We went along to the Auckland Bee Club this morning. It was great to catch up with everyone and good to see a lot of new faces.
Paul Walsh and Dennis discussed how to build frames, very useful information for new beekeepers indeed. I wish I had heard this talk before I started building my own frames.
Olivia and Paul Brown discussed how to light a smoker. Olivia used Hessian sacks as fuel which is what we do, but she lined the sacking with partially burnt sacking. This partially burnt sacking reminded me of the charred cotton that Ray Mears taught me how to light fires with on his TV Show.
To make charred sacking you can use an old coffee tin with a lid with a nail sized hole in it, you place in on some hot embers and the cloth is burnt. The cloth can’t ignite inside the tin as the oxygen levels are too low.
Before you use Hessian sacks you must age the sacking by leaving it outside for as long as you can, we hang ours in a tree until we need it. Never use plastic sacking and this will produce toxic smoke which you and your bees won’t enjoy. Remember you are trying to get a cool white smoke.
Olivia also mentioned using a cork in the spout to extinguish the flame of the smoker; I will have to try that. She also mentioned a steel tray if you are moving a hot smoker in your car. An old ammo can from an army surplus store is also a good option, but please ensure the ammo has been removed first please :D.
We also discussed the recent demise of our hive “Honey 1” (Margaret is going to post an entry about this soon) with some members, and discussed some other varroa methods we can try in spring.
Carol also had my Tymol Crystals so I can investigate using an essential oil treatment to combat the Varroa Mites.
Thanks for reading….Gary
Here are some photos of the day:- (Click on image to enlarge)