People who have been beekeepers for years will tend to bees without a veil or without a smoker. However, each one of them will always take their hive tool with them.
Why the Hive Tool?
Honeybees will “glue” everything together with a stick substance called “Propolis.” This substance is created with a mixture of tree sap and honey bee saliva. Honeybees use it to insulate their entire hive.
With this being said, when a beekeeper is out tending to the hive, it can be cumbersome trying to pull the hive boxes apart by hand. Beekeepers use the hive tool as a type of “crowbar” to maneuver their way through the hive itself.
Hive Tool Uses
The hive tool isn’t just used to pry hive boxes apart. Fortunately it has several uses for a beekeeper and should be taken on every trip to visit the hives.
For starters, the hive tool can be used to scrape away at burr comb and ensuring the hive is well maintained for ease of use during the next trip.
Or it can be used to kill those pesky wasps that will bother you when you’re inside the hive. This allows for some satisfaction when killing them, especially during the season when wasps are on the attack for weaker hives.
Another use for a hive tool is when you’re treating for mites and you forgot to bring something to scoop out the thymol treatment. You’re handy hive tool can be used to apply the treatment to the cards that are provided.
Depending on what type of tool you purchase you can use the hook at the end of the tool for ease of pulling out frames! Or you can also use the tool for scraping off dog poo that you’ve managed to step in on your way to the hives.
But Why is the Hive Tool More Important?
Sometimes when you’re starting out as a beekeeper, you learn that this hobby it isn’t cheap. At that point when funds are low, you learn what the necessary tools are that you need to get by.
A hive tool is the most important tool that you will use above all other tools. When I started as a beekeeper I had a hive tool, smoker and a bee suit. This wasn’t including the boxes and frames needed for the bees.
This tool is the one that is used the most. Sure a smoker is used to calm the angry bees but the tool you use the most is the hive tool. One thing I learned is never set it down! Just when you do, you’ll need it for something or to pull out another frame that the bees glued together.
New beekeepers tend to purchase more than what they need. Or they will listen to someone else to advised them to purchase another tool they may use once or twice.
Sure some tools or accessories may be quite handy and make life a little easier, however, nothing compares to the one that you will use the most. The hive tool.