How to use a bee hive smoker

By Digrel | 13.02.2021

how to use a bee hive smoker

How Do I Start a Bee Smoker?

How to Light and Use a Bee Smoker: A Step by Step Guide Step 1: Understanding The Bee Smoker. While almost any kind of smoke will get the job done, meaning you can approach the Step 2: Preparing All Needed Tools. This is a very quick and short step. You just have to collect everything that you. How to Light a Bee Smoker 1 ?Gather all your tools, fuel and kindling so you can light your smoker before approaching your hives. Make sure you 2 ?Light your starter fuel such as a loosely crumpled ball of newspaper and let it catch fire before dropping it into 3 ?Now add kindling such as pine.

Bees can feel threatened when anything which resembles an enemy approaches their beehive. That probably includes you! So no matter how docile your bees are, you need something to pacify them during hive inspections.

Smoke has the effect of calming bees and allows you to get on with your work around hives without a load of angry bees butting into your bee suit. So how do you use a bee smoker? Light the smoker before you approach the beehive.

Begin by lighting a fire in the base of the fire chamber. Pump the bellows a few times to produce flames. Little by little add fuel to the chamber while continuing to pump the bellows. When the fuel begins to burn and smoke, pack the smoker with more fuel and close it. Pump the bellows regularly to keep the smoker going. Your beekeeping days will be over!

You need to know how to light it properly, what fuel to use, and how to keep it lit. I recommend you practice this a few times before any actual hive inspections to avoid unpleasant surprises! Honey bees are genetically inclined to react to smoke. This pheromone warns other bees in the colony about the imminent danger and causes them to react defensively. The older bees who have what is the weather in amsterdam in october venom, are alerted to defend the hive.

So it seems to be common practice among beekeepers to avoid eating bananas before visiting their hives! When you puff smoke onto your hives this effectively masks the bees communication pheromones, including the alarm pheromone. As you can imagine, this causes quite a bit of disruption inside the hive. As a result, some of the bees run to the honey stores and start gorging themselves on supplies, in case they need to abandon the nest, taking their precious stores with them.

All this gives beekeepers the possibility to open up hives, have a rummage inside, then close the hive and beat a retreat with less likelihood of making a large number of bees angry.

To work well a smoker needs to be filled with burning fuel which produces plenty of smoke. The bellows attached to the fire chamber help produce a supply of air to start and then keep the fire ignited. A puff on the bellows also pushes smoke out of the narrow nozzle at the top which can be directed towards the hive during inspections. A bee smoker is basically a metal can with a nozzle on top for directing the smoke and a set of bellows to help what is the meaning of cardiovascular disease the fire.

The fire chamber sometimes called a firebox is the main part of the smoker. This is one of the characteristics that will help prevent the smoker from going out during inspections.

You can find them made from different kinds of metal such as galvanised steel or even copper, but the stainless steel models usually last a little longer. The nozzle on top is hinged so that you can open the chamber to fill it with fuel. The narrow form of the nozzle helps direct smoke into the hive. When choosing a bee smoker, try to find one with a protective cage around it known as a heat shield so that in case you pick it up without gloves you wont get burnt.

Normally the wire shield also forms a hook at the top which is useful for hanging it on the side of the hive during inspections. Most smokers also have an internal aeration grate which helps prevent ash falling to the bottom and blocking the flow of smoke, and generally promotes good air flow.

A large stainless steel smoker with sturdy bellows and a protective heat shield is the better choice - this one on Amazon is a good example. It will probably become your best buddy during inspections!

Honey bees are very sensitive to chemicals and you could how to use a bee hive smoker up harming or even killing some of your bees! There are plenty of natural and easily available fuel types for use in a beehive smoker. General practice is to use three different types of fuel: a fire starter or tindersome kindling and some kind of main fuel. Some crumpled newspaper or corrugated cardboard generally works well. The idea is to have a material which is not too compact and has a large surface area which is easily oxygenated The more oxygen can reach the surface of the material the faster the combustion.

Crumpled newspaper can be easily lit then new orleans saints symbol what does it mean into the fire chamber.

