What’s in your bucket? How I Organize my Beekeeping Tools.

Posted in Bee Tools, Bees on October 13th, 2010
Bee Bucket

Bee Bucket

For the first several months of beekeeping, I gathered up my tools and walked out to my hives. When I placed hives in two different locations,  I found I was always forgetting something . I quickly found I needed a better system.  Now I use a 5 gallon bucket from a local restaurant. The tool holder came from Lowes, and is designed to fit over a 5 gallon bucket. It has a bunch of little pockets which are prefect for holding hive tools.

All Tools


What can be found in my bucket, changes a little bit depending on the season. For the most part I have:

– My smoker hooks on top. I keep a bag filled with torn up egg cartons to light the smoker. It is the best starter fuel I have found.

– Lighter for the smoker.

– Hive tools and bee brush. The red paint has worn off.

– Toothpicks,  for testing done cells for mites. I can shake one or two out at a time, even in gloves.

– Medication. Depending on the season but Api-Life Var or Fum-B. (if needed)

– Corks and Tape for sealing up entrances.

– Tools, exacto knife and pliers. Used for cutting down corks, fixing supers, etc

– Entrance reduces, Helpful if I find robbing or need to move a hive.

– Lemon grass extract, Used for baiting swarm traps.

– Bee Quick, for the fume board to remove bees from honey supers.

– Queen marking kit. Queen grabber, Queen holders, marking pen, and Queen cage. I practice a lot with drones on nice days.

I also have around

– Mouse guards, (Not shown) Installed in fall to keep mice away.

– Extra gloves (Not shown)

– Spearmint Rubbing Alcohol, (Not shown) Great for cleaning hive tools and gloves.

– Newspaper (Not shown) for merging hives and smoker fuel.

Using wine corks to seal up hive.

Posted in Bees, Neat Idea on October 11th, 2010
Corks in the hive.

Corks in the hive.

Now that it is getting colder, the bees seem interested in sealing up a drafty hive and  preparing for winter. I use corks to seal up entrance holes in my supers until I wrap my hives next month.  If the corks are too big for the hole, use a knife to trim down one side. Remember to leave an entrance at the top.

When I am treating with Api-Life var, I also use corks. They seem to work better than just taping up the hole and won’t pull off any paint. (In the photo you can see some tape on the bottom super)

I keep several in my bee toolkit to help quickly seal up a hive in cases of robbing or moving hives.

I was luckily enough to attend a harvest festival at a local winery and asked for the extra corks.  If you are not a large wine drinker, ask your friends or stop in to a local restaurant and ask them to save some from you.

Mobile Friendly

Posted in Uncategorized on October 9th, 2010

I have upgraded the site to support mobile browsing. Iphone/touch users should see a small screen friendly format. If anyone has any problems with the new upgrade please let me know.