Last Updated on June 13, 2023 by Georgie Smith
Honey bees must visit two million flowers just to make one pound of honey! According to data produced by the Canadian Honey Council, bees must also fly 50,000 miles. That goes some way toward showing the importance of bees, and the hive.
Because of all the effort that goes into producing honey, beehives must be. That is why beekeepers use plenty of equipment you may never have heard of to produce the honey you buy.
Hive tools are the Bible for beekeepers, and they cannot do much without them. These tools are like the keys that unlock beehives and allow you closer access to the bees and the inner workings of the hive. It is so important to make sure you have the best hive tool on the market.
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Check out some of the most important hive tools beekeepers use.
Types of Hive Tools
Beekeepers everywhere find hive tools absolutely essential. These tools allow them to carry out their jobs and clean the beehives. Because they are specialist tools, there are different types of hive tools available.
Many of them have different purposes and functions, but all of them matter. The principal objective of a hive tool is to clean and maintain the beehive. There are three frequently used types of hive tools, and you learn about each:
- Common hive tool – this is the type that has the most users across the U.S. It comes with most starter kits and is usually between 7-10 inches. That is likely the first hive tool you will get, and it is a good starting point. The device will have a curved end meant for scraping and cleaning. The other end will be a flat end for prying. Moreover, there is often a nail pulling hole as well. This tool will get you started, but you will want something better eventually.
- J Hook hive tool – Also known as a frame lifter hive tool. Due to it’s extended length, this one might be better for you. These tools usually measure around 9-14 inches in length. They are multi-functional, and the hook at the end lets you lift frames. Combined with the other end that primary is for scraping and prying. This tool is a popular among beekeepers due to its size and functionality.
- Italian hive tool – This is a long and thin tool, which looks different to the others. It allows the functionality of the other tool types. However, it also allows you to cut excess comb away from around the sides of the hive. That is more of an expert tool, and not meant for beginners.
Top 5 Best Hive Tools, J Hook Hive Tools in the market:
You are probably looking to improve the way you do your job as a beekeeper. Moreover, the secret here is making sure you have the right equipment. There are many things you can do to help you achieve this. However, you definitely need to start by ensuring you have the best hive tools for the job.
These are the Top 5 best tools on the market, and they are perfect if you are looking to replace your old ones.
Having the right tools for the job is essential in any career. However, in the world of beekeeping, it is even more crucial because the bits and pieces of the hive are so fragile. You cannot go through your working day without one of these hive tools to help you out.
|Mann Lake HD584 Steel Standard Hive Tool||– L=9-Inch|
|KINGLAKE® 10 Inch Multifunctional Bee Hive Scraper Tool||– 27cm length|
– 8cm width
– 1.5mm thickness
|Blisstime Stainless Frame Lifter and Scraper J Hook Tool Hive Tool||– Length: 11 inch|
– Weight: 130g
– Multi-function tool
|KINGLAKE Steel Hive Tool The Best Paint Scraping Tool||– Length : 9 inch|
– Very hard to bend/break
– Works perfect
|Honbay Steel J-Hook Jhook||– Very hard to bend/break|
– High Quality
Mann Lake HD584 Steel Standard Hive Tool
This classic nine-inch tool is an absolute must-have for beekeepers across the world. It is a practical size, functional, and very reliable. You will also love the fact that it has a great color too. Made of thin but very strong material, and designed perfectly for all your beekeeping needs, the Mann Lake is stunning.
The mini crowbar design allows you to pry the hive open, and the flat end makes cleaning much more straightforward.
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KINGLAKE® 10 Inch Multifunctional Bee Hive Scraper Tool
If you are looking for an excellent and professional-looking hive tool, this is the one for you. The 10 inches of heavy-duty stainless steel, with a sleek wooden handle, is a must-have. It is one of the most multifunctional best beehive tools on the market, operating as;
- A pry bar
- Nail Puller
You could not argue with anyone who would proclaim these hive tools for sale on the market.
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Blisstime Stainless Frame Lifter and Scraper J Hook Tool
This 11-inch J Hook hive tool has got to be one of the best out there. It is great looking, the right size, and it is crazily affordable as well! You can use the hook to lift out the frame, while the scrapers can deal with excess wax.
The stainless steel is of excellent quality, so you do not have to deal with the issue of the tool breaking during use. This one is a best-seller, so make sure you get one before stock runs out.
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KINGLAKE® Steel Hive Tool
One of the classics from the Kinglake range, this nine inches does precisely what it says on the tin. It is one of the most exceptional hive tools for prying hive bodies, scraping, lifting up frames, and pulling nails.
Sometimes the larger hive tools can be a little cumbersome, and that is why you will love this one so much. It is the perfect size to appeal to novice beekeepers while being reliable enough to be popular with experts.
