cut off from below, will soon discover a passage-
way out, and, passing through the hole in the
top of the escape, they will be guided past the
TOO BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
springs and so into the hive below, the stream
of bees only ceasing when all have cleared out.
When this is the case, the honey may be removed ;
the honey can be extracted from the frames at
once, and the combs returned to be refilled, or
cleaned out ready for storing away. In the former
case the clearer must be removed ; in the latter,
by fitting the board with a little extra contriv-
ance, the bees can be re-admitted without dis-
turbance ; and, when the combs have been cleaned
out dry, the super can be again cleared of bees
in readiness for its final removal.
Holes from 1 in. to \\ in. diameter may be
bored through the clearer-board in one or more
Fig-. 93. Clearer in Use between Hive and Super.
corners, as shown in Fig. 91, and covered with
slides of tinplate or sheet zinc, as guides for the
working of which tacks or small nails will suffice.
In ordinary use the holes are closed by the slides ;
but when the dripping combs are returned from
the extractor, and all is covered up snug, the
slides may be withdrawn, allowing the bees free
entrance, an invitation they will not be slow in
accepting ; and if the combs are returned in the
evening, the slides may be again closed next
morning, when the bees will again pass below
through the escape, permitting the now dry combs
to be removed later.
In cases where hives are made perfectly square
to permit the combs to be hung at right angles to,
SUPER-CL EA R ERS. I O if
or parallel with, the entrance, and the frames of
successive bodies or supers to be placed at right
angles to those immediately below, the clearer
board may be the same size as the outside
measurement of the hive, and may be provided
with a plinth (see Fig. 93) to keep it in place
during the period of its use and so prevent undue
loss of heat. In Fig. 93, the hive walls are shown
in full black lines, the super-clearer being hatched.
The method adopted by a well-known honey
producer for removing supers may be given with
advantage, as by its adoption 'smoke which does
not improve the flavour of honey if applied too
freely is unnecessary. Dip a square of un-
bleached calico into diluted carbolic acid (1 oz.
to a pint of water), wring it out as dry as possible,
and place the clearer on a stand by the hive.
Gently prise up the super as before described,
and, shaking out the carbolised cloth, hold it in
the hands whilst removing the crate of honey,
and by the same movement drop it over the frames
beneath, which will cause every bee to disappear
rapidly. Place the super on the clearer, quickly
remove the cloth, and put clearer and super on
the hive, to be left until clear of bees. The same
operation can be gone through when taking the
clearer off, but on no account must the carbolised
cloth remain near honey for any length of time,
or the flavour of the honey will be spoiled. -
THIS chapter will describe how to make two kinds
of smokers the Bingham and the Clarke. A
Bingham smoker can be made at a cost not ex-
ceeding one shilling if the worker can use tin-
smiths' tools. These include snips for cutting the
thin tinplate ; a hatchet stake for turning over the
metal for wiring edges or making joints ; a large
soldering bit ; mallets and hammers ; punches ;
and odd pieces of iron.
A hatchet-stake may be improvised from a
2 ft. length of so-called half-round iron, 1| in.
wide, and f in. thick. The edges are smoothed
with a file, and the iron is supported in a vice.
As to materials for the construction of the
smoker, get a piece of best quality tinplate, 12 in.
by 18 in., wood, leather, a small bit of i in. brass
tube, and about 3 ft. of hard brass wire 16 gauge.
Fig. 94 is a general view of the smoker com-
plete. It consists of fire tube, T ; funnel, F .; hand-
guard, G ; strip to secure tube to bellows, H ; and
bellows, B. The fire tube is 2^ in. in diameter and
6j in. long. The piece of tinplate should be cut
accurately square, 8f in. by 6f in. The two short
edges are then turned over a little more than
J in. from the edges, one being turned up and the
other down. The piece of tin is bent into a
cylinder, and the bent edges hooked into one
another and hammered down tight, using a piece
of thick round iron or steel as a stake on which
to hammer. Run a little solder along the joint
to strengthen it.
When the cylinder has been made fairly circu-
lar, it will be found to be 2j in. in diameter.
BEE SMOKERS. 103
Both ends of this cylinder ought now to be
quite flat ; but if they are not, the file should be
used until they are made so ; J in. at one end
must now be turned out all round at right angles
to the body of the cylinder, and this can easily
be done with the good tin being used by means
of a hammer and the stake, or the sharp edge
of a cast-iron lathe bed, which is more solid. The
cylinder will thus be reduced to its final length,
6j in. Within f in. of the flanged end, a 4 in.
hole is punched through the tin.
