Sometimes during a hive check you will need to hold a queen. Pick her up by her wings carefully - do not squeeze her abdomen. This could damage or kill her. Queens do sting but their sting does not hurt humans, only other queens. They can also sting multiple times, unlike their daughters.
Honeybees don't walk around calmly on the comb and then suddenly start stinging. Typically they give you a sign they are feeling defensive before they ever take flight. Watch for them to put their stingers in the air and fan their wings. They are spreading alarm pheromone and it is time to smoke the hive and/or finish up what you started and close them back up.
Just ordered your first queen and wonder how she will be shipped to you? The most common method is for the queen to be caught and placed in a 3 hole wooden cage, 5-7 attendants are added to the cage to feed and groom her along the way, and then she is ready to be shipped!
Small Hive Beetles or SHB are hive killers and honey destroyers. My knowing what they look like and mashing them when possible you will be helping your hive defend themselves against this nasty intruder. The hive tool has so many uses...
Being able to light a smoker and keep it lit during hive inspections is vital to good beekeeping practices. Materials needed: bee smoker, hive tool, match/lighter, newspaper, twigs, and wood chunks. Get that fire roaring, close the top, and it will smoke for a good while before you need to add more fuel.