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DuncanCook

NZBF Things I would do differently

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The learning curve when starting out is huge and I am sure that I not the only one who would have done things another way in retrospect.

For me one of my mistakes was to buy a cheap smoker from Trade Me, I thought well they all make smoke and I have a lot of other things to purchase and at first that seemed to be a good call, until I eventually needed to refill while working the bees. Heat had locked the lid onto the body and the hook on the lid was so thin that it just straightened out when pulled so I finished up trying to lever it up with hive tool. Three burnt and skinless knuckles plus a hive full of irritatedbees and the decision is made, I must buy a decent quality smoker.

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Wish the site would give us longer to edit, just noticed a couple of typos and can't do anything about them now.

 

Come to think of it I am not sure why any time limit on editing might be needed.

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54 minutes ago, DuncanCook said:

Wish the site would give us longer to edit, just noticed a couple of typos and can't do anything about them now.

 

Come to think of it I am not sure why any time limit on editing might be needed.

I think all smokers must end up eventually  with lids stuck on no matter how much you pay 

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1 hour ago, DuncanCook said:

Come to think of it I am not sure why any time limit on editing might be needed.

 

I agree, the time limit is too short.

There does need to be a limit though, as otherwise people edit their comments and then the thread gets even more confusing and messed up than it is usually. 

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2 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

The learning curve when starting out is huge and I am sure that I not the only one who would have done things another way in retrospect.

For me one of my mistakes was to buy a cheap smoker from Trade Me, I thought well they all make smoke and I have a lot of other things to purchase and at first that seemed to be a good call, until I eventually needed to refill while working the bees. Heat had locked the lid onto the body and the hook on the lid was so thin that it just straightened out when pulled so I finished up trying to lever it up with hive tool. Three burnt and skinless knuckles plus a hive full of irritatedbees and the decision is made, I must buy a decent quality smoker.

they all do that eventually.

theres a knack of using a hive tool to open them.

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Thing about smokers is it's the tool a beekeeper relies on most, and always has with them.

 

Yet so often I see people get el cheapo ones that don't work well, and it ruins their beekeeping experience cos the bees are never properly controlled.

 

But people will spend money on all sorts of other nick nacks that are little to no use, but not on a good smoker.

 

Must be some kind of function of human nature, one of the mysteries of beekeeping.

 

 

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12 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

The learning curve when starting out is huge and I am sure that I not the only one who would have done things another way in retrospect.

For me one of my mistakes was to buy a cheap smoker from Trade Me, I thought well they all make smoke and I have a lot of other things to purchase and at first that seemed to be a good call, until I eventually needed to refill while working the bees. Heat had locked the lid onto the body and the hook on the lid was so thin that it just straightened out when pulled so I finished up trying to lever it up with hive tool. Three burnt and skinless knuckles plus a hive full of irritatedbees and the decision is made, I must buy a decent quality smoker.

I did the same! Mine ended up having to be bashed open with a hammer and chisel after a few months, sliced my fingers a few times as the "handle" to open the dam thing was just a thin folded piece of sharp edged metal.

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1 hour ago, Rhsgc said:

I did the same! Mine ended up having to be bashed open with a hammer and chisel after a few months, sliced my fingers a few times as the "handle" to open the dam thing was just a thin folded piece of sharp edged metal.

You need to clean it more often.  Scrape all the tar deposits from around the rim and inside the lid and see the difference it makes.

 

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1 hour ago, Rhsgc said:

I did the same! Mine ended up having to be bashed open with a hammer and chisel after a few months, sliced my fingers a few times as the "handle" to open the dam thing was just a thin folded piece of sharp edged metal.

I know it shouldn't but it does feel much better when you realise that you are not the only one  ?

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3 minutes ago, Hector Wong said:

You need to clean it more often.  Scrape all the tar deposits from around the rim and inside the lid and see the difference it makes.

 

I do clean it (probably not as often as I should) but it was sticking from the heat even when brand new, didn't matter so much then 'cos only one hive and no need to refill.

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21 minutes ago, Hector Wong said:

You need to clean it more often.  Scrape all the tar deposits from around the rim and inside the lid and see the difference it makes.

 

Mine stuck from new really, there wasn't much build up at all when it got really bad. Just cheap and nasty!

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4 minutes ago, Rhsgc said:

Mine stuck from new really, there wasn't much build up at all when it got really bad. Just cheap and nasty!

