Beekeepers actively use smokers and other bees equipment to protect bees from diseases and treat them from ticks. Tellingly, the smoke gun is better suited for this than other units, because it has a directional effect. The hives are processed faster, the consumption of funds is more economical. Do-it-yourself homemade smoke gun for bees will cost half as much as store device, and you can assemble it in just a few hours.
Often, guns are used to combat the varroa mite, the causative agent of the serious disease varroatosis.
Table of Contents
- What is smoke gun for bees?
- principle of operation of smoke gun (How it work)
- Homemade smoke gun for bees Step By Step Guide
- Rules for mixing liquids used in smoke gun
- precautions for using smoke gun for bees hive!
- How to maintain a smoke gun?
What is smoke gun for bees?
In short, the equipment works as follows. With the help of a gun, the required amount of a drug is introduced into the bee nest, which penetrates into all corners of the structure, providing a fumigating effect. After penetration into the hive, the evaporation of the drug begins, as well as a quick and reliable cure of the bee colony.
It is important that all elements of the house are airtight, without holes and slots. Penetrating smoke should linger in the hive, because if it immediately goes outside, then the procedure itself will be ineffective.
A smoke gun (its other name is Varomor) is considered the most effective method of combating the varroa mite . According to statistics, 9 out of 10 bee colonies recover, which says a lot. Another advantage is that much less solution is consumed during fumigation.
Factory Varomors can be purchased in almost every specialized store, the smoke gun is bundled as follows:
- the gun itself;
- balloon (its standard volume is 190 g);
- 1 liter of kerosene;
- manufacturer’s instructions.
With the use of a gun, you can:
- inject the medicine into the hive in the required amount;
- heat the preparation, which, when evaporated, will penetrate into all corners of the structure, not only disinfecting it, but also treating all the bees without exception.
Due to this targeted delivery, an excess volume of the drug is not consumed. And that means money is saved.
principle of operation of smoke gun (How it work)
The design of the smoke gun is quite simple. The medicine is supplied from a cylinder through a tube, part of which has the shape of a spiral (it is the latter that is heated by a gas burner). The heated solution evaporates and is fed directly into the hive. By analogy with smokers, this vapor is often called smoke, although, in fact, we are talking more about an inhaler.
Design and parts of smoke gun for bee
1- burner; 2 – pump supplying the working fluid; 3 – a tank into which the working fluid is poured; 4 – fryer; 5 – cover; 6 – handle supplying the solution; 7 – nozzle; 8 – valve through which gas is supplied; 9 – ignition trigger; 10 – a bolt that regulates the flow; 11 – threaded connection containing a built-in filter; 12 – canister clamp ring.
Here are the main parts of a smoke gun for bees:
- gas is supplied;
- the burner is ignited;
- steam is supplied by means of a special handle.
As a result of the actions described above, the medicinal mixture is fed into the tube. In the section that has the shape of a spiral, the mixture heats up and turns into steam. The volume and feed rate can be adjusted by pressing the knob. A special bolt is provided to adjust the maximum output.
The end of the Varomor tube is inserted into the notch of the bee house, after which the beekeeper presses the handle:
- twice, if the finished product is used;
- five times if thymol or oxalic acid is used for processing.
As a result, each hive is treated with the required amount of steam. Then the tube is removed, and you can move on to the next one.
Homemade smoke gun for bees Step By Step Guide
Ready-made guns, as noted above, can be purchased at the nearest beekeeper store. However, if desired, Varomor can be made at home. The step-by-step instructions below will help you make a reliable homemade smoke gun it will be in no way inferior to store-bought counterparts, but it will cost half as much.
To make a smoke cannon, you will need the following:
- Copper tube
- Automotive fuel pump
- Perforated stainless steel sheet (1 mm)
- Band clamps
- Electric drill
- Plastic bottle
Step 1 . We drill holes in the handle of the gas burner for mounting the pump. After that, we screw the fuel pump there.
Step 2 . We form a coil from a copper tube, and, in turn, solder it to the gasoline pump. The required number of turns is from 3 to 5.
Step 3 We make a fryer from a perforated sheet and cover it with a coil attached to the burner.
Step 4 We cut a thread on the suction pipe of the fuel pump, onto which we wind the cork from a sports bottle. The container for the drug in our case is a cut plastic bottle.
Step 5 To regulate the amount of the drug supplied to the coil, we make a groove in the handle for manual fuel supply, screw in the screw and use the nuts to limit the diaphragm stroke.
Step 6 You also need to adjust the smoke gun. To do this, we drive 50 g of kerosene through the pump for 25 strokes. With the help of bolts, we increase/decrease the quantitative dose by one stroke.