This hole is to be coned inwards, as shown in
Fig. 94. Bingham Bee Smoker.
Fig. 95, the object being to direct any of the blast
which might impinge upon the sides of the hole
inwards into the smoker, rather than between the
fire-box and guard. The cone can be shaped with
the pane of a light hammer.
The end or bottom E (Fig. 95) is of tinplate, its
radius being just lj in., J in. of the edge being
turned up all round, like a cover of a canister ;
the flanged edge of the cylinder is laid in it, and
the edges turned in to embrace the flange and
keep all tight, as shown at E (Fig. 95). The edge
of the bottom can be turned up on the end of a
piece of thick round iron.
The funnel may next be made, its pattern being
iO4 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS? APPLIANCES.
shown by Fig. 96. The arcs of circles should be
scribed on the sheet of tinplate, the inner being
If in., and the outer 6j in. in radius; measure off
8| in. on the circumference of the outer arc, and
draw lines to the centre ; the piece may then be
cut out, turned up and down at the edges, and
connected in the same way as the body tube. Do
not, however, turn down quite so much at the
edges so as to make the large end of the funnel
big enough to embrace the tube T (Fig. 94 and 95).
The end of the funnel should be hammered, so as
to make about \ in. of its wide end parallel to fit
on the cylindrical body. The body of T could be
tapered very slightly to assist the putting on of
Fig. 96. Pattern of Funnel.
The piece M is a sort of additional support to
the barrel. It is simply a piece of tinplate \\ in.
square, having two edges turned down and
hammered flat, making it J- in. wide. It is then
bent at right angles, having one leg f in. long,
and the other J in. long. It is attached to the
hand-guard and support H by the short leg, while
the long one is hollowed out to fit the curve of the
body of the blower.
The hand-guard is a piece of tinplate, No. 16
io6 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
B.W.S., 6f in. by 4| in. wired all round with thin
wire. The wiring is easily done by first cutting
small pieces off the corners of the tin, then turn-
ing up the edges all round, laying the wire in the
edges, and then hammering down so as completely
to cover the wire, and leave a nicely formed bead.
The hand-guard is bent to a semicircle.
The support is made of a strip of tinplate
7J in. long and If in. wide. Lines must be scribed
on one surface f in. from each edge, thus marking
it into three parts, the centre one being J in. wide.
At If in. from one end, and at Ij in. from the
other, nick the sides into the lines, and turn over
Fig. 97. Smoker Diaphragm.
the edges of the end pieces, thus doubling the tin
at the ends and making them only J in. wide. The
centre must also have its edges turned up, but
only at right angles, to the middle part, thus
making a sort of trough which will fit on the
piece of wood s (Fig. 95) nailed to the bellows board.
The ends of this piece of tinplate are now turned
up in the opposite direction to the trough, the
short one at right angles, and the longer one at
an angle of 135 with the middle part. This last
end is to be bent again, a little more than 1 in.
from the first bend, so as to lie parallel to the
For riveting these parts together, obtain four
rivets i in. thick and J in. long. One rivet con-
BEE SMOKERS. 107
nects the support H, the hand-guard G, and the
little piece M, all together towards the front, while
another 1| in. from the back holds H and G to-
gether. A | in. hole should now be made in H
and G | in. from the back, and the whole may be
attached to the barrel with the two rivets shown.
The rivet holes are punched. The top of M should
be filed hollow to fit the curve of the barrel, the
front part of H being hammered to a similar curve.
The diaphragm D (Fig. 95) is of sheet iron, and
the legs are sometimes riveted on, but it is easier
to cut it out of the iron in one piece as in Fig. 97.
It should be punched with J in. holes. The
diameter is just a little less than 2j in., and the
legs are 1 in. long ; they are turned up at right
Fig. 98. Coned Blast Fig. 99. Nicked Tube for
Pipe. Making Blast Pipe.
angles to the body. The leg L (Fig. 95) is riveted
The only difficulty likely to be experienced in
the coned blast pipe P (see also Fig 98) is the
coning of the mouth to f in. This, however, is
easy after cutting two nicks in the piece of \ in.
tubing as in Fig. 99. Anneal the brass by heating
it in the fire, and when cool, the point can be
hammered cone-shape without much trouble. A
touch of solder will mend the cut afterwards. This
is not a professional method, but is quite good
enough for the present purpose.
