Bee Season: 4 Must-Have Tools

Bee Hat and Veil

Bee Hat and Veil

Kelley's favorite tool is her hat and veil.

Kelley's favorite tool is her hat and veil.

As a novice beekeeper, I’ve started small with one hive and the minimum of tools. I know beekeepers who need an extra room for their equipment: honey filters and extractors, frame-making gadgets and more. I’m not knocking it; in 10 years, I’ll probably be there. But for now, these are the tools I can’t live without.

1. Hive Tool

The bees seal the cracks in the hive with resin-like propolis. You use the flat end of the multipurpose hive tool to break the seal and, once you’re in the hive, scrape away excess comb. The curved end becomes a lever for prying up the frames.

2. Mini-Smoker

I love my smoker because it’s compact; I only need enough smoke for one hive. I load mine with pine needles, but you can use any fragrant fuel to calm the bees: bee tobacco, fabric (cotton or burlap), wood chips and even cardboard.

3. Gloves

Next up? Gloves. I don’t have a bee suit (hate ‘em, the uncomfortable things), so I pull on an extra shirt and use my shoulder-length gloves to protect against stings.

4. Hat and Veil

My favorite piece, though, is the veil that one of my bee mentors gave me. It belonged to Mr. Thomas, a gentleman who kept bees for more than 50 years here in east Tennessee. When he passed on, he handed it down to my mentor. When I wear it, I think about my grandmother — the first beekeeper in my life — Mr. Thomas and my generous bee mentor. I sometimes consider getting one of the new, streamlined ones. But for now, like my simple list of tools, I think I’ll keep it.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Paint Glossary: All About Paint, Color and Tools

Learn what type of paint to use, which tools will work best and the basics for picking color schemes.

'Fixer Upper' Season 4 Finale: The Colossal Crawford Reno

Chip and Jo take on a project for some special clients and deliver a makeover that's way long on 'wow' factor.

The Wait Is (Almost) Over! 'Fixer Upper' Season 4 Is Here

Fixer Upper’s fourth season makes its debut November 29 (9p/8c) on HGTV. It's the biggest and best season yet, and we've got some pictures to show you. Not to mention a special video preview.

Five Tools for Aerating Your Lawn

Give your soil some air and keep your grass healthy with these tools for aerating your lawn.

'Vintage Flip' is Back for Season Two

Tina and Jessie Rodriguez have great things in store for the new season of their old-home renovation series — and a new addition of their own.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.