How to make a bee smoker at home
Bees, protecting their home, are ready for self-sacrifice. The man, knowing this, came up with a gentle way of necessary penetration into the hive. The smoker, calming the ardor of angry insects, does no harm to them. About how to make this tool indispensable for the beekeeper with your own hands, read further in the article.
Beekeeper Smoker History
For a long time, ancient people tamed bees with smoke from a simple torch, which was ineffective and quite dangerous for insects. They began to solve this problem in Ancient Egypt, having invented a prototype of a modern smoker. It began to be made in the form of an earthen vessel, which had a hole above and below. The ancient beekeeper blew into the lower hole, expelling smoke from smoldering dry manure through the upper.
Did you know? Cases have been recorded when people died after 100 bee stings, but in most cases, from 500 to 1000 bee stings are required for the death of a healthy adult.
A similar scheme worked for a very long time, until at the end of the year before last in America they thought of attaching fur to the smoker. The design turned out to be effective, but bulky, and was soon improved towards a significant reduction in weight and ease of use.
And after a short time, a smoker, combining a firebox and furs and therefore short-lived, received a separate firebox and became an almost perfect design. Since then, the smoker has not substantially changed, but only modernized, for example, carrying out the movement of air using an electric fan.
Description, structure, details
For those who decided to make a smoker at home, their design should not seem complicated.
It consists of:
- housing to which all external and internal parts are attached;
- an internal metal cup that easily enters the body and has many holes on the bottom;
- easy-to-open lids;
- a nozzle attached to the lid and having an appropriate slope for convenient control of the smoke stream;
- bellows, with which air is pumped and a smoke stream is formed.
Significance in beekeeping, the effect of smoke on bees
The functioning of the smoker is based on the innate properties of the bee to beware of smoke. This happened at the genetic level, when the ancestors of all types of modern bees lived in the forest, where the forest fire was their worst enemy. When fumigating bees with smoke, they collect honey in the goiter for food and at the same time moderate their aggressive fervor, becoming calm and peaceful.
Smoke has a pronounced sedative effect on bees. However, he does not pose any danger to them. For the beekeeper, in addition to calming insects, the smoker also provides significant assistance in disinfecting fumigation of hives for preventive and therapeutic purposes.
Did you know? In addition to the well-known working bees, uterus and drones, scout bees also live in the hive, looking for new food bases, soldier bees that protect the hive, and even funeral bees that cleanse dwellings from dead insects.
This simple device is divided into several types:
How to make a smoke from a teapot with your own hands
In the manufacture of a smoker with your own hands, it should be borne in mind that the high temperature caused by combusted fuel implies the use of metal. Moreover, in the sense of simplifying and accelerating the process, it is preferable to use ready-made metal containers, for example, an old kettle.
Tools and materials
To make a smoker on your own, you need:
- kettle body;
- a can, the outer diameter of which should be slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the kettle;
- scissors for metal;
- reverse spring;
- metal strips 2 cm wide and 3 mm thick;
- a small piece of thick leather or rubber;
- furniture buttons;
- a copper tube with a diameter of 1.2 cm;
- 2 wooden boards measuring 9 × 15 × 0.7 cm;
- bolts and nuts;
- snap clips.
Manufacturing process: step by step instructions
The smoker from the kettle is made like this:
- The handle is removed from the kettle.
- A hole with a diameter of 1.2 cm is made in place of the lower handle mount.
- On the same side, another 2 holes with a diameter of 0.8 cm are made at different heights for attaching bellows.
- The spout on the kettle body eliminates its manufacture.
- The lid of the kettle needs to be fixed with clip-latches.
- In a tin can, approximately to its middle in height and at the bottom, many small holes are made by the punch for air access to the fuel.
- The metal strips are bent at the ends to make a stretched letter “P” 3 mm high, and are installed parallel to each other at a distance of 4 cm.
- A can-firebox is installed on them. The resulting space from the bottom of the case to the bottom of the can will serve to access air to the fuel in the can.
- Another 2 metal strips are again bent at the ends so that their upper transverse part is 4 cm long.
- Holes with a diameter of 0.8 cm are made in their bent ends.
- The same holes are made in one of the cooked boards. These holes should match in height with those made on the body of the kettle.
- On the same board below, a hole is made with a diameter of 1.2 cm, which in height should coincide with the same on the kettle body.
- Then, using bolts and nuts, the bent metal strips are attached to the body and to the board.
- A tube is inserted into the lower holes on the case and this board, which should fit as tightly as possible.
- A hole is made in the second board, which is covered from the inside with a piece of leather or rubber attached on top. It will serve as a valve that lets in outside air, but doesn't let it out when you press the bellows.
- This second board is attached at an angle of 45 degrees to the first with a strip of faux leather or, better, genuine leather.
- A reverse spring is inserted in the middle between the boards.
- If you save an angle of 45 degrees between the two boards below, they are connected using furniture buttons with faux leather furs.
Video: do-it-yourself smoker from the kettle
How to pick up fuel
When using a smoker, the fuel with which it is filled is essential. Flammable and flammable materials are excluded here. Ideal are long smoldering, giving little heat, but a lot of smoke materials.
Experienced beekeepers are most often used in smokers:
- oak bark;
- rotten wood;
- rotten stumps;
- dried mushroom tinder fungus.
Important! In no case should you use in smokehouses emitting toxic substances of particleboard and fiberboard, as well as firewood, sawdust and straw that quickly burn, burn and give a minimum of smoke.
How to light a device
The simple process of kindling a smoker consists in quickly setting the fuel on fire using burning paper, a splinter or birch bark, followed by closing the lid and pressing on the bellows. Recently, gas cartridges, which are used to ignite gas stoves, have become more commonly used.
Video: how to properly light a smoke
Despite the simplicity of using this smoke device, there are some points that should be avoided in order to maintain the health of both humans and bees.
The experience accumulated by beekeepers recommends:
- Use only a fully functional appliance.
- No need to combine work with the device with food, smoking and drinking drinks.
- During use, use a respirator.
- Smoke run into the hive gradually.
- Avoid overheating of the smoker.
- Do not touch the honeycomb frames with a heated smoke device.
- Do not use the smoker actively or do not resort to its help when working with non-aggressive breeds of bees.
Important! You should not kindle a smoker with the help of gasoline, kerosene and the like, flammable and harmful to bees liquids.