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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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/showthread.php?286502-Veils-Black-Mesh
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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?
 

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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,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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/Hive-Tool-Holster-10-Hive-Tool/productinfo/495C/

Does anyone use a holster like in the image shown?


@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?
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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?
 

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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.......
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I bought mine from Brushy Mt. but they don't seem to have it anymore. It's like this:
http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_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!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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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.
 

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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!
 
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