The piece of wood s (Fig. 95) bears the whole
weight of the tin portion. Oak will be found the
best material ; and suitable dimensions are 4| in.
by J in. by \ in. At | in. from one end make a
i in. hole to take the blast-pipe ; the upper edges
io8 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
are to be bevelled off and hollows cut to take the
heads of the rivets in H (Fig. 95).
The boards of the bellows can be made of any
tough and thoroughly seasoned wood. Two pieces
for the cheeks of the bellows are 5 in. by 5i in.,
two other pieces x (Fig. 95) are 4j in. by \ in.,
\ in. thick at the back and rather more at the
front, so that when the backs of the two boards
are brought together the front joint will not
open. The piece Y is f in. square and 2| in. long,
and another piece is T 3 g- in. square and 3j in. long.
The wood piece for the valve is 2 in. square and
\ in. or so thick. When all the pieces have been
nicely planed and rubbed on a sheet of glasspaper,
bore a hole for the valve in one bellows board
and one at w for the blast pipe in the other. The
latter is | in. in diameter, and f in. from the back
end of the board ; the former is \\ in. in diameter,
and its centre is 2 in. from the back end of the
board. The burrs which may have been formed
in the boring of these holes should be carefully
glasspapered off. The pieces x should then be
glued and tacked across the front edges of the
boards, and the piece Y similarly fixed on the
lower one, f in. behind x, its ends being equidis-
tant from the edges of the board.
The springs (Fig. 100) must next be made ; each
is a piece of wire bent into two parts, and as
there are two springs there will be, in effect, four
wires pushing the boards apart. To make the
springs, drive a couple of wire nails T 3 in. thick
into a piece of wood 6 in. apart. Cut the 16 gauge
wire 14 J in. long and straighten it, place it against
the wire nails with the ends projecting equally at
both sides, and turn the ends round the nails, one
to the right and the other to the left. Give two
and a quarter turns to each end, which will leave
them at right angles to the middle part as in Fig.
101. Then bend the middle part at M into a curve
so as to bring the coils together and the loose ends
lying side by side. Then with pliers turn down the
points to prevent them from sticking in the boards,
and give a little bend just near the coil (see Fig.
100). The ends of the piece of wood which have
been prepared, -~ in. square and 3^ in. long, are
rounded and passed through the coils of the
springs, and a little bit of thin wire ties them
together to prevent their slipping off. This axle,
as it may be called, of the springs is then placed
between the pieces x and Y (Fig. 95), and the
lower board then resembles Fig. 102, this illustrat-
Fig. 100. Spring.
Fig. 101. Wire for
ing the bottom board of the bellows with springs
The valve is a piece of leather 3 in. by 2 in.,
to which the 2 in. square piece of wood is secured
at one end by a tack passing through near its
centre. If it were glued to the wood, and the
latter warped, the valve would not close. Three
edges of the wood valve will coincide with three
of the leather, and an inch of the leather will pro-
ject beyond the wood. By means of this tongue
the valve is secured to the board with two tacks.
A light spring (shown in Fig. 95) presses very
no BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS^ APPLIANCES.
gently on the back of the valve to prevent it from
opening except under suction. This spring can
best be made of a bit of watch-spring, but a bit
of thin hard brass wire does almost as well ; a
tack passing through a hole in the watch-spring,
or a loop turned on the end of the wire, will fasten
it to the bellows board. It would be well to put
a narrow strip of leather over the valve and fasten
its ends down with two tacks, allowing the valve
only about \ in. rise. This is to prevent mis-
Fig. 102. Bottom Board of Bellows.
chievous persons thrusting odd articles into the
The hinge may now be tacked along the front
edges, of the boards and of the pieces x (Fig 95).
It is a strip of leather 5 in. by \\ in., and should
be glued as well as tacked. The springs may be
put in place, and the outer edges of the bellows
boards held 2| in. apart while the leather is being
glued on. The edges of the boards are rubbed
over with strong glue, and the leather laid on
and secured with short tacks 1 in. apart. The
edges may afterwards be cut flush with the outside
of the bellows boards.
