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mark s

Field Bee
Jun 9, 2009
Reaction score
Isle Of Wight
Hive Type
Number of Hives
16 + 3nuc's
hi all
now that ive got my hives, the next step is the other essentials that ill need.
bee suit,hive tool ect ect

any tips or links as too the best place to go for these items
thanx mark s
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Apart from the usual tools, often overlooked is a plastic tool box to hold all your bits and pieces when you are working on your hives
There's nothing so depressing as having bought a shiny new tool box and only having one single solitary hive tool in it....I speak from experience :)! But now as I've managed to collect assorted clobber, it's really handy and I would definitely recommend getting one.

I have an empty margerine tub to put burr comb into if I scrape it off the hive /QX.
Also one of those containers spices comes in, filled with icing sugar. Long matches/a lighter for the smoker is good: spare ones in tool box as I've managed to get my smoker to go out at critical moments; bits of newspaper for the same reason.
Good to collect corrugated cardboard, for the smoker, too.
And cover cloths: I made mine out of offcuts of wood with leftover thick curtain fabric nailed to them, and they work fine like that.

There are endless gubbins you can buy, but I decided to start with the minimum and so far haven't been missing any particular bit of gadgetry.
I carry:
hive tool
blowtorch for lighting and relighting smoker
cardboard for smoker
2 cover cloths
hair roller cages for queen cells
scalpel for removing queen cells
nitrile gloves
garden sprayer full of sugar syrup
crown of thorns cage
marking pen
ballpoint pen
colony record sheets and plastic covers
gaffer tape

I must get a proper tool box as I carry that in an old cardboard box.
any tips or links as too the best place to go for these items
thanx mark s

In the first instance, if you're starting from new I'd suggest, if at all possible, a trip to your local supplier so that you can try on different suits, puff the smokers, fiddle with feeders and generally have a good rummage and buy stuff that you like. Even if you don't actually buy all the gear from them you'll know that you prefer fencer type veils to the round hat jobbies and that smoker in preference to the other and so on. Granted it's not always possible, but I'm glad we took a trip to ours when I started out.

A tool box is a decent addition, I bought a cheap one first, BIG mistake: Nails and pins everywhere, lids that didn't shut and an angry beekeeper shaking his fist at the sky. In my [incredibly expensive, Stanley] tool box I have:

Press in queen cage
butterfly clip type catcher
Couple of Porter escapes
Secetaurs (spelling I'm sure)
Marking Pen
Two blow torches, a big one for scorching boxes and a little one for encouraging smokers and getting into nooks and crannies.
Spare gas.
Hive tool
Spare Hive Tool
Duct Tape
Hair ties (long hair, pain in the arse, great for collecting flying bees)
baseball cap (see above)
gimp pins for frames
Selection of Nails for banging in Castellated spacers, repairs, crucifixion etc.
Drawing pins for marking Frames of interest
Notebook and Pen
spare pen
spare washing up gloves
Box of Icing sugar (gets damp and sets into a solid block in the shed)

Have a shed on site so at least dont have to worry about smoker fuel etc.

Smiled sweetly at the local organic deli and have a food grade bucket + lid for lugging syrup around, might be overkill, but I doubt Humous is toxic to bees.

A well washed out old grout bucket with an airtight light for old bits of wax/comb
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thanx everyone for your input i never thought about half those things,ive found a supplier here on the island so im going to pester him on monday:)
I am still the original David P
thanx everyone for your input i never thought about half those things,ive found a supplier here on the island so im going to pester him on monday:)

I use the same guy for some of my bee bits I think.
Is it Vectis ?

He does some very nice straw skeps,I have seen a few in the flesh and they are very good.
In addition to some of the other things mentioned, I carry an old dictaphone. It's much easier to dictate the comments for each hive (especially if you've got several) and then write up the record sheet when you get home - no need to worry if the pen stops working, or the pencil lead breaks, or it rains and the paper gets wet, etc. :)
I also started using a dictaphone after one of the girls on here said she found it a good tool.

The only other thing I have not on the list is a spare headband.
Something else I have, although I do not carry it around with me, is a plastic tub containing a solution of washing soda. After each apiary inspection I just drop the hive tools into the tub. It helps prevent the spread of disease and cleans off honey and propolis.
Good grief.

Hive tool and smoker.


Well, yes. But keeping everything in one place means that when I do need to use <something or other> I know where to look for it. You could legitimately question the need to lug Nails and a hammer to go do a hive inspection, but I like having everything in one place.
I'm with you Nellie.
It stops all that running back and forward to a shed or a car when you realise you need a roller cage or suchlike.

I wouldn't fancy trying to surgically remove a queen cell I wanted with a hive tool or a smoker.