Beehive Equipment: How To Use Beehive Equipment & Tools?

Beehive Equipment: How To Use Beehive Equipment & Tools?

How To Use Beehive Equipment: Proper tools and equipment will make your beekeeping easier and save a lot of time as well as money. Beekeeping equipment is essential to keep your bees healthy. Tools are necessary for removing the hive cover, as well as for separating and cleaning the frames installed in the hive box.

Different types of tools and equipment are used for removing propolis, opening honeycombs, extracting honey, filtering, and processing honey. Find here how the beekeeping equipment and tools are used in Beekeeping.

Beehive Equipment

How to use Beehive Tools & Equipment?

Here are some basic beekeeping tools and their uses discussed briefly. Remember, all tools and equipment are used to maintain your beehives efficiently.

01. Hand Gloves

Hand gloves are essential to keep safe your hands while working on a beehive. Hands are more likely to get stung as mostly come in contact with bees. For better protection leather gloves are recommended.

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02. Use smoker

A smoker is a metal pot with attached bellows, an essential tool for a beekeeper. A smoker blows a puff of smoke on the hives when necessary. Suitable fuel materials include cotton rags, coconut bark, pine needles, and cardboard, and tobacco is used to make it more effective.

The smoke causes the bees to become calm, so they are less likely to become annoyed or excited which may restrict from stings. When bees are smoked, they sense danger and reduce their anger.

Some smoke may be blown before opening the beehives. A large scale of smoke should be blown if the hive is attacked by the mite. But too much smoke will drive bees away from the hives.

The best-size smoker for an individual beekeeper is the 4 x 7-inch machine available in the market which is medium size and The University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences recommends this size.

How to use smoker?

Use a cedar chip smoker to calm honeybees before opening up the hive for inspection or harvest honey or any other reason. Place some sticks and cedar chips or tobacco inside the smoker, and light the firewood until it catches fire and strengthens with air to generate smoke. Flow the smoke to the entrance lightly before opening the hive, and smoke the bees lightly again once while open.

BeeKeeping Equipment: A List Of Essential BeeKeeping Equipment And Tools.
Beekeeping Equipment: A List Of Essential BeeKeeping Equipment And Tools.

You can buy here a stainless steel Smoker: Bee Hive Smoker – Stainless Steel with Heat Shield, Beekeeping Equipment from VIVO, Model BEE-V001.

Honeybees will gorge themselves on honey because they believe the fire will soon engulf their hive, which in turn makes slower their anger, as fear of death is a weapon to calm everybody on the earth.

Several types of smokers are available for different kinds of hives. Professional-grade smokers will work on a dozen of hives at a time, while smaller-grade ones will work on five or six. Whatever the size, the smoker should have a protecting heat screen and leather billows.

To make good smoke you need something like tobacco or a pellet. Find here to buy: KwikStart Smoker Pellet by Mann Lake, Model HD554.

03. Use Beekeeping Brush

Removing bees from the hive can cause cell damage. Using a bee brush tool is a safer method to remove bees from honeycombs or when checking the hives or collecting honey. The bee brush is made with soft hair or bristles to prevent damage to the hive cells. Similar to a long human-hair brush, the bristles are usually four inches long.

Beekeepers find this tool essential for basic bee removal. But using a bee brush to remove a large number of bees can be boring. Feathers or a tree branch with green leaves will work in a similar way, but it must be used with caution so that it will be less likely to contaminate or puncture the hive cells.

04. Use the Scraper/hive tool

Beehive Equipment: How To Use Beehive Equipment & Tools? (136)
Beehive Equipment: How To Use Beehive Equipment & Tools? (136)

You may use a hive tool/scraper for scraping wax, loosen hive parts and manipulate frames. A Scraper is a long, flat, metal tool that has a rounded hook on one end (think crowbar) and a flat scraper on the other end. Use the hook end when lifting frames from the hives and the scraper to clean your hives from wax and gum that are generated and collected by bees respectively.

A hive scraper is used to remove frames or combs from the walls of hives and instantly open hive cover, feeder, etc. This multipurpose lever is made from metal and the best size of which is 10 inches long according to the suggestion of the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension.

