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Did you know that bees communicate via their antenna? Well, those antennas have many sensors that can sense smell, so it would be more correct to say that bees communicate through their sense of smell. So, what’s one of the best ways to minimize risk when dealing with bees? Interfere with the bees’ sense of smell. How can we do it? Use a bee smoker! Bee smokers have been in use since ancient times and they are used for calming the honey bees down. The honey bees anticipate possible hive abandonment due to all the smoke (they think the hive will catch fire) and start storing the honey in their bodies. This action of consuming the honey, makes the bee’s abdomen distend and in turn makes it difficult for the bees to sting.
Bee smokers have been in use for a very long time now and one of the best in the market is the Mann Lake HD540 Bee Smoker. With a dimension of 4 by 10 inches, the HD540 bee smoker is ideal smoker for advanced beekeepers, but even beginners will have no problems using it. It’s good for beginners since it’s easy to learn and has a lid tab that is easy to open and is also great for advanced beekeepers, due to its ability to last longer in aggressive bee colonies.
About Mann Lake
Mann Lake has been in the beekeeping supply business for about 32 years. They have all kinds of tools necessary for beekeepers of all levels. The interesting part is that, Mann Lake is an employee owned company, so whenever a person calls Mann Lake, it means that they are talking to an owner of the company. From bee hive kits to protective bee suits, Mann Lake offers a range of supplies required for beekeeping.
In addition to the HD540, Mann Lake offers other kinds of smokers like the HD541, HD550, HD555, HD556, HD560 and the HD565. The HD541 and HD556 are pretty similar, with both having a wooden bellow and different but differ in terms of dimensions and weight.
If you want a different shape, then Mann Lake has the HD565 to offer with its dome shaped top smoker and features a replaceable pro-bellow. The HD560 is the only smoker with no guard, but is very useful for heavy duty purposes. The HD555, interestingly, has a pro-bellow which allows air to flow easily and provides ease in pumping.
With such amazing and different versions of the same tool, it is indeed difficult for beekeepers to not keep a Mann Lake smoker product at their disposal. But this review is about the HD540 Bee Smoker, so let’s dive into that.
About the Mann Lake HD540 Bee Smoker
Now, there are a lot of benefits of having a smoker, but there are a lot more long-term benefits of having the HD540 Bee Smoker specifically. First of all, it’s made out of top quality stainless steel, which makes it quite durable, wearing only minimally over time. The stainless steel is very useful for rough conditions, allowing you as a beekeeper to be prepared for aggressive bee colonies.
Its lid tab is great for heavy duty purposes, especially for its exterior. It has a replaceable pro-bellow, which makes it easier for the air to flow and much easier for you to pump. The HD540 is a bit lighter compared to some of Mann Lake’s other models, so it can be carried around for a longer period of time, whether you’re doing a hive inspection or harvesting honey. It’s a powerful puffer and provides an easy, steady stream of smoke, which makes it very easy to control and to use.
- It has a lid tab that is easy to open.
- Heavy duty hinges.
- Made of Stainless steel.
- Replaceable Pro-bellow.
- Measures 4-inch diameter by 10-inch height.
Pros and Cons
- Lasts longer due to its stainless steel construction.
- Great for heavy duty purposes.
- Replaceable pro-bellow.
- Easy air flow.
- It is easy to pump, therefore, less strain on you the user.
- It is easy to work with the bellow, even with beekeeping gloves on.
- Fuel lasts longer between refills, therefore, longer burning time.
- Yellow rubber bellow, making it easier to spot the smoker.
- It has a rubber bellow, which isn’t quite as tough as the the traditional leather ones. It’s more vulnerable to wear and tear under rough conditions.
- A bit more expensive than other smokers.
The Mann Lake’s HD540 rubber bellow was the only point of contention I had with the smoker. Call me old fashioned but I’m much more accustomed to leather bellows, and the quality they provide. However, the rubber bellow is still easy to use and pretty easy to replace.
The HD540 bee smoker is easy to light and maintains a good amount of fire, therefore, removing a lot of stress generally associated with lighting smokers. Although, initially learning how to start the fuel may be difficult, once learnt, can produce some amazing results.
Its ease of maintenance is another plus point.
The Mann Lake HD540 Bee Smoker has been in the market only for a few years and has definitely marked itself a place in the top must-have bee smokers in the market. I recommend the HD540 bee smoker to those who do frequent beehive inspections and honey harvesting. It’s also a great tool for beginners, and doesn’t wear out easily. All in all, with all the amazing features it has to offer, HD540 bee smoker is highly recommended to keep the bee stings at bay. Bee stings hurt a lot and prevention is indeed better than cure.
Do you own the Mann Lake HD540 Bee Smoker? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of it.Check Price