Bee Smoker

ARTEFACT OF THE WEEK:  Today’s artefacts depict two different types of bee smoker.  The red smoker is an unsual shape compared to the other, which is a bellows type smoker.  However, both are utilised for the same purpose, as a means to calm honey bees while beekeepers extract the honeycombs from the hive.  They are designed to generate smoke from the smouldering of various fuels.   Smoke masks alarm pheromones, which include various chemicals, e.g., isopentyl acetate, that are released by guard bees or bees that are injured during a beekeeper’s inspection.  If you know more information about these artefacts that would be useful for our catalogue, contact the museum on 0800 111 323 or museum@stdc.govt.nz, Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki Heritage Collection, with reference to:  1991.079.1 (bellows) and TN.0018.158 (red).

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