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New Bee
Feb 27, 2010
Reaction score
Basingstoke, Hants
Hive Type
Number of Hives
3 plus 1 nuc
After the euphoria of yesterday (see previous post) I have suddenly realised that apart from my shiny new hive tool, smoker and bee suit I do not have a lot of other 'bit's and pieces' in my tool kit. Noticed when I went out with my mentor yesterday that he had a a whole lot of 'bit's and pieces' with him.

Any ideas of the a usual set up when visiting the out apiary.

Also now that I have bees should I be stocking up with anything in case they need treating, mites etc.

And finally based on having three colonies by June what spares equipment wise would be recommended.
Off the cuff thoughts.

queen introduction cages.


Queen marking paint.

Drawing pins

Pen/pencil. (I use indelible pen)

News paper.

smoker fuel.

matches (EMPTY match boxes are very useful and can be used as intro cages if needed!)

Getting "funcy" blow torch for lighting smoker.

and no doubt others carry more.

PH thanks for this, is there also a standard hive record card or do people just keep their own records in whatevedr format that suits.
PH thanks for this, is there also a standard hive record card or do people just keep their own records in whatevedr format that suits.

i have my own records cards but keep them in a plastic pouch on the crown board of each hive ( rember Bees destroy paper so the pouch needs to be sealed)
I am using a laminated piece of paper (A5)

I use my own short hand.

See other threads for that.... LOL

Matches, 2 lighters, 2 hive tools, hammer, nails, pencil, paper,string, penknife, bee brush, stanley knife, secateurs, duct tape
Pete as in Polyhives response - blow torch! A windy day and your lighter or matches will not get your smoker going.

I use light rubber gloves, carry spares. They can get ripped or if you unexpectedly get covered in propolis / honey / what ever . Equally if you discover a prob in one hive you can bin them - a change of gloves keeps the inspection going.
magnifying glass (early years learning centre, unbreakable)
magnifying glass (early years learning centre, unbreakable)
Careful with the magnifying glass;), it's easy to melt comb on a sunny day (shouldn't need to use it to see all you need to see if it's a bright day).

John Wilkinson
Thanks for all the contributions so far. Admin have PM'ed you regarding the Hive Record Card.

I need a bigger toolbox I think, thanks to all the items so far. Some I had thought of but some not even thought about.

What would be good to now also is the situation on hive spares along with disease treatments I should have in stock in case of trouble.
I'd agree with the above comments and add the following:

Cover cloths (some teatowels or bits of fabric with some dowelling stapled on each side to add weight) - very useful for covering up the hive while you're looking at something else.

Queen Marking Cage - useful for queen marking, but also for trapping the queen under if you need to do things that involve moving the frame she is on without risking squashing/dropping her.

I have a long thin toolbox which also conveniently stores entrance reducers and mouseguards in it, which can be handy at particular times of year.

A4 paper - for writing, lining varroa tray inserts with, to have something white as a background when looking at things, or to make envelopes to collect samples in:

Sure there'll be more things to add when I next rummage through the toolbox!

EDIT: Just remembered the other thing I have which might be of use to folk - a Bee Life-cycle reckoner I made up a while ago, which can be downloaded here:
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Re queen marking cage.

I have found the "crown of thornes" type to be very good. simply drop it over the queen. any workers trapped as well can escape between the pins once they are out the cage can then be gently pressed into the comb to immobilise the queen for marking. once the paint is dry she can be released - minimum stress and disturbance.
Regards Mike
Match, I've just printed out the life cycle ready rec, really useful, Thanks, R
Just looked at the life cycle tool. How clever is that.

Toolbox is getting bigger. Does not include any of the necessary disease treatments yet!!

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