smokers Sweeet Smoker

Downriver

Extreme Member
Long ago I bought a little “smoker”. It's a small, propane fired, Brinkman. It was eventually replaced and got retired to the pole barn, where its been for at least 15 years. In early May I noticed a few honey bees flying around it, and didn't think much about it. By early June, there was a steady stream of bees, coming and going. They were going in and out of the bottom vents on the smoker. Since the Kubota is parked about one foot away, and I use it almost daily, I figured something needed to be done.

Bees IMG_20220622_143554156~2.jpg

I've toyed with the idea of keeping bees, but I'm still not there yet. I had read about the creation of an apiary in a local State park that opened recently. I thought they might be interested in rescuing these bees and, sure enough, they were.

The following week a lady from the county beekeepers group (they manage the apiary for the park), along with a helper, came out. She took the cover off the smoker, but couldn't get the lid off. The bees were being really cool, so I grabbed a piece of 2x4 and used it to pry the lid loose. Here's what we found:

Bees IMG_20220628_111908868.jpg Bees IMG_20220628_111924657~3.jpg

The bees had built their honeycombs on each of the bars of the smoker grate. And they built all of this in about 30 days. I was quite surprised. The beekeepers transferred the comb to the hive racks, holding it in place with rubber bands. The bees were getting more and more agitated, so every few minutes I had to take a step or two back. Then, all of a sudden, a bee landed on my right ear, ran into the ear canal, and stung me. Rat bastard! I then vacated the area pronto, lol. Sorry, no more close-up pictures.

Bees IMG_20220628_115221965_HDR~2.jpg Bees IMG_20220628_115540071_HDR~2.jpg
Bees IMG_20220628_112504675~2.jpg Bees IMG_20220628_112640663~2.jpg

It took a few days for the bees to transition to the new hive. Then the beekeeper came back one evening right at dusk (almost dark) and moved the hive to the apiary. Last I heard they're doing great!
 
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Grass Snake

Extreme Member
Dang did you keep any honey? I'm sure you probably weren't in the mood for honey after getting stung on the eardrum. A bee (not sure what kind) stung me a couple years ago on the ear lob and it felt like I got hit with a nail gun.
 

Downriver

Extreme Member
Dang did you keep any honey? I'm sure you probably weren't in the mood for honey after getting stung on the eardrum. A bee (not sure what kind) stung me a couple years ago on the ear lob and it felt like I got hit with a nail gun.

No. I'm not a beekeeper, so I don't know the right words, but I think they said because it was a new or "young" hive, there wasn't any honey yet or what was there was too immature. Something like that.
 
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