Tools of the trade

Depending upon the style of beehives that you operate, the contents of your tool box will vary. Here are some great tools for beginners and experienced beekeepers alike.

I’ve also added a few extras throughout the page for those ‘just in case’ moments. The following links lead to, of which I am an affiliate and appreciate any support you offer my making a purchase. Thanks and enjoy collecting your gear!

Beehive Smoker by Mann Lake/ Mann Lake smokers are some of the nicest and highest quality. I have no experience with the newer plastic bellows, but I can tell you that this smoker has a high quality stainless steel construction with matching bellow mount, open tab, top hinge and welded rust-free bottom. To help you understand the elements of a quality smoker, refer to my post, Elements of a good beekeeping Smoker.

Stainless Steel Frame Holder by Janolia Bee/ I used to think these things were silly. I decided to try one out anyways and I am SO glad that I did! This is way better than placing frames on the ground while I do my in-hive work. The frame rest holds about 3 frames and gives me a way to keep my bees calm and my queen safe if she happens to be one of the frames. This thing is really strong and I want to eventually keep one in each of my apiaries. An big plus with using this frame rest is not having to stoop or bend over.

Little Giant Two-Frame Stainless Steel Extractor/ Last summer I needed something on the fly for cranking out my honey crop. So I acquired a two-frame extractor. This particular one comes as a two-frame, three-frame, four-frame, and a four-frame electric. The tripod legs have holes in the feet for securing to a surface. The hand crank runs very smooth and spins out the honey in no time. The basket inside is heavy duty and quite sturdy. It comes with a gate valve for pouring into a 5-gallon bucket, which fits perfectly underneath. I am really happy with my little extractor and I know you would be too.

Bear QuikFence 12/35/12 by Premier 1/ This is the BEST and ONLY bear fence that I use. And I use it in ALL of my apiaries. I go into more depth about this in this blog post. It’s quick and easy to set up and even faster to take down and move to another apiary or if you need to trim the grass. The fences come in 100 and 50 foot lengths (30.48 meters and 15.24 meters.) Premier 1 pricing is worth it to me, especially when you think of the total value of what it’s protecting. No regrets.

Intellishock 10 (battery) fence Energizer Kit by Premier 1/ For a bear fence, you need at least 1 joule of power running through your fence. That’s what the Intellishock 10 delivers. I actually use this model and the Intellishock 20, which delivers 2 joules. This particular kit is specifically for a solar-powered system, which is what I run. They also offer it for AC power if you are near any electric. This is easy to set up and even includes a Green indicator light that flashes while in-use. The indicator flashes Red when your battery is needing a recharge. Premier 1 Supplies makes their gear easy to understand for those of us who are not necessarily solar-technical, like me, but I’m learning.

Premier 1 PRS 100 Solar Energizer Kit/ Okay so I don’t own this one, yet. This is pretty much the whole shebang in one box other than the fence. This kit includes the built in 10-watt solar panel, 2-12 volt sealed lead acid batteries, and a ground rod with a 5-light wireless fence tester. It’s weather tight and they even offer a 2-year warranty. I really like the idea of this for its simplicity and how it protects the components from the elements. This is going to be my next upgrade.

No Reins Jewelweed Salve and Soap/ I can personally account for this stuff. I bought it several years ago for a thru-hike. It is my go-to when I suspect that I may have brushed up against some poison ivy. I have yet to experience any poison ivy rashes. This is supposed to work for poison oak and poison sumac as well. How does this work with beekeeping? Well, beehives are outside and so is poison ivy. Plus, sometimes we have to go catch a swarm in a tree that may have poison ivy growing up the side of it. It really makes a perfect addition to a first-aid kit, just in case.

Ultra Bee Pollen substitute supplement by Mann Lake/ I did a lot of online research for a supplement that didn’t include junk in its ingredients and came up with this. This is the best on the market for brood production. This is what I use and will continue to use. Click on the bucket to get some for yourself. This is what I use in my secret Pollen Patty Plus+ with American Foulbrood Protection. You can get the free eBook on how to make it yourself here.