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Hi, All! In the world of beekeeping there are many useful gadgets that are worth your money.
But there are also many that are useless so might as well save your money. Take these queen
cell protector for example. They are absolutely useless for caging these queen cells that the workers
got to them in less than a day. I will not buy them again.....What is your most useless gadget to buy thinking that
it might work?

I want to make more Fall queens with big healthy cells. But they all got destroyed after a day. Might as well put them
inside a hair roller cage and capped off both ends until the queen hatch.
 

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Useless of useless...capping scratcher...capping 'roller'...hive staples...and what should be illegal is a bee brush, and leaf blowers! NASTY things...poor bees! I know you are heading into the queen rearing world, but your title did not indicate such, so just sharing experiences...I need to go out to the work shop to look at the rusty gear I thought I had to have... ;)
 

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>What is your most useless gadget to buy thinking that it might work?

Well, I have a large box of those queen cell protectors... just like yours...

I bought a frame holder that sets on the end of the hive. It seemed like a good idea, but I never used it. I bought a canvas cloth that has about a 2 1/2" gap in it so you can cover all but the frame you're working. It's probably a great idea, but I never used it. I bought a bunch of stoller frame spacers. They seemed like a good idea, but it's easier to have the boxes all the same and they always seemed to be in the way. I pulled all the ones I had in the boxes and never used them anymore. I think one of the most worthless things is a ten frame deep box. :) What good is it if I can't lift it without hurting myself?
 

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I like my cappings scratcher for those shallow spots or the corners where the knife didn't slice the caps off. And I have used hive staples from time to time as extra security when moving the bees to an orchard. Michael, I too have a pristine frame holder and a perfectly good cloth cover that looked neat to have but never got used. Sometimes I wish i could return all the unused stuff and be a bit richer.
 

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Wait a minute, BIM, I got somewhat of a difference of opinion... :D

A capping scratcher...what do you use to uncapped the uneven cells that the knife or plane doesn't reach?

The bee brush....I've actually just really used one this year and like it ok for my limited use of it...don't brush but use a "flicking motion" to remove the bees....brushing will roll the bees and make them mad but flicking catches them by surprise and they're just left with a "dang, what was that about?" attitude and no harm done. I'm hoping one of my "great hunter" :rolleyes: friends will bring me some turkey wing feather this year...

Hive staples....really handy for moving hives around...I tend to hive swarms directly into a box and the bottom box and bottom board being attached together is nice... I like them for the bottom box and board when I'm doing cut-outs as it seems to give the stack of boxes more stability when I ratchet strap them together. Most of my hives in my beeyard do not have staples, though. And, I don't use them for anything other than joining the bottom box and bottom board.

Something I've found that I consider not worthy of use in their current condition are racks that go between the bottom boards and bottom brood boxes for added room and/or ventilation. I've have a few of these but once I put them together they seem to have way too many cracks and crevices for SHB to hide in. Until I seal a bunch of those hiding places with something I'm not going to try using them.

Wood bound queen excluders... Well, I haven't actually used queen excluders since about the first 2 weeks of my first honey flow, not to say I won't ever use them again but for now I'm happy without them. What I found was that the groove that the metal excluder rested in was...yelp...a shb racetrack...you could see the beetles racing along inside the slots where the wire frame fit into. :pinch: Maybe the all-metal excluders work better?

Ed
 

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It sounds to me like all these "useless" gadgets just aren't being used properly. I know there are commercial operators that use escape boards with great success. I imagine because its much too cold for fume boards to be effective. However I can also see where in NC with the heat its too much work to use escape boards especially if handling supers by hand.

Capping scratcher? well that ones been covered.

bee brush? very limited usage and I used to feel it was useless until I rediscovered a use for it.

queen cell protector? They were never meant to cage a queen, but rather to protect the queen cell. I use them frequently when making up NUCs and splits. They are great to keep from accidently mashing the cell when pressing it into the wax/honey and brood. Though I have also used them for queen cages when the cells emerge with virgins early. Again they work great.

10 frame box? Why would anyone find the absolute industry standard beebox useless?
 

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Unheated capping knife. I hate it. It just tears the crud out of the cappings. I did purchase a capping punch roller which worked awesome.

Frame grabber thingy. Used it 1/2 season a couple years ago. It's sitting on a shelf collecting dust.

Comb honey cutter. Makes a mess out of the comb. I use a couple knives now that I keep warm on a hot plate.
 