Kindling will burn easily and has a medium burning time. Pine needles work well and some people even use these as the principal fuel source. Sawdust is another good choice. The kindling helps sustain the fire longer. Some beekeepers then add a long-burning fuel to maintain the fire as long as possible. Untreated wood chips are a good example of a durable fuel for this purpose. A lot of these fuels can be found for free in nature and you should make sure you have a good supply.

However there will be times when you run out or your natural source of fuel is too damp to use. As a contingency you should also buy some commercial fuel made of compressed sawdust or cotton and stock these in your garage or how to use a bee hive smoker dry.

Whatever fuel you use how to clean a weber gas grill secret is to add layers of kindling and fuel a little at a time. Your objective is to light a fire which will continue to smoke for 10 minutes or longer without having to operate the bellows. You also want to practice producing cool smoke from the nozzle. Also keep a metal hive tool handy so you can push fuel down inside the fire chamber.

The idea is to get a very hot layer of burning embers at the bottom of the smoker which in turn will burn the fuel above it. Heat rises, so the fuel at the top needs heat from below.

This is why you add fuel step by step so you get a good foundation to your fire at the base. When lit properly you can leave a smoker alone for up to half an hour without it going out. Be sure to check the temperature of the smoke.

It should be comfortable on your skin. If at any point the smoke seems to hot, add more fuel or stuff some leaves on top to keep the smoke cool. During use be sure to puff the bellows from time to time and periodically check the level of the fuel. Keep some more fuel handy in case you need to top it up.

With your lit smoker in hand you can now approach your honey bees. Begin by directing a few puffs of smoke at the hive entrance. There is a natural airflow from bottom to top of the hive so the smoke will pass through the colony. Wait a minute or two so that the bees get the message. Now you can direct some smoke under the outer cover by lifting it slightly.

Slowly remove the outer and inner cover while sending a few puffs of smoke across the honey frames. You will see bees disappear between the frames, leaving you to get on with your work. Be careful where you place the smoker how to fix purple and black textures in gmod inspections, especially if your how to use a bee hive smoker are in a location where fire hazard is high.

The hook on your smoker makes it easy to hang on a hive box. If you get a lot of bees bumping into you just puff some smoke around your bee suit to ward them off.

Try to use smoke sparingly. If you see sparks coming out of the spout it may be a sign that the fuel is running low. Open the lid and add some more fuel which of course you kept handily nearby. When a bee stings it releases the same pheromone which provokes defensive behavior and will attract other angry bees. The smoke will help mask the alarm pheromone. When you're finished smoking your hives the bee smoker needs to be put out and stored.

A hot or burning smoker remains a danger so you should get into the habit of putting it out and letting it cool properly. To do this you can try lying the smoker on it's side on a non-flammable surface of course.

The lack of vertical air flowing through the fire chamber should put it out. But don't just leave it at that. Empty the ashes from fire chamber on to an area that is non-flammable. Some beekeepers use a metal trash can to empty their smokers. Just dump the contents inside and close the lid - the lack of oxygen should put out any remaining embers check to make sure. Store your cooled smoker in a dry place you don't want it damp the next time you come to use it.

Over time ash can accumulate inside the smoker around the air intake at the bottom. Also check the inside of the nozzle to keep it clean. Pine is resinous so needles and wood shavings can leave oily deposits and how to drill out an easy out inside the fire chamber. Use a scraping tool such as your hive tool or a flat headed screwdriver or even a wire brush.

Clean the interior making sure that airways are not blocked. From time to time you can give your smoker a complete clean by soaking it in white vinegar. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. How does a Bee Smoker Work? Why smoke bees? And heavy bees gorged with honey tend to be less irritable, just like us after a good meal! How do Beehive Smokers Work?

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May 31,  · Begin by opening the top of your smoker to start a fire inside the canister, then add your kindling on top of it. Close the lid, and pump the bellows a little to help the fire get going. The air flow is limited with the lid closed which causes a lot of smoke. This is exactly what you want. Feb 22,  · Beekeeper Usher explains the reasons for using a bee smoker and demonstrates proper technique. Once you see the starter material is burning well, place a small amount of your smoker fuel on top. While adding the fuel, steadily pump the bellows to provide oxygen and keep the fire going. Be sure to add fuel gradually to avoid a large flare up. The body of the smoker may get very hot in this process, so be careful not to burn your fingers.

