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The Fumigator

Bee Keeping: Mysteries Of Bee-keeping Explained

I am indebted to a communication from J. M. Weeks, published on page

151 of the Cultivator for 1841, for this method. The description of the

fumigator that I constructed will vary a trifle from his, but will

retain the principle. I obtained a tin tube four inches long, and two

in diameter. Next, I made a stopper of soft wood, three inches long, to

exactly fit one end of the tube when driven in half an inch, and

it by little nails driven through the tin. Through the centre

of this stopper I made a hole one-fourth of an inch in diameter. To

prevent this hole filling up, the end in the tube was covered over with

wire cloth, made a little convex. The end of this stopper was cut down

to about half an inch, tapering it from the tin. For the other end a

similar piece of wood is fitted, though a little longer, and not to be

fastened, as it must be taken out for every operation. The outer end of

this is cut down into a shape to be taken into the mouth, or attached

to the pipe of a bellows. (I fitted them in the turning lathe, but

have seen them fixed very nicely without.) It could all be made of tin;

but then it is necessary to use solder, which is liable to melt and

cause leaks.

"The puff-balls must not be too much injured by remaining in the

weather, and should be picked, if possible, just before they are ripe

and burst open. When not thoroughly dry, put them in the oven after the

bread is out." When used, the cuticle or rind must be carefully

removed; ignite it by a lamp or coal (it will not blaze in burning),

blow it, and get it thoroughly started, before putting it in the tube.

Put in the stopper, and blow through it; if it smokes well, you are

ready to proceed. When it does not burn freely, unstop and shake it

out. The dry air is much better than moist breath at the commencement.