IDEAS FROM BEEKEEPERS
Keep pellets from falling out of your smoker
Purchase a bottom grid, bending in the legs so they will fit inside and place it on top of your smoker under the lid. No more pellets running on the ground or into the hive.
Keep water off of the bottom boards
Tilt the hives toward the entrance by putting a block under the back, the water will not run in and collect at the back.
Lighting your smoker
Get a battery operated hand held vacuum ,remove the filter as it will plug up with soot.
when you get your smoker lit and the cover replaced put the vacuum on the end where the smoke comes out hold your hand around the nose of the smoker and the vacuum. It will start the smoker saving you countless puffs on the bellows.
Increase smoker life
By finding a can that will fit inside the smoker or splitting one that is too large and fitting it inside the smoker. When the can burns out, replace the tin can and not the smoker
Take a deep hive body fasten a welded queen excluder to the bottom, cut pieces of wood to fill in the frame rests, then fasten 2” pieces of ¾” boards cut to the right length on top of the box so 1 ½” extends inside the box. This will keep the bees from rolling over and out of the finder box. TO USE: place the finder box over a super of empty frames (no bees) , shake or brush all of the bees into the finder box smoking and shaking or bumping as needed to make the bees go through the excluder. After clearing all of the bees from a box (including the sides of the box) you can put the frames back into the box OR you can use a new box and put the frames into it as you shake them off. When finished with a box it can be placed under the finder box so the bees from the next box have a place to go. Continue smoking, bumping, and shaking until you have all the boxes done if you see the queen catch her and put her in to a holding cage, there may be more than 1 queen in a hive. If you are going to Requeen, catch and kill her, if you want to keep her for some other reason put her in a saved queen cage from a previous purchase, being sure to have all of the exits closed. Bur comb works well for a short time to close the sugar hole.
Note not all hives have one Queen. The most I have found in a single hive was 5, many with 2 or 3.
If you have any ideas or suggestions you can send them to me by the contact page I will give you credit for them on this page