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Beepro posted a thread asking what people thought the most useless gadgets were. I wonder if we could go in the opposite direction and name our favorite gadgets, shortcuts, and tricks.

I like the mosquito head nets found in the camping section of various stores. They're only a couple of bucks and handy for when I don't feel like suiting up and don't want to worry about getting stung in the face :)
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>I like the mosquito head nets found in the camping section of various stores. They're only a couple of bucks and handy for when I don't feel like suiting up and don't want to worry about getting stung in the face

Agreed. I try to keep one in my back pocket in case I want to go do something around the hives and not worry about a bee getting in my face. Also nice for bee meetings where they are doing any demos in hives. Plenty good enough if you're just a spectator.

I assume this is in addition to the obvious ones, like smokers and hive tools...

I like to have a hair clip queen catcher handy. If I want to keep track of a queen I can catch her and keep her where I can keep an eye on her, whether it's catching a swarm or doing a split or whatever...

I like to have a paint pen handy for marking queens.

A flashlight is handy for spotting eggs when you can't get the light quite right.

I'm hardly ever without a Leatherman... the knife blade with a twist can even get by as a hive tool if you don't have one (don't pry straight or you'll break the blade) and pliers, wire cutters etc. are all handy one time or another.
 

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A melon-baller, the one in the kitchen drawer, works great for removing the scattered drone cells and other unwanted cells prior to extracting the honey.
 

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At the risk of self-promotion ...... An Oxalic Acid Vaporizer from OxaVap.com to kill mites. No harm to brood, bees or queens and only pennies per treatment!
 

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At the risk of self-promotion ...... An Oxalic Acid Vaporizer from OxaVap.com to kill mites. No harm to brood, bees or queens and only pennies per treatment!
Now how could that be self promoting? Sarcastic

I started using a carpenters nail apron this year and I love it. I keep a queen clip, paint pen and other small essentials in it. I modified it a little so my hive tool is always exactly where I want it and I put a small folding screw driver kit in and a very small pair of wire snips for cutting out foundation wire that the bees don't like to draw comb around. It is so much easier that the pockets on any suits I've owned.
This is not the big leather nail bag/hammer holder thing. It is just a canvas apron with two large pockets.
 

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My J hook hive tool. I really miss it! I think I may have set it down on the drawbar of the tractor.
 

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My hive stands, I made them so the space between the supports are spaced to hang a few frames in. don`t have to lean them against anything . My bee vac is next most useful gadget,,,,,,Pete
 

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J hook hive too and frame grips. My bees like to glue stuff down, and I can't even get the first frame out without either of these tools.

My Merrill tool box has been a lifesaver. I can use it as a seat in the bee yard, but it holds all my tools, so my stuff doesn't get misplaced nearly as often as I would otherwise...
 

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I love a large turkey feather that I found in the yard. It is so light and great for pushing bees out of the way.
 

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http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/bellow-hand-duster-p-106.html

These work pretty good and for the price they can’t be beat. They spread the powder well enough that I have never gotten any piles of powder sugar on the sticky boards. They also have enough room for a whole cup of PS to fit. Just make sure when you clean them, let them dry all the way or the will get jammed up. Also the tip comes off if you need to get to the jam
I will make a vid on YouTube with them when I get time.
 

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I am enamored of my Kent Williams style hive tool, sold by Walter Kelley. I have two and somehow they are always both dirty at the same time!
 

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At the risk of self-promotion ...... An Oxalic Acid Vaporizer from OxaVap.com to kill mites. No harm to brood, bees or queens and only pennies per treatment!
Plus one on the Vaporizer!
 

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Hive tool tops my list. Useful for so many things even outside of the apiary when available.

I think it was here that someone posted plans for a portable apiary table. I made one and as far as "Gadgets" go it is very useful. I wish it was lighter but at least it's stout. Move it from one group of hives to the other. Give's you some place to set, boxes, store frames if you're inspecting, place tools...so you don't place them someplace and lose them. I use it for making nucs, attempting to raise queens and pretty much anything I do on the yard.

~Matt
 

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I started using a carpenters nail apron this year and I love it.
hey thanks for reminding me of this one. i need to modify mine to properly hang the hive tool, but i'm lazy and have never gotten around to it. i'm a big fan of tools being located on your person. it's a muscle memory thing and they never get lost.
 
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