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NWNJBA Gadget Garage

Northwest's home for our love of Gadgets

What is the Gadget Garage?

At Northwest we love beekeeping - all aspects of it. You have to admit that one of the fun things about beekeeping is the equipment, and yes, even sometimes the gadgets people come up with. We are no different than most of you who love tinker and provide practical and sometimes not so practical devices for the keeping of bees. Here we provide links to inspirations by others that we admire and in many cases have tried. In addition we are proud to say that we have developed a few gadgets of our own and are pleased to share them with you. 

If you have some tips or pointers on gadgets, we'd love to hear from you.

Send suggestions or comments to

We want to thank all of the beekeepers we've shared links to for their passion to the bees and for the inspiration in giving back to beekeeping.

Gadget Garage Compilation Video

NWNJBA Members Kevin Inglin and Bob Kloss preview a compilation of gadgets. About 10 different gadgets are previewed including several that are on this page. 
Compilation Video

Simple Solar Wax Melter

The credit for this one goes to one of our favorite bloggers, Linda Tillman.  See her Original Source Article here.  We have a few videos on melting wax and using these solar melters.
  - How to make her solar melter video
Another video on the solar Wax Melter

Drone Brood Frame

Drone Brood Frames are a tool used as part of an Integrated Pest Management program.  Information about using these are abundant on the Internet but we got our start with Randy Oliver's article on

Here is a video with a review of drone frame usage from our catalog.
Drone Brood Frame Review - Mite Count Video
Explanation of a Drone Brood Frame

Bee Vacuum

The source for this Vacuum centered on a design from Rick Hall but unfortunately the original page is no longer available.  The appeal of this vacuum is that you can assemble it inexpensively with parts from a local box store.  Click this link below to hear our own Bob Kloss talk about how he made his.

Also we have a video of Bob using the vacuum to collect a swarm. 
Swarm Capture with Bee Vacuum

Simple Bee Waterer

Providing bees a source of water is a good management practice. Simply use a bucket with floating objects for the bees to land on and drill some holes in the bucket so that excess water can prevent your bucket from overflowing.

Our water bucket at the NWNJBA Mentoring Hives
Larger Water Source Tub
Using Corks for the bees to land on
Automatic Bee Water Gadget 

Crush and Strain 2 Bucket System

Michael Bush was the inspiration with his crush and strain system to strain honey from wax cappings and even crushed honey comb.
For a short review of how to use the device preview this video that talks about how it works and the mechanics of use.
Crush and Strain Device
Crush and strain walkthrough video 

Frame Assembly Jig

Bushkill Farms is an incredible resource for beekeeping equipment plans.  This gadget makes quick work and acts like an extra hand when assembling frames. Check out the site and the link below for the frame assembly jig plans.

Check out our membership how to preview on use of the jig.

Frame Construction and Frame Jig Hands On 

Swarm Catcher Pole

This design was originally from a blog called the Stone Mountain Bee Diary and creator John Jones.  Unfortunately the original source is no longer available.  Below you'll find a preview of making one from a Northwest Meeting and you can watch a video of one being used to capture a swarm up in a tree.

Swarm Catcher Pole Device - How to make one
Swarm Catcher Pole used to collect a swarm
Gadget Garage Video - Describing the pole with a close up

Simple Robber Screen

Sometimes ingenuity is found in unexpected places.  In this case a person with the handle Iddee posted a series of photos in a forum about a robber screen design that is simply brilliant.  Follow the original thread in this Post:  Robber Screen Forum Post

Robber Screen Preview Video

Two Hive Screen

This devices allows you to put two hives together on one bottom board.  One hive uses the traditional entrance and the second, top hive, uses a notch on the device to exit out of the back.  This device is used for management techniques like the desmare method and others.
Gadget Garage Video - Dual Hive Screen Segment
Two Hive Screen in Use Video

Failed Communal Feeder

Unfortunately not ever gadget works out. Here is a communal feeder that we tried out but didn't have success with. People do have luck with communal feeders and maybe this one was used at the wrong time of the year. Either way, click on the video link you want to learn more. 
Communal Feeder Experiment 

Alcohol Wash/Sugar Shake Mite Shaker

This video provides the premise of an alcohol wash/sugar shake shaker device used to monitor varroa mite. It discusses how to make one and how to use it.
Alcohol Wash/Sugar Shake Shaker Instructions for Making One (scroll to bottom)
Commercial Product - Propolis Etc. Catalog – Check for Bee Shaker