Hive Tools are specially designed levers with scraping edges
and other features that aid the dismantling of beehives or aid in the
removal of frames from bee hives. They can also be used to scrape
accretions of propolis or brace comb from hive parts.
Hive Tools, for working with bee hives
Red 'J' Type
A very popular tool as it is the least expensive of commercially
It is also narrow, enabling it to be crooked in the little
finger of one hand, so that it is always available, yet does not
interfere with holding frame lugs etc..
The curved portion gives rise to the name 'J' type and is
used as a hook to lever out a frame using the shoulder to rest on an
Orange 'J' Type
This is similar to the red type, but is broader and more
substantial in strength.
The curved portion is used in the same way as with the red
Another feature that is shared with the red type is the
rectangular sideways extension near the chisel end. This is inserted
between frames and is used, with a twisting motion, to separate them
and to break any propolising that has occurred between frames.
This type is broad at both ends, with one end curled round
in a scroll.
The separating action is performed by dropping the curved
portion between adjacent frame top bars and rotating the tool to left
A levering action can be performed by lipping the curved
portion under a lug and rocking the tool backwards so that the rounded
portion rests on the adjacent lug.
The unusually shaped hole is intended for removing nails...
I have never used this facility myself as I have
fencing pliers in my
The hole, and the ones in the red and orange tools, can also
be used to attach a piece of string... The other end of which is
attached to your clothing. This allows the tool to dangle within easy
reach when not actually in use.
To complicate matters the Yellow Type is sometimes Blue,
Sometimes Red and I have seen Orange ones as well.
The bright colours help you to find it after dropping in the
long grass, (a common occurrence), but even so I have lost a few myself
over the years.
Stainless Types... These are made in all of the shapes shown
above as well as a slimmer version of the yellow type.
The use of stainless material renders them stronger and as
they often have a highly polished finish they can be more easily
cleaned. They can be also be sterilised with more vigorously active
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Originated... Spring/Summer 2000,
Revised... 11 November 2002,
Transferred to New Domain... 15 May 2004,