Hive Tools for Hive Health

Beekeeping smokers and hand tools are absolutely necessary for checking on the health of your hive, inspecting hive frames and extracting honey from frames.

As a beekeeper, it is best to be prepared for many different scenarios. Dadant offers a vast selection of tools that are perfect for manipulating and managing your hive.

Checking the Hive's Health

The health of a hive can be determined by observing how much pollen and honey has been stored. The strength of the honey bee queen is determined by the egg laying pattern and whether the honey bees have drawn out replacement honey bee queen cells.

Checking up on your hive at least once a week is absolutely necessary for maintaining the health of your hive. Be sure to wear protective clothing, especially when the honey is in season, because bees will try to protect it..

One way to keep your bees calm during this process is by using a smoker. Puffing cool smoke at the entrance of the hive distracts honey bees from when the beekeeper checks the frames for honey, pollen and egg laying pattern.

Simply place fuel in the smoker, such as wood pellets, cotton or burlap, light it, and puff smoke into the entrance. From there, you can open your hive and start inspecting it.

Removing Hive Frames & Extracting Honey

Hand tools to open the beehive and remove the frames are a beekeeper’s best friend. A hive tool or pry bar is used to remove the beehive cover and frames for inspection. 

Opening the Hive

Hive Tool: A basic hive tool has one tapered flat end for prying and removing frames, and one curved end for scraping. Our painted hive tool is made of high quality spring steel and made in the U.S. 

Italian Hive Tool: An Italian hive tool is longer than a regular hive tool and made of tempered steel. 

Cappings Scratcher: Bees create burr comb to put together parts of a hive, which may be messy for the beekeeper. Bees commonly create this in spaces with more than 3/8". A cappings scratcher is used to remove burr comb from the top bars. However, burr comb is not completely useless. You can use it to create candles.

Removing Hive Frames

You can remove frames by hand or with a frame grip. A frame grip will make the job easier, as it allows you to use only one hand. Be sure to put frames into an empty super and cover it with a towel so the honey bees cannot take back the honey.

When removing frames, you can use different methods to remove the bees.

One way is to shake the bees off the frame and into the front of the hive’s entrance. You can also use a bee brush to gently brush them off.

You can also use a bee escape board, which is placed between the hive body and the honey supers. Bees can easily travel down to the brood nest, but they can’t quickly figure out how to get back into the honey super.

Some beekeepers use fume boards. Fume boards are sprayed with bee repellent and placed on top of the honey supers, which force the bees to fly back into the brood nest. 

Other Beekeeper Tools

Dadant offers more tools, such as queen rearing tools for raising new queens. We also have tools for catching swarms during the swarming season as well as moving hives.

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