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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    >If you were at your bee yard but you forgot your hive tool what would you use as a substitute?

    I always have my leatherman... the nose of the pliers works between frames and the knife between boxes but remember to twist the blade. Do not pry straight down or you will break it... In fact I did just that last Saturday. Got to the hives with a smoker and no hive tool. There is always some in the van and I was home, but who wants to walk all the way back to the house... I have inspected many a hive with a pocket knife before the leatherman was invented...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Caledonia,michigan
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    dd
    Last edited by kingd; 05-15-2014 at 11:00 AM. Reason: double post

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Caledonia,michigan
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulemar View Post
    I know me, and forgetting a hive tool would be an all to often occurrence. So, because we have only a few hives, I bought a stainless hive tool which I leave on a hook on the hive stands. That has worked so far and I haven't forgotten that it's there yet!
    Thats a good idea,I have always(until recently) carried tools in all my vehicles and was thinking of doing the same thing for bee stuff.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    I haven't seen my hive tool in two weeks. Maybe it's God's way of saying "LEAVE THEM ALONE!"
    Maybe.... but just in case it's the Devil's doing, I used my Wonder Bar. Worked Great!
    S_55-515_4.jpg

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clif Schlicher View Post
    I have found this very handy when working my top bar hives.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-14-...-G14/202038673

    The price is right for sure.
    Thanks, Clif for the link. I used my car keys once to pry frames apart.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    585

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    A good sturdy lockback knife will work to split the boxes. Leatherman for the frames.

    I always keep a nice lockblade knife with a sturdy spline to the blade. Ironically, it is made by Leatherman also. Pocket knives are too thin in the blade for prying.

    Since I have a thing about stuff with an edge being dull, I sharpen the hive tools also. I use a flat one that has an L shape cutting edge and a hook for frames on the other. The sharp edge works to kill cockroaches, and I even nailed a snake with it last year.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,949

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    This thread made me remember four years ago when I caught a swarm from one of my hives. After setting up the hive that I had caught them in, I was putting things away and found that I couldn't find my hive tool. It was one of the flat ones sometimes listed as a frame lifter (has the hook on the end). Those can slip down between frames, so I thought maybe that was where it was. I looked everywhere, but it was gone. I used a small nail puller/pry bar for a couple of weeks.

    Anyway I had just remembered the lost tool when I saw this thread. Tonight I was walking up a road a couple hundred feet from the house and looked down and there it was. I've walked that road hundreds of times since losing the tool. It was where the box was laying when I cut the limb from the tree and brought it over to shake it into the box.

    Now I have 6 hives tools. It seems that you can't have too many hive tools. The tool is kind of rusty on one side, but still quite usable.
    Bruce

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    213

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Found myself in that situation the other day. I found a broken piece of a disk off a disk harrow. One edge was sharp and stiff; it worked pretty well.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    This is the perfect thread for me. I lost my hive tool somewhere in the yard when I made a split in April. Still haven't found it, but I'm pretty sure it will show up soon after I buy a new one. I am glad to know I'm in such good company on that account!

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    beedeetee, that is coincidental that you just found that hive tool that you lost. It is cool when you think of something like that and then, there it is.

    I have enjoyed reading these responses immensely. Thank You for sharing.

    Mark I am with you that one should have the hive tool with them and I have become better with having one on me at most times but it doesn't take much to misplace one at least in my experience.

    I have been leaving a hive tool under the pushbuttons of the old school GM radio in my van and leaving one on the top of a hive but then when I am working on taking frames in and out of boxes in my workshop I need one in there too, so having several is critical.

    I have not invested in any good quality knives yet like the Leatherman that has been mentioned but I am now adding that to my future supply list.

    I have some dedicated tool boxes for certain types of tools in my workshop but I need to make one up for beekeeping supplies and put hive tools, a smoker or two, screws and pieces of wood for attaching bottom boards to brood chambers, a few screwdrivers, a knife, some sharpies etc. I just brought some coffee cans with lids up to my bee yard for collecting pieces of broken comb.

    I keep a fire extinguisher up at the bee yard too and various tools like shovels and a digging bar and water and stuff. Hooking the hive tools to some boxes is a good idea There are lots of supplies like a queen marking pen, queen cages, grafting needles, cell bars, queen cups, smoker fuel, my torch, etc. I'm glad that I have a larger vehicle for moving hives and supplies. I would be sunk without my van.

  11. #31

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    One reason why I paint them bright yellow.
    David

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    I agree with what Mark said. Home Depot has a similar looking tool to that of a hive tool. They are about $7.00. They are a bit flimsy but will do until you get a new one.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    >Since I have a thing about stuff with an edge being dull, I sharpen the hive tools also.

    Sometimes it's handy to have a sharp hive tool. Usually, though, you are better off with a dull one. A sharp one tears up boxes more and tears up pockets more and catches wood when you only wanted to scrape off some propolis...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Brazoria County, Texas
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Old Boilermaker friend I had back in the late 60's used a pair of ChannelLocks size 420 with one of the handles ground down on the end for a scraper and he used them for flange bolts and gasket insertion or scrapping on pipe flanges when he was on the job.
    Along with his hive inspections. Refinery workers and Chemical plant workers use them exclusively for a easy carry tool.
    I still use the same today along with a hive tool and mostly use the ChannelLocks for holding frames for examination. They grip the top bar extremely well and work quite well.
    They make a leather pouch with a belt loop for holding them also along with a can of Copenhagen.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,123

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by My-smokepole View Post
    One reason why I paint them bright yellow.
    David
    I do that too, every now and then. I have a can of spray paint in my truck tool box for marking boxes I want to get rid of and painting hive tools a bright color. It scrapes off after a time.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,123

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by virginiawolf View Post
    leaving one on the top of a hive but then when I am working on taking frames in and out of boxes in my workshop I need one in there too, so having several is critical.
    If your livelihood depended on it you wouldn't loss them, you'd stick it in your back pocket and not on top of a hive. You'd keep a cpl in your shop for use there and have a nail to hang them on. You'd stick one, hide one, behind the seat of your truck just in case you are human and do loss one.

    Like that $100.00 bill I have stashed in my truck for an emergency. Hmm, should I have mentioned that on the internet?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,123

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by karenarnett View Post
    This is the perfect thread for me. I lost my hive tool somewhere in the yard when I made a split in April. Still haven't found it, but I'm pretty sure it will show up soon after I buy a new one. I am glad to know I'm in such good company on that account!
    Go ahead and buy a new one. I gotcher hive tool right here.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Painting them bright yellow is a good idea as well as hooking them hear and there. I thought about this thread as I worked hives this weekend. I must just get so in the zone as I am working on bees that I put the hive tool to the side and it takes me a minute to find it. There is always something unexpected that I come across as I am working on the bees. This week I found that the wooden crate that I had some things stored in had attracted large black ants and they were about ready to breed in there. Several large black ants with wings were inside and there were hundreds of ants that scattered. I was working hives in 3 locations last year but I am only working hives in 1 spot now so it is easier to keep track of things.
    There was some flooding here.
    road flood.jpg

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,979

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    I think hive tools are connected metaphysically to that missing sock. They can just disappear! My favorite trick is to leave them in the hive on the top bars. That way you can search the grass as long as you like and no sign of them. Someone suggested reflective tape once and that would be capital idea if I can find some of that in a quantity I want to buy. And if I haven't left the tool in the hive where they seldom reflect.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,123

    Default Re: What to use if you forgot or can't find your hive tool?

    Go to your Farm Supply Store and buy a small roll of colorful Duct Tape. Pink w/ Black Polka Dots or plain Yellow.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

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