This is not an exhaustive list, there are so many to choose from, whether they be useful or not, this is my essential list.


The smoker is used to subdue the bees before working on the hive or removing frames. Various fuels can be used: dry rotten wood, pine cones, wood chips, cardboard, etc. The thing to remember is that you want smoke not flame, the fuel used should smoulder. Puff smoke in the entrance first then gently over the bees when needed.

Hive tools

These are used for opening the hive and gently removing the frames. They are multi-purpose that is also used for scraping and cleaning the hive parts.

There are two main types:

  • The cranked type with a scraping blade on both ends, one end is bent at a right angle.
  • And the J type with a scraper at one end and a J shaped lever at the other.

The best hive tools are of well-tempered spring steel, beware of cheap and nasty ones.