Well you don't have to ram the things tight shut for them to work ....that's another plus for pine needles, there're usually enough of them sticking out

to avoid the trouble altogether

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2 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Well you don't have to ram the things tight shut for them to work ....that's another plus for pine needles, there're usually enough of them sticking out

to avoid the trouble altogether

No you don't, but that one didn't close at all without a good shove. Bought a middle of the range one from a nz supplier and haven't had any trouble with it at all. 

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43 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Well you don't have to ram the things tight shut for them to work ....that's another plus for pine needles, there're usually enough of them sticking out

to avoid the trouble altogether

Yeah but the smoke then pours out fron under the lid , not the spout .

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1 hour ago, Hector Wong said:

You need to clean it more often.  Scrape all the tar deposits from around the rim and inside the lid and see the difference it makes.

 

Is there any liquid that will dissolve  The tar that collects around the rim .?

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2 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Is there any liquid that will dissolve  The tar that collects around the rim .?

Not that I know of.  I just give it a good scrape with the hive tool then give it a good scrub with a wire brush.

 

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the lids need to shut well otherwise at some point it will pop open at the worse of times. spilling burning stuff is never a good idea.

i'm so used to using a hive tool i don't think i ever use the handle.

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To get the tar off the lids of the smoker, spout etc I use a butane torch. After a few minutes it turns to ash. The head unit was $25 from mitre 10, the gas cartridges are a few dollars each and standard camping gas. I also use this to clean my hive tool and melt wax off queen excluders. 

116F754D-8158-4EAC-9B03-A217C40E832C.jpeg

Edited by White Eyed Drone
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On ‎28‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 8:14 PM, DuncanCook said:

The learning curve when starting out is huge and I am sure that I not the only one who would have done things another way in retrospect.

When I first started out as a hobby beekeeper I brought two complete hives from a NZ company (not including the bees). The frames were plastic, some wax coated, other were not - they all should have been; the honey super for each hive was smaller than average and had frames with comb honey boxes on each side, which the bees had great fun building eratic combs in - not producing the nice comb honey that are seen in outlets that sell honey; the boxes themselves were merely stapled, not screwed or nailed, so over a period of time the staples rusted and the boxes started coming apart.

Later on, from the same company I decided to buy five kitset wooden nuc boxes - there were more floors than walls. I haven't bought any more hiveware from that company since!     

 

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Ive had two smokers so far, both worked pretty well but both bought from ecroyds so goodish quality...

 

what i wouldnt do is leave the smoker to cool anywhere near my partners truck... cos said partner will run the smoker over... hense onto the second one!

Edited by Rashika
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15 hours ago, BeeGirl said:

When I first started out as a hobby beekeeper I brought two complete hives from a NZ company (not including the bees). The frames were plastic, some wax coated, other were not - they all should have been; the honey super for each hive was smaller than average and had frames with comb honey boxes on each side, which the bees had great fun building eratic combs in - not producing the nice comb honey that are seen in outlets that sell honey; the boxes themselves were merely stapled, not screwed or nailed, so over a period of time the staples rusted and the boxes started coming apart.

Later on, from the same company I decided to buy five kitset wooden nuc boxes - there were more floors than walls. I haven't bought any more hiveware from that company since!     

 

I bought a couple of kit set boxes to start and then used them as a template to make my own, rebates and screws for the joins  (plus glue in my case) so not too bad but I have a box comb attachment for my bench saw which I haven't used for many years and I plan to set that up for the next batch which should be even better.

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On 10/05/2018 at 7:52 PM, White Eyed Drone said:

To get the tar off the lids of the smoker, spout etc I use a butane torch. After a few minutes it turns to ash. The head unit was $25 from mitre 10, the gas cartridges are a few dollars each and standard camping gas. I also use this to clean my hive tool and melt wax off queen excluders. 

116F754D-8158-4EAC-9B03-A217C40E832C.jpeg

went and had a look in mitre 10 today for one of these head set's, they have the bottles but not the head sets, 

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Always buy the best quality stainless steel smokers with an inlet valve on the bellows. If it doesn't have an inlet valve then walk away. Another thing to watch for are your mates putting dead mice or a string of firecrackers in your smoker when you're not looking. Good old-fashioned fun.

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They are still advertising them online @ $19.99 I will visit my local Mitre10 tomorrow, if not in stock they should be able to order one.

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I have been practicing opening with the hive tool away from the bees so less pressure and have become quite good at it so hopefully between that and a new smoker from Ecrotek no more barbequeued fingers.

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