Just three tools are needed when working your bees. In fact unless honey is being robbed, you'll use just two. Consider them as tools of the trade.
- The smoker is the only control you will have over your bees. It is an essential tool to own and will be an aid when your bees have become agitated or aggressive.
- The hive tool - like the hammer is to the carpenter, it is useful for opening, prying, and scrapping. The task of beekeeping would be seriously impaired without it.
- The bee brush is made with soft bristles. Not every beekeeper will use it but it is handy to have for removing frames of honey.
Both the smoker and the hive tool are essential and used every time you inspect your bees. Consider investing in better quality. A stainless steel smoker is durable and when fitted with an outside wire guard will help to protect the skin from the hot metal exterior. Larger smokers (10cm) produce more smoke and need refueling less often.
Choose a hive tool that is plated and made from harden spring steel. It shouldn't bend and will last for years. There are several types, the popular ones are the Maxant original hook end and the American style.
The bee brush is made from synthetic or horse hair bristles and have a wooden or plastic handle. These items are available at most beekeeping supplier shops.