10 Items to Take to the Bee Yard


There is a certain amount of planning required any time you head out to check your hives. It is not a chore you can tick off your list just casually walking by and thinking "oh yes, I meant to reverse those brood boxes today". So you stop, pop off the cover, change the position of the brood boxes, slap the lid back on and head back to your La-Z-Boy. Although most of the tasks involved in keeping bees are not especially difficult, it does require some forethought.

 Bees on the Hive

I try to have a mental plan for everything I need but it is not uncommon to find I have forgotten something critical. My hives are a short walk from the house, but far enough that I don't want to run back and forth every time I need something. Most beekeepers have their hives away from the house, some are even miles away. A good plan in the form of a written checklist can be most helpful.

To help myself and all the other forgetful beekeepers out there, here's my new checklist for heading to the bee yard. These are not in order of priority.

1. Spare frames. While going through the hive I may find that frames are damaged or need to be replaced. When comb becomes very dark, it is time to swap it out for fresh foundation.

2. Hive tools. One to a person. These flat metal tools are indispensable for prying loose boxes, covers, and frames. Hive tools can be used to scrape off unwanted burr comb. I also use them to squish any small hive beetles I find.

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