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Honbay Steel J-Hook Hive Tool
The Honbay J-Hook Hive Tool has got to be one of the best on the market. With a fantastic shape and reliable design, there is nothing beekeepers cannot do with this tool. It is sturdy and works well, and is just as good a quality as any of the tools you would find in a store. However, you do not have to pay as much for the privilege.
Buy from Amazon
How to use Hive Tools
Now, those of you new to beekeeping are likely wondering how to use hive tools. Well, the first thing to note is what They are not meant to do. Beekeepers have all kinds of different duties to fulfill when it comes to maintaining their beehives.
Moreover, the good news is, there are plenty of tools and pieces of equipment that can help them to do this. Hive tools play an integral role in the day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of the hive itself.
If you want a career as a beekeeper, you are going to need to understand what is essential for the job. Moreover, that means understanding the purpose and function of hive tools, and the best way of using them. Here are three of the principal functions of these tools, and how essential they are for you.
Loosening Hive Bodies and Frames
As a beekeeper, you need to tend to the hive, nurture it, and help it to grow and thrive. However, this means you are going to need to keep it functional as much as possible. That means tending to it and helping the bees out with any problems they might be encountering.
The only way to accurately accomplish that is to access the inside of the hive. As such, you need to use hive tools to help you loosen the body and frames of the colony so you can get in and sort out issues and make sure everything runs smooth.
Scraping and Cleaning
A big part of hive maintenance is ensuring you keep the hive, and its tunnels, as clean and unblocked as possible. That is long and arduous work, but it is also worth doing because it is essential for the good of the hive.
It is much effort and hard work for bees to produce the honey they do, so you have to ensure they are always able to. Keep the hive as clean as possible by using the tools to scrape and clean off the excess comb and honey from the inside of the hive.
Removing Bee Stings
Sure, there is plenty of protective gear you can use when you are working as a beekeeper. However, even with all this on, you are still likely to get the odd sting now and again. That is not a significant issue in and of itself, but you do need to make sure you deal with these stings. Hive tools are handy for ensuring you remove bee stings and ensure you can carry out your duties effectively.
How to Clean Hive Tools
Beehives are incredibly delicate, and you have to be careful about what foreign elements you introduce into them. That is why it is so important to make sure you clean the tools as carefully and professionally as possible.
Make sure you keep a couple of spares if your device gets lost, broken, or damaged in some way. You also have to make sure the products you are using to clean are not going to have a detrimental effect on the hive or the tools themselves.
Now, some people believe it is necessary to sterilize your bee hive tool, but it is not. Putting it in boiling water for 10 minutes or even putting it through the dishwasher will clean it to an appropriate level.
Just make sure you scrape it clean first, of course. Keeping the tools as clean as possible, after every use, will help them last longer, and make sure not to introduce anything bad to the colony.
As you are a little new to the beekeeping process, you probably have many questions. There is a lot to learn, and it can be pretty overwhelming when you first start out. However, that is what these FAQs are for – they will help cover any questions you might have at this stage.
Included are questions that you might like to know. There are also plenty of YouTube tutorials out there that you can benefit from as well.
Q: Which Type of Tool Should I Buy?
A: To be honest, it mostly depends on your preference and budget. These tools are not expensive, and you should keep in mind that often you can pick them up online for cheaper. Think about what you are going to be using the tools for, and this will help inform your decision when choosing one.
Q: Is There Anything I Cannot Use Them For?
A: Yes. There might be a temptation to mix paint and chemicals or use the flat part of the tools to clean other things. Avoid doing this as much as possible. You need to keep your tools fresh and well-maintained so you can ensure that they are perfect for use with the hive.
You do not want to damage the tools or risk introducing harmful substances into the beehive. (you can take a look at the best beehives here)
Q: What is Good Tool Maintenance?
A: Well, you already know that you need to clean your tool after every use, and that goes without saying. However, it is also essential to ensure that you maintain it efficiently as well. For instance, sharpening the tool every couple of months is probably a good idea, as this improves it’s functionality and makes your job easier.
Q: What’s So Special About a J Tool?
A: Well J Tools are named as such because of the curve they have at the end that causes their shape to be like a ‘J.’ Now, these are sleek and elegant-looking tools, but they are also really important. For instance, J tools can be used to lift and remove the frames without killing or disturbing too many bees.
In closing, it is clear that hive tools are an integral part of the beekeeper’s daily routine. They are the keys that allow you to unlock the secrets of the hive and help tend to your bees. As long as you have the right and best hive tools, you should have no problems keeping your bees healthy and productive.
There are plenty of hive tools on the market; it’s really just a case of trying to ensure you choose the right sort for you.
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