in a wide range of prices.
Books and hive tools are relatively inexpensive but are always useful.
Other items like ventilated beekeeping suits or beehives are more costly. If you are considering these more expensive items, it’s good to know a bit about a beekeeper’s preferences and apiary setup.
Books As Beekeeper Gifts
Education is an ongoing task for every beekeeper. Beekeeping books make great gifts for beekeepers of every level.
The books listed here cover many aspects of honey bees and how to manage them.
Our Favorite Books For Beginning Beekeepers
The Beekeeper’s Handbook
This has been our #1 book since we started beekeeping. It’s not just for beginners.
Beekeeping for dummies
Possibly the most recommended book for beginning beekeepers. Don’t be a dummy.
The Backyard Beekeeper
The Backyard Beekeeper is geared toward the hobby beekeeper with limited space.
Our Favorite Books For Advanced Beekeepers
Beekeeper’s Problem Solver
A great book for diagnosing and solving problems from a well-respected author.
The Practical Beekeeper
This three volume book series focuses on the alternative of treatment fee beekeeping.
Honey Bee Biology And Beekeeping
This is one of the more expensive books. It is written like a textbook for a college level course.
See our article 11 Best Beekeeping Books for more information on the books listed above and some others that make great gifts for beekeepers.
Protective Gear As A Beekeeping Gift
Beekeepers vary in the amount of protective clothing they wear while tending to their hives.
Experienced beekeepers with mild-mannered hives often wear little or no protection. But even those beekeepers should have protective clothing for times when they run into a testy colony that gets overly defensive.
Some beekeepers keep a variety of gear for different situations: a bee jacket for quick inspections when the bees are calm; a full suit for heavy work days when the bees may be more agitated, and so on.
We recommend that everyone wear a veil, at a minimum, to protect their face and eyes. Veils can be part of a jacket/suit or a separate item.
When buying protective gear as a gift, size and fit are important considerations. Purchase from reputable suppliers that will accommodate exchanges if needed.
Beekeeping Suits And Jackets
Beekeeping suits and jackets should fit comfortably and provide plenty of room for movement. They should have elastic or velcro closures at all openings (wrist, ankles, and waist) to keep bees out.
Mann Lake is a major supplier of beekeeping equipment. We have used their Economy Bee Jacket for many years. It is a bit heavy to wear in very hot weather but we think it’s a great value. This is a very good jacket for a beginning beekeeper. The hood can be replaced if needed.
If the beekeeper in your life works in hot weather and does NOT have a ventilated suit or jacket, consider these items from Ultra Breeze to help them keep cool. Ultra Breeze suits are more expensive than the economy clothing above but receive consistently high ratings and are among the best available.
For something a little different, how about a beekeeping suit or jacket that is NOT WHITE? Natural Apiary beekeeping clothing is also available in pink, camouflage, or khaki. Some of their product lines are ventilated.
Veils And Gloves
We protect our face and eyes whenever we work a hive. You never know when a colony might be overly defensive.
Cowhide gloves are generally the thickest and thus provide the best protection. However, that thickness also makes them harder to work with.
Goatskin gloves are thinner and easier to work with but provide less protection.
For times when a beekeeper does not want to work barehanded, either type of glove helps protect against honey bee stings.
Long, ventilated gauntlets protect wrists and forearms and ventilation is nice to have in the hot summer.
Unlike beekeeping suits and jackets, gloves should fit snugly.
Beekeeping Tools Make Excellent Gifts
Every beekeeper needs a smoker and a hive tool. We recommend having more than one of each. Some tools can break at the most inopportune time. Tools can be easily misplaced. Your beekeeper may appreciate having some spares on hand.
Smoker And Standard Tools
A smoker is used to disperse and calm honey bees, making them easier to manage.
Hive tools are versatile utensils used to separate hive components and scrape off any unwanted wax comb, among other things.
The following are other types of hive tools that beekeepers may not have thought to buy for themselves but they will love to have.
Miscellaneous Beekeeping Equipment
Stainless Steel Frame Perch
We keep a frame holder in the apiary so it’s always available during hive inspections.
A 10-frame box full of honey is heavy. Save a beekeeper’s back with a hive carrier.
Help your beekeeper catch free swarms of bees. We’ve used it with great success.
Ratchet Tie Down Straps
Ratchet straps are great for keep covers on hives or for moving multiple boxes.
Backyard beekeepers can strain large pieces of wax and more to process honey.
We love our Muck Boots for beekeeping and all-around work outdoors.
Aichose Refractometer For Sugar Content
Determine if honey has the proper level of sugar with this tool.
Honey Bucket Bucket with Honey Gate
We collect and bottle honey with a bucket minimizing clean-up.
Premium Fuel For Bee Smokers
The urban beekeeper may not have free fuel readily available.
Unique And Different Gift Ideas For Beekeepers
For beekeeping gift ideas unrelated to beekeeping tasks, check out the items below. Many of these items can be found on sites such as Etsy. They may not be mass produced and may only be available in limited quantities.
Let visitors know exactly whose apiary they are in with a beautiful handmade metal sign.