Army ammo can.
Army ammo can.
It ends up in the bucket. I have some rare earth magnets to hold some tools on the side up high on the bucket. But I really need to find a better way. I hate digging for things on the bottom of the bucket. I have been thinking on building something like Beemans
Quite surprised at the amount of responses I've received! hopefully the weekend will provide another wave of answers and suggestions.
I can see a few trends appearing in the way you guys store them depending on seasons and space available. The information about distance walking to apiaries is extremely valuable as I just have no idea after only ever having one site.
Would people say they see there smokers as short or long term products? 1-2 years or 5+ maybe? I guess it depends on usage? I know I'm quite delicate with mine (even though its sturdy) but it would be interesting to see if people throw theirs about a little bit more then I do.
Are people more then happy to try repair their smoker if it breaks then? I.e a tear in the billow?
Once again, thanks for the replies and keep all suggestions and answers coming!
I rework my billows. One board broke
I use a sap bucket to hold the smoker and my hive tool. The smoker gets a plug of grass when I've finished the yard. I've burned up enough smokers because they weren't plugged or dumped at the end of the yard. Once an employee stacked honey supers on top of a lit smoker. The supers were on fire when we got to the next apiary.
I drive right up to my bees so I don't have to carry anything. Of course, with deep snow I walk...snow shoes and toboggan.
Some other ideas:
I use a wine bottle cork with an eye-hook screwed into the top for easy removal. See pic. This chokes out the flame long before I leave the yard. Usually all I carry is a hive tool and a smoker, and I keep the cork in my chest-pocket. Sometimes it falls out when I lean over, so maybe it should be tied to the smoker itself. Attachment 4205
My hives are between 2 pastures next to an access road about 100 yards from my stable barn because it is not that far from sourwood and other great honey sources. Keep smoker on a shelf near everything else in an old smokehouse next to the barn. Have a cinderblock behind the hives just for the smoker when in use. One question you might have asked is where do you extract honey. I tried first time on my back porch. Left it there under 10 minutes (bathroom) after starting it up. Had a heck of a time getting the zillions of bees clear from the equipment and honey to move it indoors to complete the job. Should have known better.
[QUOTE=lgrieve91;891979].Would people say they see there smokers as short or long term products? 1-2 years or 5+ maybe? Are people more then happy to try repair their smoker if it breaks then? I.e a tear in the billow? QUOTE]
A good smoker will last a long time for a commercial beekeeper, and should last a lifetime for the hobbiest.
Depending what goes wrong, you can repair, or you may have to replace. If the metal splits or deforms, (normally from being too hot) you may have to buy a new smoker. If the bellows fail, they can be replaced, normally about 1/2 the cost of a new smoker.
A little secret I will share with you. Beekeepers, use your smoker extensively, purposedly let it get too hot, allow it to become deformed, smoked up all around, with soot and tar in the chamber. Then sell it to a novelty/antique shop for almost as much as a new smoker costs. Novelty/antique shops are always looking for very, very, well used bee smokers. I have also seen some well used smokers go for big bucks on eBay. People collect them.
Definitely a long term investment, definitely repairable, and while I don't throw mine around I don't treat it with kid gloves.
I am a back yard beek so my smoker hangs on the side of a pallet that is a wind break fence year round. Fuel and matches are kept in a plastic jug and a jug was cut out to protect the bellows from weather. A proper sized stick is used to snuff out the smoker.
Plugged with grass and then hung over the bottom board of the back side of the F350 stake body truck. The smoker comes with a hook that fits the board very well. The truck, usually driven between two rows of hives, makes it handy when the truck and equipment has hives on both sides of it. OMTCW
Absolutely brilliant feedback guys.
Really appreciate some of the ideas you've given me, and some of the points I'd have completely overlooked. It seems like theres been a few unlucky incidents with smokers being too hot, and its not the best for the bees either! I'm gonna try make sense of everything I've found out then I'll keep you updated!
Once again, many thanks!
I want a self stoking electric powered rechargeable light weight pistol grip can be aimed in any direction and fit in a space as small as 3/8 inch smoker. If the burn chamber is going to be bulky and I consider the typical smoker bulky I would want it to hang somewhere while I only have to handle the pistol grip to apply smoke. Fuel capacity of no less than 1 hour of continuous use. Pistol grip no larger than a hot glue gun. Connection from burn chamber to grip must not interfere with movement of grip Clips to my belt or jacket pocket easily and without having to look at it to get it hung. Use of the grip needs to be as easy as taking my hand in and out of my pocket. Optional self feeding fuel as well. It needs to be able to monitor and adjust both amount of smoke as well as the temperature of the smoke without delay in delivery. The entire unit no heavier than 10 lbs including battery pack. rechargeable from a 12 volt connection to a vehicle as well as a 110 volt outlet. Min operation time from a single charge 4 hours and battery life of no less than 700 cycles. Min 5 year full replacement warranty 2 years on battery. I require that because I don't know of any better way to not babysit and get your best work. Any plastic or rubber components must be UV resistance since this unit will be expected to set in the sun for hours must also be water tight due to possible exposure to the elements. and a price of less than $300.
I've got just one yard, in my "back yard", though it's about a ten minute walk, so I normally drive back with my truck to avoid hauling the things I take with me by hand. I built a really simple box to hold camera, hive tool, smoker, jugs of feed, an old coffee can for burr comb, peanut butter jar for propolis, gloves, hat/veil, etc. It's about the same size as a medium super, closed on the bottom with handles on the sides, and I just hang my smoker over the outside of the box on the way back (because it's hot). On the way out, when it's cool, It sits in the box.
Kelley has a nice smoker box that works just fine. https://kelleybees.com/Images/Products/147jpg
I've really been meaning to drill a hole in the side of mine near the bottom to use to light through and then put a little pivoting door over it. Read about that modification a while back and think that would be a great feature for your new design.
How about a 12 volt heating coil in the bottom for electric start? Old fashion cigarette lighter.
I was thinking of some sort of propane hook up for lighting but a coil also woudl work. remember those old electric charcoal starters. they looked like the element out of an oven. Might be able to get somewhere with that idea.