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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Default Betterbee smoker

    Recently I have been giving lessons to a very nice lady who is taking up beekeeping. Since she didn't know what she needed to get started, I sent her links to Betterbee for several items, including smoker, veil, hive tool, etc. The veil looks very nice and the hive tool is fine, but I was very surprised when I picked up her smoker to show her how to light and operate it. Although it may look okay in a picture, it is made from a very thin metal and, frankly, is quite flimsy. It pales in comparison to my 20-year old smoker from Kelley. Now, I have not bought a smoker in awhile and perhaps they are all like this these days, but in the future I would look elsewhere for one.
    On another note, their shipping schedule is inconsistent. The beesuit I ordered from them came within a week and I was very pleased. For her, it took about a week for her to get the first items, then over 3 weeks to get another veil she ordered for her grandson. Now we are waiting to see how long it will be to get the supers she ordered.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wausau Wi
    Posts
    310

    Default

    when the smokers are made of stainless steel, they will get heat marked but are very durable. I'm not sticking up for anyone, just that I work with all kinds of steel everyday and know my stuff. S/S smokers can be made of thinner metal because it holds up better with the heat. So unless you burn them super hot they should last a long time. If you were to get them extremely hot they will burn out. BUT.....who in the world would turn em into roasters ???
    Everything happens for a reason. Time heals all wounds - time and a half heals them even faster

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Limestone, Alabama
    Posts
    577

    Default

    I also referred a lady whom I am helping to Betterbee. She ordered a lot of stuff and was satisfied with the items. Shipping was a little slow, but not too bad for this time of year, I guess.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Default

    That was kind of my thinking, too, FOB, that it would be sufficient as far as being able to hold the fire and stand up against the heat. My main concern was with it getting bent and dinged up or having the hinge break (the lid was pretty wobbly and I had the feeling I could have wrenched it off with one good grab if I had the mind to) Thanks for your input, though. I don't want to disparage Betterbee, and I am not at the point of saying I would never do business with them, but if their smokers were made of stronger stuff and they were a little better with their shipping, I probably would just stick with them, but now I will be open to checking out Kelley again and others.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Wausau Wi
    Posts
    310

    Default

    I agree with things being made cheaply.They would stand up to the heat, but the toughness ???? Well I don't think flimsy works.
    Everything happens for a reason. Time heals all wounds - time and a half heals them even faster

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Frankfort, Kentucky
    Posts
    399

    Wink

    A thought to ponder - Dadant makes all the Kelley smokers.
    If a job is worth doing - Then do it well

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Rockville, In
    Posts
    256

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Mountain View Post
    A thought to ponder - Dadant makes all the Kelley smokers.
    You know Rob, you have a good point as I love my Kellys smoker! BTW nice to see your posting again.
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,139

    Default

    I've had all kinds of smokers, and I personally like the stainless ones from Dadant with the guard. I have a couple of the smaller of the two sizes they make and someday I hope to get the larger one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Johnston, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    554

    Default Betterbee

    Just some comments about Betterbee. As far a shipping is concerned it all depends on where you live. I live in SC and I've ordered numerous items from them at different times of the year and my stuff has always come within 3 days of order.

    I understand what you mean about the betterbee smoker. It's pretty sturdy but that lid can be hard to manage. Personally, I have stopped using a smoker during inspections and generously spray sugar water on the bees to keep them from flying. I think it actually works better than smoke.

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