How To Clean Your Bee Smoker
One of the most common tools for any professional beekeeper is their bee smoker. Bee smoker is used to turning off the alarming senses of guard bees so that they won’t attack the beekeeper when they open it. It makes the bees calm in a manner. When the bee smoker is used, the bees start storing honey in their bodies, interpreting the smoke like a forest fire so that they can go somewhere else and make a new home. When this happens, the bees become lethargic to sting because of storing a lot of honey inside their bodies. But using bee smoker too much can cause the smoker to store a lot of soot inside of it and that would further render the device a little less effective against the bees, and you don’t want that. That is why you must clean the bee smoker properly every once in a while.
Steps to Clean Your Bee Smoker
Step 1 - Scrape it
Sometimes the water is not enough to remove something sticky off of something. Likewise, soot can act too stubborn when it is tried to be removed. So instead of watering it down or scrubbing it with a sponge, just take something hard through which you can scrap the soot out of the metal. It will take some time, but that is the only way you can do it. You can use a flat-head screwdriver to take it out. That would give you the precision you need. But even after that, if some of it is still left on the surface of the smoker, don’t worry, it will wear off in the next step. One thing though, if you have a smoker which is equipped with a perforated removable base plate in the bottom, just take it out and then you can even scrape the very bottom of the smoker chamber as well.
Step 2 - Soak
When initiating this process, you should first make sure that your bellows do not get water inside of them accidentally when you are cleaning it. To do that, you can use small pieces of tape and cover the bellow’s air tube with them. Then, go ahead with using gear ties or twine so that you can suspend the smoker in your bucket, that will keep the bellow just over the water level. Take a cup of white vinegar and pour it into the bottom of the bucket. After that, fill the bucket with warm water.
Step 3 - Wipe
After leaving it undisturbed for 8 to 10 hours of soaking, remove the smoker and throw out the water. Take a rag and use it to clean the smoker inside and out. You can now easily remove the layers of soot that you were unable to earlier because of them being hard with a screwdriver.
Some soot stains just never go off, so don’t worry about them, just keep cleaning the smoker this way now and then.