This tool fits comfortably in the beekeeper’s hand, and it should be cleaned periodically to remove excess beeswax stack. The tool also cleans off the sap used by bees to fill the small gaps between hives, frames, and honey. You should clean a hive tool by burning it in a hot fire or stabbing it in the ground to prevent bee diseases from spreading among different hives.

Beekeeping equipment

A complete beehive includes the following:

1. Bee Hives

Here is a picture of the complete beehive that includes Brood box, super and hive cover.

2. Brood box

Picture of the only Brood box with 8 frames. Beekeepers mostly used this type of brood box.

3. Super

This is the picture of the 10 frames super box. But you have to install it with a 10 frames brood box. Remember, if your brood box includes 8 frames you have to use a super box with 8 frames.

Top 10 Honeybee Images: Different Types Of Honey Bee Hives Picture – Natural And Apiary Hives. (105)
Top 10 Honeybee Images: Different Types Of Honey Bee Hives Picture – Natural And Apiary Hives. (105)

4. Bee frame

You can buy a complete frame with wax sheet assembled: 10-Pack Assembled Commercial Frames with Waxed Natural Rite-Cell Foundation, 9-1/8-Inch, by Mann Lake, Model WW906.

Bee frame naturally grew cells with wax and made by bees. To help bees make their frames rapidly beekeepers use the manual wax sheet with the frame as a foundation; so that, they can complete making cells within a short time. It’s very useful in harvesting season but used all year-round.

This is the base of making the frame and help the bees to complete the remaining works fast; so that they can be attentive to collect nectar and ultimately you’ll get more honey. Now you know why these manual wax sheets are essential in harvesting season.

5. Beehive cover

After keeping the bees in the hive it should be well protected with a cover. The bees then tend to block all the holes (if any) with propolis. Propolis is one kind of gum collected from trees.

You can buy here such a ready wax sheet: 100-Pack Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation, 8-1/2-Inch, Natural by Mann Lake, Model FN800.

Other Tools

Harvester or Honey Extractor

01. Manual Extractor

When you feel that honey in the beehives becomes mature enough to harvest, take out each frame from the colony, remove bees with a soft brush and keep the honeycombs in the extraction machine.

Extract machines can be either manual or automatic. For small production, a manual machine can be used but while your farm is large, the manual machine is not feasible.

02. Automatic Extractor

To save time and work with ease automatic extractor can be used although it’s more costly than a manual machine.

03. Filter

107: Raising Honey Bees: 6 Easy Steps for New Beekeeper to Start.
107: Raising Honey Bees: 6 Easy Steps for New Beekeeper to Start.

Honey harvester is used to extract honey, sieve (filter) to clean the honey, funnel to put the honey into a drum, etc. The second Filter separates small particles from Honey And some pots are used to boil the honey to control moisture manually. Filter your extracted honey nicely to consume raw honey or to preserve it for processing and packaging.

04. Funnel/Cone

A funnel or cone is used to fill the jar or pot with honey. Without a funnel, it’s difficult to fill the jar. Before keeping in a jar the honey must be filtered well.

05. Other tools

Other tools and equipment are musk or net helmet, knife, wax heater, wax sheet maker, comb puller, etc.

Raw Honey processing equipment

The honey processing machine can be manual or automatic. Automatic machine is definitely costly but processing is easy and more scientific. For a small beekeeper, manual processing is feasible and suggested to keep moisture level 18% to 22%. For a large quantity of honey, an automatic machine is very useful and necessary.

Honey is boiled with vapor instead of direct heat. For large-scale processing, an automatic machine is used which is expensive. But for a small quantity of honey manual processing can be done.

Tips & Warnings

01. Use bee hives equipment with the utmost care to avoid an accident. Before opening the hive cover always wear a beekeeping suit, veil, shoes, and hand gloves.

02. Avoid opening the hive cover at mid-day, and in hot weather. Put off your bracelet, watch, and don’t use any perfume before going to beehives.

Bee Hive Tools Equipment

Resources of information

National Honey Board,

American Honey Producers Association,

American Bee Journal,

The Pollination Home Page,

Photo Credit-Google images – unrestricted,

Experience of my own beekeeping project.

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