The advent of the bee smoker dates back to mid 1800s, with significant development in being reported in the United States circa 1851. Bee smokers, as suggested by the name, refer to an implement that douse bees with smoke so as to calm them and minimizes chances of being stung. Bee smokers have come a long way to date and have become an indispensable beekeeping accessory. A simple design of the bee smoker is made up of a metal fire pot combined with a canvas and bellows. All these work together and produce a consistent flow of smoke to lull the bees.
It is interesting that despite the many research undertaken to find an alternative to the smoker, none has successfully replaced it. The liquid smoker, an alternative to the bee smoker seems to have lost popularity given its drawbacks. I particularly dislike anything that has a potential to harm bees and liquid smokers have been found to fuse onto the wings of the bees, rendering them immobile.
With that said, in this article we’ll be reviewing the Mann Lake HD555 Stainless Steel Smoker. This smoker is made from a reputable manufacturer of beekeeping supplies. So let’s check it out and see if it lives up to the company’s promise.
Why you need a Bee Smoker
A bee smoker will help you minimize the harm inflicted on your bees and yet guarantee your safety.
The bee smoker is required for many reasons: when harvesting honey, during an inspection of the hive, while moving bees, when introducing new bees, to calm angry colonies, and for safe collection of other honey bee products such as pollen and royal jelly. The smoke generated by the smoker will induce the bees to generate pheromones, the substance the bees produce when threatened. Once this is produced by the soldier and guard bees, the rest of the bees stay calm. Another response is where the bees will sense danger and begin to gorge on the existing honey reserves. This will render them weak and harmless.
About the Mann Lake HD555 Stainless Steel Smoker
The Mann Lake HD555 Stainless Steel Smoker is designed with a guard feature which better ensures the user’s safety. The easy to open lid tab and heavy duty hinge are designed to make your work so much easier. This smoker is made of heavy duty stainless steel that is quite durable. It stays shiny and does not rust. You will also find the lower bracket placement useful, since it helps keep your fingers free from burns. In addition to these are the replaceable pro-bellows. These consistent pump the required amount of smoke to the bees.
- It has guard features and comes with a lid tab that is easy to open. The heavy duty hinge also provides additional convenience.
- This is made of stainless material that is strong and longer lasting.
- Available are bracket placement that protect your fingers from the heat.
- It is fitted with bellows that are replaceable.
- It has dimensions of 11 x 10.5 x 5 inches and weighs 1.79 pounds. Its shipping weight is 2.15 pounds.
Pros and Cons
- It is easy to operate.
- Lightweight, making it easy to carry around.
- Its lid tab is easy to open and has heavy duty hinge that is strong and durable.
- The smoker is made of stainless steel, hence it is strong and longer lasting.
- It is designed in such a way that your fingers are protected from burns. Lower bracket placement makes this possible.
- The bellow is high quality and can be replaced.
- Well made and functional.
- You can work with it using one hand.
- Economical in fuel consumption.
- More expensive than other smokers in the market.
- The bellows dry rot and fall off if left under the sun for too long.
If you have used a bee smoker before, then it is so much easier for you to decipher what is good and what is not. This smoker from Mann Lake, unlike some others I have used before, proves to be much safer, sturdier, and easier to use. As a matter of fact, I would have a glove on one hand and the other free at times but never got burned when handling the smoker. This smoker generates a consistent flow of smoke that works well at calming the bees. Older smokers were particularly not fitted with the guard cage as this one is.
While this smoker is more expensive than others in the market, I say it provides great value for money. This unit is lightweight, sturdy and the bellows are easy to pump. I also find the heavy duty hinges quite alluring. It was easy to open the lid tab and adding fuel was a breeze. Also, remember the bellows are replaceable which is advantageous to the buyer.
A Final Word
Have you been looking for a professional grade bee smoker that comes that provides great value for money? Well, the Mann Lake HD555 Stainless Steel Smoker happens to be one that offers just that. The unit is built with user safety on mind. It stands out from the pack thanks to its top notch workmanship. A guard cage and a lower bracket placement protect the user from burns. The bellows are replaceable and work as expected. In terms of fuel consumption, this smoker is very economical. It is not too small, neither is it too big. That means it can carry sufficient fuel to keep the user engaged for long and with minimum refills. It is highly recommended.Check Price