Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Hive Tool

I got a new hive tool, and forgot to mention it in my last post.

This is the standard beekeeper's hive tool:

They are used to crack apart frames supers and pry them up. They are also for scraping excess propolis, pounding/pulling nails, etc. I actually have 2 of them (I am told they get lost/misplaced easily). But what it doesn't do well is lift up frames.

So I got this one next:

You use it to grip a frame (especially the first one) to lift it out. It works like a charm.

Then at one of the bee club gatherings, I saw someone using this tool:

That red hook on the end is sized such that you hook it under the edge of a frame, and use the adjacent frame as a pivot point to lift the frame. Since the other end of the tools is a scraper, etc. you only have to hang on to one tool. I used it for the first time today and it worked as advertised. I'll have to get a little more proficient at using the tool to lift one edge, and my fingers to lift the other edge. But that'll come with time.

Also, the scraper edges are a lot sharper than I am used to. I gouged the wood a little when I was scraping, and I'll have to be careful.


  1. You may laugh, but I brought a knife and fork to leave in my bee yard. I use the fork to pry up the frame on the one side so that I can get my fingers underneath it. I have the same hive tool you have (the blue one) and it doesn't really help with the lifting. I've debated over the clamp version, but then just decided on the fork. It's curved and it worked perfectly to get in under the edge to lift the end of the frame.

  2. Getting that first frame out is the key. Either the frame lifter (red-tipped one) or the gripper lifter work like a charm.

    The person from whom I bought my woodware gave me a suggestion: with the hive tool, twist and shift all of the frames against the far wall of the hive. Then you can pull back the nearest single frame and have more room to grip it. It works!


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