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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Hey all, so my contract product design position just ended (ie, now unemployed) and I need to keep busy. I wanted to start a person project and look at redesigning the hive tool / some thing for storing it. I'm in my first season and wanted to turn to all of you for feedback on your likes / dislikes of what is currently on the market.

    I'd like to start a dialogue about how members of beesource use their hive tools, more specifically:

    -Do you use a hive tool? If so, what type?

    -What hand do you use the tool(s) in?

    -For what functions / how do you use the tool(s)?

    -What are the pros / cons of the hive tool(s) you have?

    -What features would you want to see in the "ultimate hive tool"?

    -Where do you put the hive tool when when inspecting a hive and it's not in your hand?

    -Anything else I should know??



    It'd be great to hear from:

    -New Beeks
    -Seasoned Hobbyists
    -Sideliners
    -Commercial Keepers



    Thanks in advance; I created another thread about veils and you guys/gals were great in responding. Just as an update, I've since prototyped a few and been testing my homemade veil with my bees and so far love it/need to continue tweaking it. http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ils-Black-Mesh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    You would basically need to combine a hive tool with a frame lifter/scraper and an EZ pry hive tool.

    Maybe you could combine it with a brush while you're at it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    @WLC-

    Could you expand on your thoughts for a brush? What would be the benefit of that? Very interested.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    I like the Australian J curve hive tool. Yes, I am Australian but I do like it. IT WORKS. Made from good steel and not thick (some are). Great for breaking boxes, scraping the tops of frames, levering up the frames

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    800

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Someone, Kent Williams, beat you to it: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...iams-Hive-Tool

    Tom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    sweetas, I like the J-curve tool as well and forged one a while back. mine is a touch too thick, but manageable. How do you get around inserting the flat end between boxes? with the J on the opposite side, i have a hard time forcing it between boxes and a solid tap from my palm does little but hurt my hand. I think this is due to by thickness. Would you mind sharing the thickness of yours?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Kpeacock, glad to share. Mine is 2 mm or 1/16 of an inch thick. It also has a bit of spring in it. My brother gave me one that he had years ago, it may be twice as thick and no spring. It seems to fit at the corners and manage a bit of leverage.

    Cheers Geoff,

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by KPeacock View Post
    sweetas, I like the J-curve tool as well and forged one a while back. mine is a touch too thick, but manageable. How do you get around inserting the flat end between boxes? with the J on the opposite side, i have a hard time forcing it between boxes and a solid tap from my palm does little but hurt my hand. I think this is due to by thickness. Would you mind sharing the thickness of yours?
    @sweetas- and @KPeacock-
    For a J-curve tool are you simply referring to this style? http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...ductinfo/495C/

    Does anyone use a holster like in the image shown?


    Quote Originally Posted by TWall View Post
    Someone, Kent Williams, beat you to it: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...iams-Hive-Tool

    Tom
    @TWall-

    Thanks for the link! I still think there might be room for improvement but I appreciate the link!

    I noticed in that thread, someone mentioned the price being a bit high at $18.00

    How does a price near $20 make you feel? Or has the bee keeping community come to expect the hive tools to be inexpensive?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    No, it is not that one. more like item 762. Is flat with a scrapper/pry at one end and a J for hooking up frames. cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by sweetas View Post
    No, it is not that one. more like item 762. Is flat with a scrapper/pry at one end and a J for hooking up frames. cheers
    @sweetas-

    Awesome, thanks for providing clarification. That is actually the hive tool I have. It seems nice. But I don't have a wealth of experience to compare it too.



    Could any one comment on the handle being "flat" and not having any shape to it? Pros/cons?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Amherst Virginia USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Love my hive tool. Its a do all tool...buying another tommorrow. Bee brush...just pisses the bees off
    I love my honey bees!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,049

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by KPeacock View Post
    sweetas, I like the J-curve tool as well and forged one a while back. mine is a touch too thick, but manageable. How do you get around inserting the flat end between boxes? with the J on the opposite side, i have a hard time forcing it between boxes and a solid tap from my palm does little but hurt my hand.
    Look at the one from Kelly's, called the Kent Williams Hive Tool. It has the J hook AND the all the features of a typical hive tool. It is the one I use all the time.......
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for Oxalic Acid Vaporizers

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by wengeasley View Post
    Love my hive tool. Its a do all tool...buying another tommorrow. Bee brush...just pisses the bees off
    @wengeasley-

    Any chance you have a picture or could provide a link to a picture of the hive tool you have?

    Thanks!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Wen,
    The bees do better with the brush if you use a short flicking motion, longer strokes will roll them under the brush which REALLY ticks them off.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    I bought mine from Brushy Mt. but they don't seem to have it anymore. It's like this:
    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...oducts_id=1102

    I use it in both hands, in fact I usually have two on me so I can pry both ends of a bar.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I bought mine from Brushy Mt. but they don't seem to have it anymore. It's like this:
    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...oducts_id=1102

    I use it in both hands, in fact I usually have two on me so I can pry both ends of a bar.
    @Michael Bush-

    Thanks for bringing that tool to my attention. Always good to see the variety.



    Does any one have any major complaints about what they do not like about their tools? I'm getting a great response for what people do like and I'd love to have a counter balance. Thanks a ton!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    As far as price, I can't beat the $3-$4 for the economy hive tool that some sell. If I go through 2 or 3 tools a year, that's still pretty good. So in that light, $18-$20 may seem steep. But for a good exclusive multi-functional tool? To be determined. I know commercial beeks that go through cases of tools each year. For Easter, they take the grandkids out to the beeyards and see who can find the most hive tools; forget the easter eggs! Anyway, keep brainstorming, sounds good so far.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    wow, yeah, mine is something like 3/16" to 1/4" depending on where you measure it. I wasn't particularly careful when forging it as the bees probably don;t care too much
    I may have to make another thinner one.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,797

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    To go the other way... I like the Italian hive tool better than any other I've tried because it will pry up the end bars, the hook fits between the top bars (unlike the Maxant version), it's long so it has a lot of leverage, it's light so it's easy to carry around. The only thing that ever bothers me is the rare occasions when i would have used my palm for a hammer on the standard hive tool to get it started, I can't do that with the hook.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,759

    Default Re: Hive Tool - Use / Storage

    I use the Kent Williams tool - You could have knocked me over when I was shown into a room for my oral exam at EAS and there was Kent Williams - one of the examiners! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. One of my beekeeping heroes in the flesh!
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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