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What is this a coal fire starter/bellows or?

Posted by peggyl_wa (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 29, 10 at 18:14

This looks like it could be for starting a fire with coal. The metal can has a hinged top and an open spout. Inside is a grate a couple of inches from the bottom. It is attached to a bellows made of wood and possibly leather. There is a hole in the bottom of the bellows that blows the air into the bottom of the can under the grate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fire Starter-Bellows

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What is this a coal fire starter/bellows or?

It's a bee smoker.... used when handling hives of bees that must be moved to another hive. The smoke sedates the bees and allows the bee-keeper to remove any extra queens from the hive before the swarm and establish a new colony in a tree or a bird house or something.
Linda c

RE: What is this a coal fire starter/bellows or?

As Lindac has already stated, that is a bee smoker. To operate it you remove the screw on lid on the metal can, insert some dry straw and light the straw on fire, then replace the lid. If you then pump the bellows it will force air through the can causing the burning straw to produce smoke which is expelled out through the metal funnel on the cap.

It is used by a bee keeper anytime they have to open a hive such as when removing honeycomb to harvest honey.

RE: What is this a coal fire starter/bellows or?

Thanks to both of you for the quick response. We received it as a donation for a silent auction and hopefully it will sell better now we know exactly what it is and how to use it.


RE: What is this a coal fire starter/bellows or?

Yup, a bee smoker.

It is interesting how it works to quiet a hive full of bees. When smoke enters the hive, the bees' instinct kick in. They precieve it as a dire threat and impending disaster (think forest fire) and scurry to eat any uncapped honey. They gorge just in case the hive will be destroyed and they won't get to eat for awhile and may have to search for another place to rest. After overeating, just like you or I after a Sunday dinner, they become lethargic.

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