Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beekeeping: Tools of the Trade

This information is from my Beekeeping Workshop. This is a general introduction to the basic tools the beekeeper requires.

The Hive
o The Langstroth hive is still the most commonly used hive.
o In the US there are three sizes of super: Deep, Medium, and Shallow.
o The hive should be placed level and protected from pests.

The Smoker
o Uses a canister and bellows to produce smoke.
o The smoke calms the bees, masks the alert pheromone, and reduces stinging behavior.
o Smoke should be used sparingly, but always kept available to the beekeeper to control aggression as needed.
o Smoke should be 'cool' to the touch. If you notice any flames coming from the smoker, discontinue use immediately.
o You can cover the combustible material in the smoker with a layer of green grass to help 'cool' the smoke and reduce flare-up.

The Veil
o Protects the head, neck, and face. These areas of the body are very sensitive and are targeted by angry bees.
o Must be worn properly to be effective.

The Hive Tool
o A flat metal bar with a curved end for prying up frames.
o Can be used for numerous tasks in the beeyard including: scraping wax, loosening frames, opening hives, and removing stings.

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