The bee smoker, according to Honeybee Conservancy, is one of the most important parts of the tool kit of any beekeeper. Even if your bees are gentle and you seldom feel the need to use a beekeeper’s smoker, it doesn’t hurt to have one ready and lit each time you decide to open one of the hives.
And the moment you do realize the importance of having one, there is no need for you to stop the rest of your tasks just to light it. However, using these smokers can be quite tricky. Most newbie beekeepers might find it hard to determine the adequate amount of smoke needed and these bee smokers also tend to go out on you during the most inopportune times.
But, what is a bee smoker in the first place?
A bee smoker has a rather simple design. Earlier styles were only cans punched with some holes that were swung around for smoke distribution. This design, however, has changed through the years. Today, the can is attached with bellows, with a spout on the top to better aim the smoke.
A beekeeper’s smoker has somewhat straightforward fundamentals. You just start a fire inside the can, pump its bellows to create more oxygen, and the smoke will then be pumped out through the spout. It is important that you take note of the way the air enters the can coming from the bellows.
The airflow can get hampered if the kindling material is packed down too far into the space, making it hard for the bee smoker to continue burning. While other beekeepers use fancy smokers, you really don’t need one that is too pricey. Homestead Lifestyle shares a few helpful tips on how you can make your own bee smoker.
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