Sunday, December 20, 2009
The smoker used by most beekeepers today is virtually identical to the smokers built in the mid-1800s. The smoker was one of four inventions of the 1800s that led to the beekeeping industry that we know today. These were the removable frame bee hive, foundation for the bees to use to build honey comb, the extractor to remove honey from the comb, and the smoker. If you look at the smoker that I use daily, you can see that it is made of a metal firebox and a wood and leather bellows. The bellows is similar to the one used to fan the fire in blacksmith shops. A smoldering fire emits a cool smoke and calms the bees. If too much smoke is applied, it has the opposite effect; the bees are angered. I burn readily available pine needles for smoker fuel.