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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, all you smart make-it-work-better types, I need some help, please!

I have a smoker from Dadant with the usual wood & leather bellows. I have just two hives, so the it stays lit long enough with no problem.

The problem is that I have a tough time with the squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. (I'm a little old lady, so I guess that's my trouble :p )

I've figured out work arounds and methods for everything except the dang smoker. I searched the internet for a different model, but the only thing I found that didn't have the same style of bellows was the German one like a pipe, which I really can't see using.

I was trying to find a smoker that might have a handle-grip squeezer. The business of holding the smoker and squeezing from the top of the bellows is just too hard. I tried squeezing the bellows from the side and got burned a few times too many!!

Any suggestions? I'd be very grateful!
 

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If I am reading you correctly you can squeeze from the sides, but the top is too much.

Is this because your small hands have a hard time reaching the span across the top of the bellows? Try taking a piece of cord and stapling it to the front wood of the bellows, across the top (toward the center) and stapling it to the back side at a distance that works OK for your hand size.

You would have to use multiple smaller puffs vs. one larger puff.... but it would let you back into your range of motion and be easier for you.


Hope I am in the ballpark on this one.


Take care
Mark
 

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If you are careful, you can take the bellows apart by removing all the little staples... and then potentially modify the spring. Snip off some of the spring. That will bring the bellows closer together, but you'll get less 'puff'.

It may also soften the spring (depending on how it's wound)... but I make no gaurantees.
 

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Beyond modifying the smoker or buying something new, I was wondering what type of fuel you are using, because you might be able to be more efficient with a different fuel. Hay, pine needles, and bulk cotton all light easily and produce a lot of smoke.
 

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dadants have stiff bellows. i used one of the cheaper one's from mann lake (cheaper in price, it worked fine) this spring and it was noticably easier.
 

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Check to see if the outlet is open, I got one given to me and there was a hunk of fuzz stuck in the hole (probably why it was free LOL) once that was out it worked ok.
 

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I have been through several smokers, and found that the one from Mann Lake, is the easiest to use. It has a synthetic rubber material for the bellows, and it is easier to squeeze.
 

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I have seen smokers with a stiff bellows spring, and I have seen smokers with a mild bellows spring.

If possible, try to visit a beekeeping supply store in person, and try out various models. If you can go to some kind of beekeeping show, there are usually many vendors who have different brands of smokers.

They do make replacement bellows. You could always change the bellows out if the new one was easier to squeeze.
 

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I have heard of people using some form of liquid smoke in a spray bottle, I didn't pay to much attention but it seemed to mellow the bees. Then you would just be squeezing a trigger.
 

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I saw one of the beez smokers in action. All I can say was I'm impressed. The guy said he had used it several times and not recharged it. I think thgey ruin around 150 and I was so impressed I almost bought one. Especially when I have troubles lighting my smoker lol:eek:
 

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You can spray them with 1 to 1 sugar syrup. I usually use that later in the summer when I'm looking for a queen. They run less. Ace Hardware sells a good spray bottle.
 

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To me, that Bee Z smoker looks like it would be much to heavy to handle.
I have one and it not heavy at all. 2-3 pounds tops. It is nicely balanced and NEVER gets hot.

Very slick. I like it very much.

Luckily, have not needed to use smoke to often. Usually plain water or sugar water does the trick.
 

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Check all the smoker options at this website. Who knew there where so many designs. The coolest one I have seen was in a Youtube video of a German Beek using a mouth smoker on his hives. It looks like a large pipe you blow through rather than pump a bellows. Worked good but you have to have a special veil to use it.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/smok.html
 

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Just get you a good size dried up piece of cow patty and light it up real good. Set it in your smoker and you will have country fresh smoke that will last a good long time and you wont have to puff so much!!....:D:lpf:
 
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