The recommended tools on this page are the tools I would choose if I were purchasing or replacing them for myself.
This smoker from Amazon.com.
This would be the smoker I would buy next. After reviewing the quality of the components, the safety design, and the customer reviews, this smoker would be at the top of my list.
This traditional hive tool on Amazon.com.
This is the industry standard design for a hive tool. An effective tool for prying boxes apart, prying frames apart, and scraping burr comb from frame tops.
This J-shaped hive tool on Amazon.com.
This J-shaped tool is so named for the J-shaped hook on one end that beekeepers snake in under the frame edge to provide upward leverage.
This bee brush from Amazon.com.
Nice soft chemical-free and non-toxic nylon bristles. Bees are not happy about being brushed! I try to decrease that irritation with a synthetic material instead of animal hair, just a thought.
Exterior Frame Hangers
This side mount frame holder on Amazon.com.
Don’t prop your frames against anything you can find! Hang the in the order the came out of the box for better frame organization.
This honey extractor from Amazon.com.
I chose this electric honey extractor because the 4 frame extractor has more interior space and is easier to maneuver the frames within the centrifuge. And almost everyone will get 4 frames of honey at harvest time.
Additional Info About These Recommendations:
Smokers are an absolute must! Even though the most educated, long term beekeeper I know (and works bee yards with no protective gear) say a beekeeper approaching a beehive without a smoker has a death wish!
Smoke is the most effective technique of bee control. Smoking bees drives them down deeper into the hive instead of sitting on the top of the frames.
When you see bees sitting on top of the frames, and some of them are looking directly at you, be aware that these are the guard bees considering if you are a threat or not! Better to have them down in the hive not paying attention to you. Smoke them!
Hive tools are a necessary item needed for prying and scraping while you are servicing and inspecting the hive.
Bees glue the boxes together with bee glue (propolis) which is very
The hive tool is also used to separate frames with leverage also. Near impossible to remove hive frames without leverage.
And of course, the scrapper ends are used to remove burr comb and clean top of frames. Be careful when you put these tools into your clothing as the sharp points and edges can do some damage. Many beekeepers dull the corners and edges on a new hive tool before they begin to use it in the field.
Most beekeepers wanting to clear bees from the honeycomb being inspected simply give it a quick sharp shake of the top of the hive and most of the bees fall into the hive (check for the Queen before you do this, you don’t want to shake a frame with a Queen on it).
For additional bee removal of the remaining bees on the frame a bee brush is called for. Use it gently, bees are not found of being “brushed”.
And of course, the shake technique will not work at all for honeycomb not surrounded by a frame so a bee brush becomes the tool of choice.
Exterior Frame Hangers
Most beekeepers like to have some organization as they remove, inspect, and relocate specific frames within the hive. An external frame hanger is just the tool to easily accomplish this task. No more looking around saying “Did I lean that last frame against the hive on the right, or was it the left”.
Most beginning beekeepers rent an extractor the second time they do a honey harvest. The first honey harvest (usually the crush and drain technique) was more work than they expected. But sooner or later they hope to own one, making this the perfect gift for the beekeeper you love (including you to you).
Manual extractors are effective but there is a reason ice cream makers went from hand-crank to electric. The same principle applies here. Take that into consideration before laying out a healthy chunk of cash for a manual extractor that could be going towards an electric extractor. Chances are that is where you are going to end up anyway.