The bee smoker is used in the maintenance of hives. The smoke has a calming effect on aggressive bees without harming them.
It is easy to diy homemade bee smoker because bee smoker has an extremely simple design. Stores sell upgraded models.
Table of Contents
- What Does a Bee Smoker Do?
- homemade bee smoker Step by step with your hands
- homemade bee smoker fuel
- Rules for operating homemade bee smoker
- FAQ. Questions and answers
What Does a Bee Smoker Do?
In general, a smoker is a metal container (often cylindrical) with a spout. The simplest design is:
- metal case of 2 layers. Stainless steel is most suitable for this;
- furs. They are necessary to supply air, without which the fuel will not burn;
- conical spout. It can be folding or removable, it all depends on the specific model.
The body of the smoker is a furnace. It contains a similar smaller part with a mesh bottom. It is in this element that the fuel smolders. Due to the fact that the main body does not come into contact with heat, the outer surfaces of the device do not become hot.
Thanks to the lid with a long spout, it is convenient to direct the smoke into the notch and onto the frames. Furs act as a mechanical pump that supplies air into the combustion chamber. The heat swells after each new pumping, resulting in thick portions of smoke at the exit.
The smoke has a calming effect due to its special effect on bees. They are afraid of him. When the smoke appears, the bees fill their stomachs with honey and as a result, cannot bend because of the heavy burden. Bees calmly move around the house, become clumsy. At this time, a person inspects the frames, pumps out honey, and performs maintenance. Yes, a few of them will still be able to sting the beekeeper, but still most of the bee colony will not interfere with his work.
The composition of the smoke depends on what fuel is used; the behavior of bees also depends on this. Do not forget that because of the pungent odors, the bees get angry, become more aggressive.
homemade bee smoker Step by step with your hands
Consider how to make a homemade bee smoker for bees with your own hands.
To make a homemade bee smoker, you will need the following tools:
- Metal shears
- Drill bit
- Good cutters
- Hacksaw for metalsharp knife
As for the required materials, they are as follows:
- stainless steel stand for toilet brush;
- leather (can be replaced with other dense material);
- ship nails;
- self-tapping screws;
- branched copper tube or brass sheet;
- bolts with nuts (can be replaced with copper rivets);
- an empty candy jar;
- a pair of pine boards 5x90x150 mm;
- big spring.
Step 1 . First, disassemble the jar under the brush and remove all plastic elements, so that in the end there is an empty pipe. Cut it to a height of about 170-200 mm, then take a candy jar and make a bottom out of it. Both elements should have approximately the same diameter. Use self-tapping screws to fix the bottom.
There should be an empty space between the ignition and the bottom for a more even burning of the fuel. To do this, cut a circle from a metal mesh, bending around the edges. You can, as in the example, not do this, but drill a hole and screw the grids, although this is not necessary.
Step 2 . Cut out the funnel-shaped spout by hammering, then drill holes and rivet at the seams. Hammer down the bottom edge to attach to the lid. As the latter, a cover from the same toilet brush is used. Widen the hole with metal shears to firmly attach the funnel from the inside and then secure with rivets.
Also, the spout can be made from a curved copper pipe at least 2.4 cm in diameter. To attach the cover, make 2 clip-latches – attach them on both sides of the structure and snap onto the cover.
When you’re done with the latches, sand off the excess with a polishing pad. Do not try too hard to make the smoker neat and beautiful, as it will already heat up. In addition, you are using recycled materials. But the finished device will still lose its homemade look.
By the way, instead of rivets, you can use small bolts or self-tapping screws.
Step 3 Take one of the boards, step back 5 cm from the base and drill a hole about 1.5 cm in diameter. Nail a piece of leather on top. The plate will serve as a cover on the inside of the bellows and at the same time a one-way valve (air will be let in, but not let out).
Take another plank, back off 3.8 cm from the base and make a hole 1.2 cm in diameter. Take the tube (brush handle), insert it into the hole. The tube expands in one direction, and therefore you can not be afraid that it will fall out. Although for greater reliability, you can add a little glue around the edges.
Step 4 Cut off a few coils from the spring, heat the ends with a torch, and straighten them. At different ends of the boards, drill small holes into which the branches of the spring will enter. In the photos below you will see exactly how the spring should be attached.
