Beekeeping Essentials: Tools You Need at the Hive

Tools Title

This unsuspecting tool box is a few seasons in the making. A year or two ago, my husband built the most beautiful box to hold his supplies. It was about the size of a nuc box, so he figured it could also double as one, if necessary. It had a spot for the smoker, a nice canvas strap, the whole she-bang. Unfortunately, it was left out in the rain and the wood swelled. The other downside of the wooden box was that it was really heavy.

So this box is attempt #2.  It’s just a cheap toolbox that he picked up at a local hardware store. He did add that lip on the side for the smoker, but other than that, the real story is what’s inside.  Over the past week or so we’ve been brainstorming anything we’ve ever needed while out at the hive. We swore to never again have to run back to the garage to rummage for tweezers or a pair of scissors… or a hive tool. Below is the list of things we’ve put inside to keep on hand while working the hives.  I imagine we’ll keep adding to it and I encourage you to leave a comment if we’ve forgotten anything! Now that we’ve moved the hives even further back into the field, less schlepping is always a good thing!

Hive box 1

Top Level:

1. Queen Marking Pen

2. Bite Stick (this is just a medicated pen to apply to the site of a sting incase someone who doesn’t wear gloves – ahem – gets stung)

3. Good, sharp scissors and a utility knife

4. Matches: for the smoker, of course

5. Hive tool (kind of hard to see in this picture)

6. Tweezers (for that bee with the pesky unibrow, ha)

Hive box 2

Lower Level:

7. Bee brush (you know, for brushing off bees)

8. Duct tape (what CAN’T you fix with duct tape??)

9. Metal frame holders (so we don’t have to set the frames on the ground)

10. Queen-Marking Tube (I’m not sure this is the technical name)

11. Frame Spacers (the orange things on the bottom, we never actually use those)

12. That plastic box in the top has rubber bands and the few oils we use in the hive (lemon grass, spearmint)

So what are we missing, fellow beekeepers? Anything you take to the hive that you can’t live without?


4 thoughts on “Beekeeping Essentials: Tools You Need at the Hive

  1. Really nice job! Some other ideas: drawing pins (to mark frames with queen cells on), a queen cage (the hinged kind you can put in your pocket) newspaper (for hive combining) and clove oil (put a couple of drops on your hands and it helps keep the bees calm).

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