As a general guide in procuring the leather
it may be said that a strip 18 in. long, tapering
from 3j in. in the middle to \\ in. at the ends,
does for the three sides, an inch being left at each
end to overlap the hinge. When the leather has
been put on, the bellows ought to be able to work
nicely ; but, for the sake of appearance, it is
customary to put a narrow strip of red leather
Fig-. 103. Clarke Smoker. Fig. 104. Section of
all round the edges of the boards, and to secure
it with small brass tacks.
Before the bellows are put together it will be
much better to fasten to the upper board the
piece s with glue and a couple of screws from the
inside, the blast holes in both bellows and sup-
port being over one another. A piece of wire-
gauze w (Fig. 95) should be put between the two,
covering the blast hole in such a way as to pre-
ii2 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
vent ash or cinder from the smoker finding its
way into the bellows. The contracted piece of
brass pipe can now be pushed into place, and the
body of the smoker fastened to s with the piece of
tinplate H, which has its edges turned down so as
to embrace it ; four little screws or tacks will hold
it on very firmly.
The smoker is now finished and ready for the
fuel, which can be brown paper, sacking, or any-
thing that will smoulder. It should be inserted
in such a way as to afford passages for the air
through it. If it is packed tightly the smoke can-
not be expected to travel through the entire length
of the barrel.
The form of spring used in the real Bingham
smoker entails a good deal of unnecessary labour,
and probably a spiral spring of the proper strength
could be substituted. Then the front edges of the
bellows boards could be brought together, and the
four pieces of wood there found could be dispensed
The Clarke smoker is simpler than the Bing-
ham, but hardly so efficient. Fig. 103 shows it in
general view, and Fig. 104 is a sectional view.
The bellows boards are 4j in. by 6| in., and nearly
\ in. thick. A 1-in. hole is made through one
board, its centre being 2j in. from one end of
the board, and midway across it. This is for the
valve, which is simply a piece of stout leather
nailed on one side and free to rise on the other,
after the manner of a butterfly valve. At a dis-
tance of If in. from the opposite end of the other
board, a J-in. hole is bored, sloping from the front
as shown in Fig. 104. This is to take the blast
pipe. The boards are kept apart by a strong steel
spiral spring, which is placed at the side of the
valve, and more towards the back, just where the
pressure of the hand goes. The boards at their
widest part are 3 in. apart, and at the narrowest,
BEE SMOKERS. 113
The entire bellows of the Clarke smoker could
easily be made by cutting out and planing the
boards, boring the holes, and tacking on the valve ;
then the points could be brought together, and a
slip of leather, 4 in. long and 1 in. wide, tacked
along them. The spiral spring, which could be
made of hard brass wire, No. 18, B.W.G., could
then be put in place, being fixed to the boards,
either with a straight piece of wire left at both
ends of the spring, or the ends of the spring could
Fig. 105. Pattern of Funnel.
fit into holes bored partly through the boards. A
bit of wire could then be bent so as to keep the
boards 3 in. apart at the wide end while the
leather was being glued and tacked on. The
leather should overlap the piece already tacked to
the front by about an inch. Basil leather will
answer if better is difficult to obtain.
The fire box of the Clarke smoker should be
made of stout tmplate. Its pattern is shown by
Fig. 105. The circles there shown should be care-
fully scribed with a compass on the sheet of tin-
1 14 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
plate, and then cut out with a pair of snips. The
straight edges should be turned over for \ in., one
up and the other down, and the piece bent into
the shape of a funnel. The parts turned over will
then catch into one another, and should have a
little solder run along them after they have been
hammered tightly together. The wide end of the
funnel, for the distance of \ in., is now to be
turned straight out so as to take the bottom (Fig.
106), which is attached to it just as a tinman fines
a bottom to a can, except that after it is turned
over once it is left standing out from the funnel,
as seen in Fig. 104.
Before the bottom is fastened, it would be as
Fig 1 . 107. Diaphragm
of Clarke Smoker.
Fig. 106. Bottom of Funnel.
well to make the tinplate diaphragm (Fig. 107) and
fix it to the funnel. It is 2^ in. in diameter, and
is punched with a number of \ in. holes. In bought
smokers it is fitted in a kind of bead moulded on
the funnel ; but in the present case three or four
projecting tongues are left, and these are turned
over and fastened to the funnel with small rivets.
