Beekeeping is a thriving business -- according to the USDA, since 2014, the number of colonies maintained by beekeepers has been at a 20-year peak. The reason for this is simple: beekeeping is a practice both exciting and lucrative. Managing the complex, social creatures makes for an engaging challenge. And in addition to the critical role bees play in global food production, they also produce a number of essential products. Beyond the obvious creation of raw organic honey, bees also make pure royal jelly, beeswax, propolis, and much more.

All this may have you wanting to care for a colony of your own. Read on to find out what kind of equipment you need to start beekeeping like a pro.

Protective Gear

When people think of beekeeping, their minds most likely conjure images of astronaut-like white suits with veiled hats -- and they would be right. Due to the risk of getting stung, beekeepers virtually always wear a beekeeper hat, beekeeper bodysuit, and beekeeping gloves. There is a particularly heightened risk while maintaining a colony because when one bee stings, it releases pheromones signaling other bees to do the same. Thus, one sting can have a chain reaction effect, resulting in a coordinated attack. Fortunately, between the veil in a beekeeper hat, the full-body suit, the special gloves, and boots, beekeepers are well-protected while caring for their colonies.

Hive Tool and Bee Comb

A hive tool is the primary means by which beekeepers engage with their colonies. These versatile devices can help to open boxes, detach honeycombs, collect propolis, and much more. Beekeepers should also go out equipped with a bee brush, so they may gently remove bees from a surface when necessary.

Bee Knowledge

They say knowledge is power, and beekeeping is no exception. There is no shortage of literature on the practice, from detailed instruction manuals for maintaining different types of hives to complex analyses of bee behavior. Make sure to do your due diligence and read up on beekeeping best practices, and on information about the bees themselves.

Glorybee has more than just bee products. Browse the beekeeping section of the site to find starter kits, hives, and more.