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Brookfield Beehives & Beekeeping Supplies Online Australia

Brookfield Beehives was established with the aim of bringing quality affordable beekeeping equipment to Australian apiarists. We stock single and double beehives, a range of manual and electric extractors plus a whole range of tools and supplies to help you get the job done. Whether you are an established apiarist or a part time hobbyist we endeavour to have products that can assist you in this admirable pastime.

Over the past few decades beekeeping has become a popular hobby in Australia and can be extremely rewarding to budding apiarists. People living in both city and regional areas are taking a keen interest in beekeeping and are establishing hives in all sorts of different environments. Setting up and operating a hive is extremely relaxing and is a great way to get back in touch with nature. It gives you the opportunity to spend time outside on your property and produce honey for your own use and potentially for sale.

Brookfield are located in Sydney Australia however we are purely an online store with no physical shop. We deliver our products via Australia Post and a number of courier services. It is possible for you to collect your items from our warehouse however this is strictly by appointment.

If you are currently keeping hives or you are looking to establish a new hive then why not check out the products that Brookfield have to offer.



What Supplies And Equipment Do I Need To Get Started?


A lot of people ring and ask us about what are the basic supplies and equipment to get started with beekeeping. Here is our list of the basic equipment that we believe you should get when starting out.

A Beehive

Obviously you can't get started without a beehive. If you are new to the hobby you should probably start with a single. Our beehives come complete with frames and a lid.

Wire

You will need wire to wire up the frames when you are setting up the hive. We have supplies of wire in a few different sizes if you are interested.

Eyelets

The eyelets are used when wiring up the frames. We stock them in packs of 500 so there should be plenty to get you started.

Beekeeping Gloves

These are essential equipment and will stop you getting stung when you are working on your hive. We stock 2 sizes of beekeeping gloves, both are ventilated with leather hands.

Beekeeping Suit

The suit is also essential equipment and will stop you getting stung by your bees. Our suits are made of cotton and are designed for Australian sizes. We have 2 types, either with a hat or with a hood and we have a good range of sizes.


List Of Beekeeping Associations In Australia


If you would like to find out more about beekeeping in your state then it may be an idea to get in touch with one of the local associations. They will be able to inform you about the local regulations in your area as well as helping you with recommendations in regards to the equipment and supplies that you will need to get started.


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Honeycomb episode on River Cottage Australia

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River Cottage Australia had a really interesting episode on honeycomb recently. You can check out the segment here. We were really impressed by the low impact horizontal top bar hives that were featured in the show.


The History of Beekeeping


Bees have existed for much longer than humans,but exactly how long bees have existed on this earth is uncertain. Some sources will claim bees date as far back as 40 million years, while others will state they have been around even longer, 150 million years, with fossilized remains as evidence. Despite being of such a small size, bees are very important insects that play a significant role both in the animal world and the human world. How humans have kept bees and taken advantage of their honey supplies has varied throughout the years and come a long way.

Beekeeping During Ancient Times

While bees have been a part of nature for what seems like forever, the idea of humans taking advantage of their honey production supplies is a lot more recent. To start from the very beginning, caves hiding prehistoric depictions indicate that humans were eating wax and honey 10,000 years ago. These are the earliest signs of humans using bees for food. In Spain,drawings that show signs of a way of beekeeping have been discovered thought to be around 7,000 years old. Another discovery of drawings in Spanish caves paints the picture of individuals climbing trees with equipment to reach and harvest honey from wild beehives.

In the very early days of beekeeping humans used basic supplies and fire to manage the bees. Once fire became something humans could control, they used its smoke to make the bees tame and passive. An example of this method is found in ancient Egypt 2,400-2,600 years ago. In the Egyptian way of keeping bees, depictions show them blowing smoke into the beehives before removing the honey-combs which were then stored in clay jars.

Up until the modern era beehives that were used for honey were destroyed in the honey gathering process, resulting in death for many of the bees.

Beekeeping During Medieval Times

A common method of keeping bees during Medieval Times was to house the bee colonies in basic equipment, hollowed-out logs or skeps. A skep was a type of man made beehive consisting of rope, straw, willow or hazel and which also sometimes were concealed with cow dung or mud to make them waterproof against the rain. To support the honey combs in the skep beehive sticks would be put in. The skeps would be placed on a stone foundation and have an area, much like a little front porch, sticking out at the front of the beehive where the bees could land and enter the hive. Skeps are actually still used today but for a slightly different purpose. Instead of housing the bees,it is simply used for capturing and collecting the swarm.

The hollow logs and skeps were then put in niches in stonewalls outdoors. These niches are called bee boles and can still be found today in old stone walls.

Recent History of Beekeeping

The skep and hollow log beehives were fixed-comb beehives, meaning that everything in the hive was fixed and not movable. If the hive needed to be examined this caused problems since it was difficult to actually inspect and get a picture of what was going on in the hive. The person managing the beehive equipment could simply not inspect each comb. This type of beehive equipment was popular to use until the mid-1800.

As a step towards modern beehives, some beekeepers constructed hives with bars at the top which forced the bees to build their combs along the top bars. This enabled the beekeeper to cautiously remove the combs without damaging them. Beehives of this type received the name movable comb hives.

In 1789 a Swiss man by the name of Francis Huber invented a hive with fully movable frames, called The Leaf Hive. This hive was easy to manage thanks to the mobility of the frames. The combs were easily studied like pages in a book.

Not a lot has happened in the development of the beehive in the 20 and the 21st century until the recent development of the flow hive.

More recent important improvements regarding beekeeping have been in the extractor process, the development of modern beekeeping tools, equipment and supplies and in the management of the bees.