And one who will save you in a pinch.
During beekeeping class the instructors went over several important items to keep in your bee tool kit. They mentioned things like a bee brush, or a feather, to move the bees out of the way when needed; a hive tool, an obvious necessity to pry open the hive; a lighter or matches for your smoker; a pocket knife; a jar to store propolis and wax and a few other things. Another item they explained as absolutely necessary was duct tape. My husband is very handy and has a reputation for being able to fix anything with duct tape, so I already knew the great properties of this seemingly modest item. I heeded my instructors advice and went out and purchased my very own roll and hid it from my husband, who would confiscate it as his own if he found it. This roll was to be used for the exclusive use of beekeeping and I placed it inside my bee tool kit.
Without fail this has been one of the most important beekeeping tools I own. I am amazed at the number of ways you can use this silly little item. It seems every few times I open my hive I find a need for it. I used it to securely hang the queen cage when I couldn’t get it to hang correctly with a paperclip. I used it to block the upper bee entrance when I needed to keep the queen inside the hive. I used it to place a screen over some wet bees that needed to dry out inside my basement. I even used it to successfully capture the unthinkable, a bee swarm 80 feet high clustered on a tree branch. This little roll of silver sticky tape has been a bee saving device many times over. If you are a beekeeper and do not yet know the wonders of this unassuming item – get some and fast! Then you too will enjoy the ever amazing, saving your butt in a time of crisis, properties of duct tape.