The bottom with its fire door cut out is shown
by Fig. 106. The outer dotted line in this figure
shows the part which will be turned over to em-
brace the funnel end. The door is a piece of tin-
plate large enough to cover the hole and to pivot
on the rivet shown in Fig. 103. Its edges are
turned over so as not to cut or scratch the hand
of the operator.
BEE SMOKERS. 115
The tinplate blast pipe is 4j in. long, its bore
tapering from f in. to slightly more than J in. The
pipe is bent into the shape shown by Fig. 104, and
extends to within | in. of the front of the fire
holder. The whole of the sheet metal work is
attached to the bellows with two screws, holes for
which, 2| in. apart, must be punched within | in.
of the base of the funnel. The blast pipe is
hooked into the hole in the bellows made for its
reception, and the screws are put in at the back,
a couple of bits of tinplate tubing, 1 in. long,
through which the screws pass, preventing the
bellows and fire box coming in contact with each
THE first of the extractors to be described in this
chapter is of the Little Wonder pattern ; it is
useful to a bee keeper with two or three hives,
but is unsuitable for a larger apiary, as only one
comb at a time can be operated on. It is difficult
to use, and if the honey is thick from natural
causes or through cold weather the extractor can-
not be made to revolve at a sufficiently high speed
to clear the combs. Where a number of hives are
worked for extracted honey, a geared cylinder ex-
tractor (described later in this chapter) is neces-
To make the extractor (of which Fig. 108 is a
side view showing tffe handle raised) a piece of
clean, straight-grained red deal, 3 ft. 10 in. long
by If in. square, is required. From one end cut
off 7 in., and, beginning at about 6 in. from both
ends, chamfer down to circles 1| in. in diameter,
and fix ferrules about 1 in. long as shown at A
(Fig. 108). Then insert two pieces of |-in. round
iron, one 10 in. long and the other 4 in. long, for
about 3 in. into the ends ; the long piece should
be at the top, and the short piece at the bottom.
Take the 7-in. piece of wood, centre the ends, and
bore a f-in. hole through from end to end and
round the wood to lj in. in diameter as shown at
B (Fig. 108). Next bend two pieces of 1-in. by
J-in. hoop iron about 2 ft. 9 in. long to the shape
shown in Fig. 109. It will be well to make a
rough template of the shape, and, if the iron is
fairly good, the bending can be done with a hand
vice after heating the metal in the fire. Place
these irons at c (Fig. 108), the method
of fastening them being shown in
For the can a piece of tinplate,
1 ft. 9j in. long by 1 ft. 3^ in. wide,
will be required to form the back;
the template used for bending the
irons may be reduced \ in. and used
in shaping the tin as shown by Fig.
110. Four cleats A (Figs. 110 and
111) about 6 in. long, and two smaller
ones B (Figs. Ill and 112), of stout
tin, are soldered to the sides to hold
the cage in position. Two
pieces of tinplate, cut to
the shape shown by Fig.
113, and allowing a f-in.
margin round the outer
edge for the joints, are
required for the top and
bottom ; the semicircular
hole A (Fig. 113) is re-
quired in the top piece
only. These pieces can
be fixed to the back, and
the joints folded and sold-
ered. A piece of tinplate
9j in. by 3| in. is required
for the front c (Fig. 112) ;
the joints are turned over
and soldered at the bot-
tom and sides.
The front and bottom
may be worked in one
piece by making the bot-
tom 7 in. wide instead of
4 in. as in Fig. 113. The
opening in the front
should be strengthened
with No. 11 B.W.G. wire
n8 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
run round, the tinplate being turned over it as at
c (Figs. 110 and 111).
To complete the can, cleats to hold it in posi-
Fig. 109. Section of
Little Wonder Ex-
tractor. Fig. 110.
Section of Can
tion when dropped into the frame are fixed at D
(Figs. 108 and 112), and a lip is soldered to the top
for pouring out the honey. Good stout tinplate
: $\^\\ v \
i I II
1 i 1 rj
\ ; u
i % 1 1 j
i j i
Figs. Ill and 112. Section and Front View of Little
Wonder Can and Cage,
120 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
should be used in making the can, or it will
collapse when a heavy comb is being extracted.
To hold the cage in position when the combs
are in, a wire is placed across the front at E (Fig.
112) ; one end is fastened with a small wire staple
soldered to the cage, and the other with a catch
of double tin or wire.