Step 7 . A ready-made do-it-yourself smoke gun will allow you to fumigate bees with various preparations. For example, in our case, Bipinamite was used, in which the active ingredient is amitraz.
Step 8 If necessary, such a smoke gun can be disassembled in a few minutes to be used as a conventional burner.
When fumigating bees with a smoke gun, do not forget about safety measures be sure to use a respirator and goggles.
Don’t Forget Personal Protective Equipment
Rules for mixing liquids used in smoke gun
The effectiveness of varroa mite control will largely depend on whether the liquids in the smoke gun are used correctly. When mixing working fluids, it is necessary to act strictly according to the instructions, otherwise, there will be a risk of unforeseen situations. Let’s get acquainted with the options for mixing 3 main drugs.
It is important to prepare the solution correctly
- Medicines. The most popular of these is the “Bipinamite” mentioned above. You need to dilute according to the instructions (i.e. 5 ml: 100 ml). The result should be a homogeneous milky liquid in which there are no sediments.
- Means with the active substance These include, for example, Klartan. It must be dissolved in warm water by analogy with a water bath. It is important that the temperature of the water used for mixing is no more than +50 degrees.
The main feature of the second mixture is a short shelf life. For this reason, it is better to prepare the solution directly on the day of processing the hives.
Another drug that is very popular among beekeepers is Bisanar, designed just for the smoke gun. One bottle of 50 ml will be enough to treat 25 hives.
Bisanar, which simplifies the fight against varroatosis, has the following composition:
- coriander / fir oil;
- oxalic acid.
In appearance, it is a clear liquid with a yellowish color and a characteristic odor Bisanar.
It is possible to work with a gun filled with Bisanar at an air temperature of at least +12 degrees. After processing for the first time, you need to wait a week to provide insects with a break, and then repeat the procedure. It is also important to complete the treatment of varroatosis at least 14 days before the honey collection.
natural healing ingredients
Despite a large number of products for the treatment of varroatosis on sale, many beekeepers prefer natural formulations. The most popular homemade remedy is a solution of thymol, alcohol, and oxalic acid.
Oxalic acid is more gentle, not only for striped workers, but also for humans. The use of this organic acid does not affect the purity of honey and other products.
To prepare such a solution, you will need:
- 15 g thymol;
- 15 g of oxalic acid;
- 100 ml of ethyl alcohol.
A mixture of acid and alcohol crystals must be dissolved in a water bath, and then the required amount of thymol should be added. It is important that the temperature was not more than +30 degrees. The output will be 120 ml of solution, which is enough for 25 hives.
After processing, it is recommended to cover the frames with a film to concentrate the product. Thanks to this, the varroa mite will begin to crumble. But remember: you can use oxalic acid only if there is no brood!
precautions for using smoke gun for bees hive!
When working with a smoke gun, be sure to adhere to generally accepted safety standards.
- Do not use a smoke gun that shows obvious mechanical damage. Otherwise, the consequences can be the saddest – members of your family can become victims of trouble.
- Store the smoke gun in a separate room with sufficient air supply.
- Do not eat, drink or smoke while using the smoke gun.
- Don’t stand against the wind. Also, when fumigating the hives, try not to inhale the air from the cannon.
- Finally, use a respirator and other protective equipment.
Note ! If malfunctions are found in the operation of gas equipment, it is preferable to contact specialists, rather than trying to fix everything on your own.
How to maintain a smoke gun?
If you properly handle the equipment, you will provide it with long service life.
Basic rules for smoke gun maintenance
|Do not disassemble the smoke gun unnecessarily.||This is due to the fact that all nodes of such devices are sealed. In particular, this should not be done in the absence of special skills. Otherwise, breakdowns or even a complete failure of the unit are possible.|
|Before prolonged non-use (for example, for the winter), rinse the gun.||After washing and drying the entire smoke gun, you can hide it for storage.|
|Clean the system with vinegar.||This applies to cases where thymol is used for fumigation along with oxalic acid. If this is not done, then scale may appear.|
|Flush all components and assemblies when changing the working mixture.||Best of all, the same purified kerosene is suitable for these purposes.|
An experienced beekeeper can easily assemble a smoke gun with his own hands. Such a smoke gun will have some advantages over store counterparts, one of them is the possibility of refinement to suit your own needs. Some craftsmen can even make a real cannon from an ordinary smoker, which in terms of characteristics is in no way inferior to factory models. After all, the most important thing is the effectiveness of pest control that prevents bees from developing and doing their job.