For those of you not too familiar with its purpose, the bee smoker is used to help keep bees calm whenever you disturb the hives.
The smoke that is distributed from a smoker masks the communicative pheromones that bees use to ‘talk’ to each other. The ‘alarm pheromone’ is particularly important and is emitted when a honey bee is startled (which can happen when you open the hive) or injured. Therefore, if any bees pick up on that scent, you could be dealing with a whole angry colony within a few minutes – and you don’t want that!
It can be a good idea to use the smoker around the hive a few minutes before you open it as the smoke takes a few minutes to disperse. Never directly blast the bees – the smoke is very hot and this would be detrimental to the colony.
If you’ve never used a smoker before or have one and are looking for a change, we recommend our stainless steel smoker with fire guard and cartridge:
Remember, smokers get extremely hot and usually you are advised not to set them down on anything as the bottom of the smoker will burn the surface – which can be annoying! However, as far as we’re aware, we are the only sellers of this smoker that has a full cage at the bottom. We find it really helps being able to put it down without being worried something is going to get damaged. It’s one less thing to worry about when concentrating on the welfare of your bees!
Watch Simon's tip for lighting a smoker first time, every time, in the video below.