There are a number of options on the market for carrying beekeeper’s inspection tools around the apiary. Some use 5-gallon paint buckets, others buy gardening buckets.
My personal choice are repurposed baskets. They are lightweight compared to buckets and, when I find the right size, nicely hold my basic hive inspection tools.
I keep one packed and ready to use at all times. And yes, it includes a small portable level. I keep on a Missouri limestone hillside so I tend to check that my bee hives are not slipping down hill.
What else is in my basket?
Depending on the time of year, I carry some pollen substitute, that’s the large white container on the right. I prefer muslin kitchen towels to keep my bees calm during inspections so I toss a half a dozen of those in as I head out to the apiary.
If weather conditions are good, i don’t use gloves but I keep them close, just in case. There’s also a hive tool, small container of talcum powder to mask any stings, bungee cords, tacks in case I have to mark a frame and small plastic pots in case I find a plant I want to dig up and move. Don’t tell anyone but hive tools are handy to dig up plants!
Find repurposed baskets at thrift stores and yard sales. Antique malls may have some options as well but you will pay more for the older ones. Check how strong they are, you want something that is sturdy and will hold your hive inspection items. This would also make a nice birthday and holiday gift.
Oh. And I have some reusable small hive beetle traps and carry mineral oil in one bottle and the homemade lure in another. If I tuck them into the corner, they don’t fall over.
What do you have in your hive inspection basket?