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Examining a hive is much easier when you use a smoker. It is used to puff smoke into the entrance before opening the hive and blow smoke over the frames after the hive is opened. Smoke causes the bees to gorge themselves with honey; then they are much gentler. Smoke must be used carefully. Too much can drive bees from the hive. They will be slow to settle down after the hive is closed again. Burlap, rotted wood, shavings, excelsior, cardboard, or cotton rags are good smoker fuels.
Even the most experienced beekeepers wear veils to protect their face and eyes. Wire veils keep bees farther away from the face than those made of cloth. Black veiling is geneally easier to see through. Some beekeepers prefer to wear a bee suit. Whether or not a suit is used, a beekeeper's clothing should be light in color. Bees generally do not like dark colors and will attack dark objects.
Bee gloves protect the hands and arms from stings, but it is hard to do some jobs while wearing them. It is a good idea to wear gloves until you feel more comfortable working your bees.
A brush gently removes bees from frames. A leafy twig or bunch of grass can do the same job and gives you fewer tools to carry around.
A bee escape is used to clear bees out of supers. Place the escape in the center hole of the inner cover below the super to be cleared. Bees can pass through in only one direction. It usually takes about a day to get the bees out of a super.
Wire embedders are handy for wiring your own foundation. Various jigs for assembling frames and supers save time and assure square fitting. These can be purchased or made. Most beekeepers are creative with tools and make various gadgets to do special jobs.