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Hi, All! In the world of beekeeping there are many useful gadgets that are worth your money.
But there are also many that are useless so might as well save your money. Take these queen
cell protector for example. They are absolutely useless for caging these queen cells that the workers
got to them in less than a day. I will not buy them again.....What is your most useless gadget to buy thinking that
it might work?

I want to make more Fall queens with big healthy cells. But they all got destroyed after a day. Might as well put them
inside a hair roller cage and capped off both ends until the queen hatch.

They are not for protecting the queen cells from the other bees. They are for introducing the queen cell to the new nuc, etc. Once you put the cell in the protector and push it into the wax of the frame you are inserting into a nuc, etc, it protects the cell from being squashed as you move the frames together. it make it a bit easier to attache the cell to the frame without worrying about damaging it. You can certainly do without them and most do.
 

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> A capping scratcher...what do you use to uncapped the uneven cells that the knife or plane doesn't reach?

I use the tip of the uncapping knife.
Makes good sense. I guess I shouldn't have included "knife" in my sentence since I have no experience with a knife...I've only used a plane. The plane can be tilted over to uncap some of the cells missed by the main uncapping movement but there are just areas it won't reach easily or that a scratcher works better. The tip of a knife I can see getting to most areas.

Michael, do you use a corded hot knife or a cold knife (heated by other means possibly)?

Ed
 

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my biggest dud so far is a cheap veil/jacket i got from china.

my best tool is a 10 frame deep box. I keep one in my bee wheel barrow. i use it to hold frames and to stack supers on when inspecting. my yard isnot at all flat or level so i angle the barrow accordingly.

the brush works well when its not gooey, lol
 

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I forgot about the frame grabber thingy. I found it useful if I wanted to drop a frame unexpectedly. :D
 

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+1 on the frame grabber being useless. I used it a few times, but it quickly found a home on a remote shelf in my garage.


Bee brush is a very useful tool, but not to clear bees from frames when pulling honey. In queen rearing, often you want to gently remove bees without shaking the frame. In this case the brush is very useful.
 

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this is quite interesting. what some find useless others like a lot. I do not use the frame lifter everyday but it is always within reach for frames that are a tight fit.. I am in my 60 but some times I wish I had all 10 frame deeps, they are heavy but take 3 frames out and they handle about like an 8 frame medium. 10 frame deeps are the lowest cost per square foot of comb and less burr comb per hive between boxes... interesting thread.
 

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When I was running a lot of hives with all wax coated PermaComb which had no spacers on it, I found the frame grip handy for helping me space frames. Now I haven't seen mine in a few years and haven't gone looking for it...

(Does anyone else hate the new "autocorrect" on IE? I have a sticky keyboard and if a letter gets dropped because the key stuck, rather than show it as an error, it tries to correct it... so the "for" in the line above, where I dropped the "r" because the keys stuck got turned from "fo" into "of" and not flagged as wrong at all... and I never even see it happen... While I like a spell checker that flags things for me I hate one that corrects things for me... I've had more typos get through since the autocorrect than ever before... speaking of useless gadgets...)
 

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For me, the one-handed frame grabber, was extremely handy after my shoulder surgery. It was gifted to me, and made my beekeeping chores much easier while I was limited to only the use of one hand, until my right shoulder had healed enough for me to have use of my right arm, again. That was a period, more than two weeks and less than three.

I use those queen cell protectors. They work for me, I use them to place queen cells suspended between the Top Bars of frames. Without the protectors, the cells are attached to the Top Bars and are damaged/destroyed when those frames are moved. The protectors make it possible to continue manipulating these frames, when necessary, without the concern of damaging these cells.

I don't use a "bee brush" or feather. I sometimes use my few 10-frame deep supers to store idle medium combs in. I've never used an uncapping knife, a capping scratcher is all I've used for uncapping.

The most useless items of beekeeping gear, I've ever purchased, were a bottle of Fumidil-B, and a package of Terramycin/powdered sugar mix. I purchased them back in the early 1970's, and never had occasion to use either.
 

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I am in my 60 but some times I wish I had all 10 frame deeps, they are heavy but take 3 frames out and they handle about like an 8 frame medium. 10 frame deeps are the lowest cost per square foot of comb and less burr comb per hive between boxes... interesting thread.


I like that idea.......may try it as I've a number of deeps that I only used for brood chambers, but since I've cut back some, may try them for supers rather than cutting them back to mediums.....who knows...
 
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