Smokers are used to calm the bees by making them think there is a fire (that wouldn’t calm me). They eat when they think there is a fire because if it was a forest fire, they would need enough supplies for when they move to a different location to create a new hive. Eating keeps the bees busy and calm. We need to make smoke which starts with a smoker. Now not everyone likes smokers; they think that they are to much trouble for what it does. Some beekeepers use smokers only on bad days (cold, rainy, etc). Well since we use a smoker we need to know how to use it without getting really hot smoke.
Here is our smoker Abigail got given as part of her scholarship.
Here is a picture of the fuel left over from the last smoker use.
Here is the fire we made that we are about to smolder. The next time we use the smoker we use pine chips instead of pine needles which works better.
Here are Abigail and Bethany trying to get some white cool smoke.
Here is our smoke lit and ready-ish to go. It went out not to long after we lit it.
I prefer the pine chips that were given to us by our mentor but you can use almost any fuel to light a smoker. I also have found that it is better to have someone pumping the smoker while it is being made, which as you can see we were not doing here.