By Mike Gebert –
Happy New Year one and all! Glad to be back with all of my followers on the Beekeeper’s Corner. Sorry for the long delay between articles, but with the holidays and the craziness that follows them its been rather busy. Anyway, this session we will see some tools that are needed and tools that make beekeeping a lot easier.
The first tool is the most important. The beehive tool does it all, from prying apart the boxes to scraping propolis, pulling frames and my favorite… killing small hive beetles. This tool as with all beekeeping items comes in all sizes and shapes. It does not matter what size or color you get as long as you have one.
The next item is not needed, but makes your life a lot easier when it comes to pulling frames. You will hear some old timer beekeepers making fun of you using this, but it speeds inspections up and causes less stress to the bees, which means less possible stings to the beekeeper.
The next item is a uncapping scratcher. This tool has a couple of uses. When harvesting honey, you can use this tool to pull the cappings off the honey cells, exposing the honey inside before you insert it into the extractor. This tool also allows you to inspect bee cells to see how many varrora mites you might have by piercing the cells, pulling the bee pulpa out and looking to see if there are any mites on it.
The last tool we will cover this week is a simple bee brush. You can get these brushes just about anywhere. It’s simply a soft bristle brush used to brush bees off the frames so you can inspect it easier
Well, there you have it. The four basic tools a beekeeper should own. We’re almost done with some of the basics of beekeeping. Shortly, we will be moving onto the anatomy of the bees, viruses that you can encounter, as well as watching an actual video of an inspection. Stay tuned.