One of the most important ones is the bee smoker. It puts us at less risk of being stung. We have always known that smoke calms bees—even long before the smoker as we know it today was invented. Evidence of this is the stone carving Abu Gurab, dating back to around BC, which shows the different stages of ancient Egyptian Beekeeping. It depicts a person smoking bees, likely using cow dung to do so!

The modern bee smoker was invented by Moses Quinby in in New York. His original design was later improved upon by Tracy F. It also makes them docile enough not to attack you.

Bees release a pheromone to talk to one another. They communicate this way to warn the hive of danger, injury, or intermittent threats. This signal riles them up and makes them naturally and blindly aggressive.

Smoke masks this pheromone. It decreases the likelihood of the colony launching a full-scale attack on us. Even though we hate to admit it, every now and then we accidentally annoy or hurt our own bees.

Smoking them prevents a swarm attack if this happens. This gives them the energy stores they need to be able to leave their home and prepare to build a new nest. All of this means that when you go in to manage your hive, the bees will be distracted and grounded.

Bee smokers are not complicated devices. You could even use a makeshift one—essentially just a can with a fire in it. You just poke some holes into it and then swing it around to release the smoke. Modern designs have bellows and a spout for aiming the smoke, and there are lots of great designs to choose from. Still, there are standard features that your smoker should have.

Make sure that your smoker has heat protection, otherwise you will burn your hands. You should be able to hold and operate it with one hand, should you ever need to. There are a number of substances that you can use for fuel. You want to start with something that catches fire very easily and stays lit long enough to ignite the kindling.

Shredded bits of wood, cotton, dried up leaves, or hay are all suitable choices for either. Long gas lighters are preferred to get your fire started. Just light it and throw it into your can. Take a look here at some of my favorite bee smokers currently on the market.

Begin by opening the top of your smoker to start a fire inside the canister, then add your kindling on top of it. Close the lid, and pump the bellows a little to help the fire get going. The air flow is limited with the lid closed which causes a lot of smoke. This is exactly what you want. Pumping the bellows forces air out and fuels the fire a little more.

You can add more kindling, but packing too much of it could kill the flames. It will prevent the air from flowing efficiently. Keep the process of squeezing the bellows and packing the kindling going, and then get your fuel stack up at the top. It might take a while to figure out how much to stack, and how much kindling and fuel to use. Only trial and error will show you the perfect balance between smothering your fire or letting it burn too quickly.

Still, keep an eye on things to ensure that you have enough fuel left. Go slow and easy with the smoke. It can be tempting to use as much as possible so that the bees are sedated, but too much smoke can cause other problems. It might even affect the quality of your honey or wax.

Start with three or four pumps at the entrance of the hive and wait a couple of minutes before opening it. This should have the bees feeling nice and relaxed by the time you are ready to go in. Another one or two squeezes once you open the hive will ensure your safety and prevent the bees from escaping. Stay at least eight inches away from the bees so as not to overwhelm or harm them.

You need to be sure that the smoke will disperse the way you need it to. You can let off a puff of smoke every five minutes or so, just so that the bees remain aware of the stimulated danger. Also release a puff if the bees become excitable, or if they seem frustrated or aggravated.

Lastly, be aware of the intense heat for your own safety. Hold your smoker by the bellows. The cans get very hot and touching them, or the lid, could injure you and even leave unpleasant blisters.

In that case, you might as well have been stung. It makes opening your hive and managing your colony so much easier. Going without one is stressful and causes avoidable anxiety. Bee smokers are easy to use and invaluable to beekeepers, especially those who manage honeybees. They protect you from stings and protect your bees from stinging. Just be careful when you use one. All rights reserved.

Dan Greenwood. May 31, Bee Smokers. Related Articles. Best Honey Extractors for Bee Keepers. Extracting Honey Without An Extractor.

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