Kristina Mercedes Urquhart
November 29, 2016

With the holidays around the corner, it’s high time to start shopping for the beekeepers (or budding beekeepers) on your list! In winter, most beekeepers are restocking the essentials— woodenware and frames—and ordering spring bees. You know, the boring stuff. The predictable things. The necessities. Beekeepers rarely splurge and buy themselves the fun stuff. That’s where you come in! Here’s our official 2016 holiday wish list for the beekeeper in your life.

1. A Beekeeping Magazine Subscription

Bee Culture magazine

We beekeepers are a nerdy bunch. We like to keep abreast of the latest research on honeybees, so a subscription to a beekeeping magazine, such as Bee Culture, would be a surefire winner for the holidays. We read up on beekeeping for fun, yes, but also for the sake of our bees. Big concerns, like the rise of varroa mites and the ebb and flow of colony collapse disorder, mean we have to stay on top of new developments.

2. A No-Spray Sign

No Spraying sign

A No-Spray sign for their apiary and property. Whether an apiary is located on private property, farmland or leased land, honeybee hives are always at risk for being sprayed or having their foraging areas sprayed. I have this one from Beverly Bees: It’s simple, direct, attractive and has weathered the seasons well. If you’re artistic or handy with graphic design, you can make your own.

3. Frame Perch

frame rest

The frame perch or frame rest is one of my favorite tools to splurge on. You can’t go wrong: If said beekeeper doesn’t have one, it’s a great gift. If said beekeeper already has one, two is even better! They’ll be put to use, I promise. This one from Brushy Mountain Bee Supply is vinyl coated, sturdy and easy to use.

4. Seeds

seeds

Most beekeepers don’t realize it until they’re elbow deep in honey, but by becoming beekeepers, they’ve also taken up a bit of a gardening hobby (or at least appreciation for flowering plants). My favorite seeds come from Seed Saver’s Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for their selections of open-pollinated, organic and heirloom varieties of flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. They’re the essence of bee friendly!

5. Bee Tees

bee tees

There’s no shortage of sweet, sassy, funny or witty beekeeping-themed shirts these days. Some of my favorites include:

6. A Honeypot

honeypot

Beekeepers rarely buy themselves the nicest honeypot—truth be told, we consume our honey right out of the mason jars we store it in! But that sweet stuff should be treated like the gold it is. Try one of these honeypots:

You can also do a quick search on Etsy to find hundreds of homemade, one-of-a-kind items.

7. Bee Books!

bee books

 

We’re a nerdy bunch, remember? Especially in the winter, beekeepers love to read about their charges and learn more. There’s always more to learn while keeping bees. There are two books that are indispensable in my own beekeeping library: Ross Conrad’s Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2013), now in its 2nd edition, and The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Uses (Abrams, Harry N., Inc., 2011), by Richard A. Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch. The latter happens to be a gorgeous book, and would be a stunning gift, wrapped or not.

We hope you find something that you (and your beekeeper) love and will use for years to come.



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