MULE-GRIP™ Development

Our first product is a universal frame grip released under the product and trade name of MULE-GRIP. This product was devised due to the various problems such as severe hand strain, the bee frame not being held securely in place when handling, especially plastic frames and slipping or falling lose if one’s grip is not held tight. Even the grip width to grasp and close most of current designs are difficult especially for those with smaller hands such as children.

A detailed list of what changes were required if a new product was to be developed.  We further went to many beekeepers and asked about their problems with the frame grips/extractors they were using. It did not take long to understand the depth of this problem reaches all ages, sexes and types of beekeepers.

The task begins…Endless hours of design, field testing and user feedback was undertaken to make sure nothing was overlooked. Multiple manufacturers of both wood and plastic bee frames, styles, user preferences, hand sizes, ergonomics of removing bee frames, and even ways to improve and cause less stress on the beekeeper’s hands and wrist. Other concerns such as weather conditions, sunlight heat, cold and how the product is handled from the perspective of men, women and children, type of beekeeper (large and small), even age or disability (strength of grip), (width of grip), and other factors such as frame slipping free while holding and even a method to assist returning frames back to the hive in same direction.

The development (ALPHA) phase proved to be an overwhelming task requiring many hours of testing both in-house and real-life field applications. Several model styles and variations were reviewed. Surprisingly not all frame manufacturers tolerances were the same. Wood frames take on moisture, and warp over time whereas plastic frames top channel varies by style used and per manufacturer.

Our intent was to provide the customer with a product of both excellent function and of superior value to cost relationship.  This goal was successfully accomplished with the assistance of two professional engineering companies, college academia, advice from beekeepers like you on multiple field tests, working through several suppliers making iteration variations of design. In the end the resulting product was dramatically different than we anticipated but offering more features than envisioned. We are more than pleased with the resulting new innovative frame grip and received accolades from numerous sources.

These factors and more helped make the MULE-GRIPthe best frame grip/extractor on the market. (Patents Pending)