The Hive Tool by Tamsin Harris

The Hive Tool by Tamsin Harris

The hive tool is the most essential piece of equipment you'll own so choosing the correct style is very important.

From levering out frames, prising off crown boards, reaming out unwanted queen cells, scraping off surplus wax and brace comb to rooting up nettles around the hive base and spearing slugs trailing across the inside walls and floor - your hive tool should always be to hand.

Look carefully at the design, size and material that the tool is made from. Stainless steel will happily withstand being immersed in your washing soda bucket until the next time you need it, coming out sterilised and sparkling clean. Mild steel is a cheaper option and maybe ideal as the spare that is always in to your tool box, or to be kept as an equipment scraper for the cleaning up of hive component parts.

A keen edge to the blade, and one that can be resharpened, is a good thing to look for - but not that sharp that it decapitates bees.

The shape of the hive tool is down to personal preference and the size of your hand will dictate which style feel most comfortable.

Watching other beekeepers use of the hive tool will give you some idea as to how versatile it is, ask them about their preference and the reasons behind their choice.

Personally, I love my stainless J tool, it's robust enough to lever weighty supers off, nicely balanced, sharpens easily, has a pointed end to use as a pick and because its shiny, it glints in the light and catches my eye when I inadvertently drop it in the grass around my hives!

Once you start inspecting your own colonies you will realise that beekeeping is downright difficult, even impossible without a good hive tool. It will be like your door key - you should never leave home without it!

Every time you visit your hive, whether to do a weekly inspection, block entrances prior to moving a colony or even just peek under the crown board to see where the colony is situated then your hive tool should accompany you, preferably in your hand. Good bee suits have specific hive tool pockets so make sure you use them, there's nothing worse than searching for your essential piece of kit that you've dropped somewhere when actually you should just be reaching into your pocket.

Get 10% off our full range of hive tools using the code HIVETOOL10 and browse our tools here:

Back to blog