Step 5 For furs, leather is best, although other dense material will work. Cut out a piece of canvas 10×50 cm, sharpen 3.5 cm from each edge, so that the shape eventually resembles an elongated diamond. At least 8 cm of the material of the previous width should remain in the middle, i.e. 10 cm is the future upper part of the furs, which should be even. After cutting the fabric, hem the ends to prevent premature wear, then fasten along the edges of the frame (use furniture rivets in increments of about 12 mm).
After securing the edges of the canvas, install the spring. In the example, the length of the edges of the spring is 3.5 cm, and therefore they just need to be inserted into the holes, without any additional fastening.
Step 6 Take brass strips 2 cm wide, fasten one end with buttons to the outside of the bellows, and screw the other to the sides of the fumigator. It is important that the furs are located 3.5 cm from the body. The upper part of the bellows is also removed from the fumigator (about 3.5 cm), so sparks and ash will not fall on them.
Armed with a chisel, punch a hole in the fumigator with a diameter of 1.2 cm 6.3 cm from the bottom. The outlet tube should go about 3 cm into the bellows, and these, in turn, are attached to the body with strips of brass.
Make sure that nothing is loose and there are no gaps – it is important that the outlet tube fits snugly into the hole in the housing.
Step 7 . Check the smoker. Open the lid, put moss, leaves and brushwood inside, tamp them down, but not too hard. Ignite the fuel, and then, if the fire starts, put the cap back on. To increase the amount of smoke, you can use some green grass. By the way, we advise you to pump up the fur from time to time to support the fire, even when there is no need for smoke.
Actually, that’s the whole process. Homemade smoker for bees assembled, tested, and ready for full operation!
homemade bee smoker fuel
As noted at the beginning of the article, bees do not like acrid smoke, and therefore the selection of fuel must be approached with all responsibility. Do not use a dry straw, sawdust, wood. It is important that the fuel does not burn, otherwise, the sparks can burn the bees. Ideally, hives should generally be doused with low-temperature smoke. Most often, beekeepers use rotten wood as fuel it can be collected on fallen trees, old stumps. The smoke from the dust will be soft and not hot, i.e. comfortable for bees.
The main disadvantage of rotten wood is its rapid burning. The smoker often has to be refilled, which can be disadvantageous. And therefore, instead of dust, a dry mushroom is often used a tinder fungus growing on trees in the form of solid growths. The smoke from the fungus is just as comfortable for the bees as from the dust, but it will stand out much longer.
The third option is oak bark, preferably a little damp. It will not catch fire, it will smolder for a long time, and the smoke will be comfortable for bees.
Do not use coniferous trees as fuel! When smoldering, they release resinous substances that are harmful to striped workers.
Rules for operating homemade bee smoker
When working with a smoker, you need to follow a few simple rules.
- Fumigate only those frames that you will remove for further maintenance.
- After opening the lid of the hive, do not start the smoke immediately – wait a bit for the bees to calm down.
- When fumigating bees, do not let smoke into the nest.
- If possible, try to remove the smoker from bees and honeycombs so that hot smoke does not harm them.
- If the smoker is temporarily not needed, lay it on its side. Then, when you need it again, inflate again.
- After completing work, close all openings in the fumigator so that the fuel quickly dies out without access to oxygen.
During operation, the body of the device is not hot, but still warm enough for bees and honeycombs. Try to place even an extinct fumigator away from the house, as it will take a long time to cool down.
The bee smoker must always be kept in good condition. After all, if it is defective, then in dry hot weather it may well lead to a fire!
FAQ. Questions and answers
What is bee smoker for?
This device is necessary in order to fumigate the bees with smoke in order to pacify them.
What fuel can be used in homemade bee smoker?
Dry straw, sawdust, ordinary wood will not work. It is better to use rotten wood, dry mushroom or oak bark. It is important that the wood used is not coniferous (this will release harmful resinous substances).
Does a homemade bee smoker get hot?
No, not much, but it will still be warm enough for bees and honeycombs, and therefore even an extinct device should be placed as far away as possible.
How does fumigation affect bees?
The smoke has a calming effect due to its special effect on bees. They are afraid of him. When the smoke appears, the bees fill their stomachs with honey and as a result cannot bend because of the heavy burden.