Natural Beekeeping 101: What is in my bucket?


I can’t say how many times I forgot something and had to march up and down the hill ( a quarter of a mile) to my workshop to get a lighter or a sieve… sometimes even twice… Not to mention the bees that followed me up and down the hill, while the temperature was steadily rising with the morning sun. Well, here is a list of things that I have hanging on my workshop door.

1. The Bucket:

  • 2 hive tools (J Hook hive tools)
  • a sieve
  • a plastic container with a dusting mix (I discuss dusting in my e-book and this post)
  • a plastic container with wipes, moistened with hydrogen peroxide (see this post)
  • a plastic container with water (which is used for honey comb scrapings, after the water is dumped into the bowl with the smoker – see this post)
  • queen cages (it is very convenient to confine the queen for the period of inspection. I made these push down cages from the wire mesh available at the hardware store)
  • a magnifying glass (I like my retractable one, with a little light)
  • a box of matches (for brood inspection, if necessary and as an emergency lighter backup)
  • a box with latex gloves (I use only one pair during one visit, but I wipe my gloves and tools with hydrogen peroxide after each hive inspection)
  • a feather (to dust off the bees)
  • a frame spacer

beekeeper supplies

2. A smoker in a stainless steel bowl

smocker3. A smoker fuel bucket with a tightly closed lid:

  • Fuel (see the picture)
  • two lighters

4. The Frame Holder

I made the frame holder myself out of 1×1 strips of leftover from some project  pine boards. I did spend money on those simple brackets. I do have to tighten the crews once a year. I am very happy with it. It fits right into the outer cover, which I set on the beehive stand or the ground. I can take out each frame, all 9 or 10 of them and inspect them or prepare them for transferring to the double deep super.beehive frame holder

5. Last, but not least, the spray bottle with sugar bottle.

I usually store some of my supers with frames in the apiary, stacked between the outer covers and tied to the stand.

I hope that one day we can fix our very old storage shed and move it to the apiary. It is OK to drive the equipment to a remote location in a truck (though it needs to be washed after apiary visits, so that the bits and pieces of comb, propolis and honey do not attract bees), but for a trip down the hill, I use this cart.

_DSC0938If I bring back honey supers, I take the super apart immediately and shake off stray bees before dark, bringing the frames inside. Leaving them outside is a sure way to end up with ants in your honey!

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