Hive Tools

Hive tools are specially designed levers with scraping edges and other features that aid the beekeeper when manipulating hives. They help with dismantling of hives, removal of frames and can also be used to scrape accretions of propolis or brace comb from hive parts.

Red ‘J’ Type

A very popular tool as it is the least expensive of commercially available types. It is also narrow, enabling it to be crooked in the little finger of one hand, so that it is always available, yet does not interfere with holding frame lugs. The curved portion gives rise to the name ‘J’ type and is used as a hook to lever out a frame using the shoulder to rest on an adjacent frame.

Orange ‘J’ Type

This is similar to the red type, but is broader and more substantial in strength. The curved portion is used in the same way as with the red type. Another feature that is shared with the red type is the rectangular sideways extension near the chisel end. This is inserted between frames and is used, with a twisting motion, to separate them and to break any propolising that has occurred between frames.

Yellow Type

This type is broad at both ends, with one end curled round in a scroll. The separating action is performed by dropping the curved portion between adjacent frame top bars and rotating the tool to left or right.

A levering action can be performed by lipping the curved portion under a lug and rocking the tool backwards so that the rounded portion rests on the adjacent lug. The unusually shaped hole is intended for removing nails. To complicate matters the yellow type is sometimes blue, red and even orange. The bright colours help you to find it after dropping in the long grass.

The hole in all the hive tools can also be used to attach a belt clip. This allows the tool to dangle within easy reach when not actually in use.

Stainless steel types are available. These are made in all of the shapes shown above as well as a slimmer version of the yellow type. The use of stainless material renders them stronger and as they often have a highly polished finish they can be more easily cleaned. They can also be sterilised with more vigorously active disinfectants.

You can buy Hive tools from: