Contemporary Bee Smoker

This is my graduation project, -SMOKA-.

It was recently judged ‘best in show’ by Marcus Hirst of Ron Arad Associates, at my degree show. It is due to be exhibited at New Designers in London from the 3rd-6th July.

The design outcome is the result of keeping honey bees for over a year, specifically for this project. -SMOKA- utilises the vapourising technology, similar to that in e-cigarettes, and liquid smoke capsules already on sale from beekeeping suppliers.

The traditional smoker uses smouldering material to trick the bees into thinking it’s habitat is on fire. They busy themselves preparing to potentially evacuate the hive, rather then stinging the beekeeper. However, the traditional smoker can get extremely hot. This not only damages (and annoys) the bees, but is a fire hazard when thrown in the back of the car between hive sites.

There is also legeslation rumoured to be coming in, preventing a lot of materials being burnt in smokers. The toxins released from smouldering card, saturated with ink, can be absorbed by the honey which is then consumed by us. The liquid smoke capsules already, in production, can be monitored, making this legeslation more enforceable.

Aimed at the commercial beekeepers; it offers increased fuel efficiency, immediate mist and convenience in the form of the hive hook and autosmoke output. The mist dissipates much quicker then smoke making it ideal for smoke controlled areas in larger cities.

Any feedback on this, or my other University work, would be greatly appreciated.

More images and a better insight into my opinions on design can be found at:

Cheers in advance!

Nice project! Bees are important to everyone.

  • How does the toxicity of the artificial smoke compare to that of other traditional natural smoke sources – grass, rice, cotton, wood, etc? I realize it is commercially available but the beekeepers I know do not use it.
  • Does the air intake on the device pose a hazard for wayward bees?
  • Is the device easily washable? Honey, wax, and jelly are liable to end up on the smoker.
  • What sort of calculations did you perform to maximize the Venturi effect?

Very slick!

The artificial smoke legislation was not actually a driving factor behind the design, however it manifested itself in the later stages. In my opinion, theres nothing wrong with using card that is ink/varnish free, but some one somewhere obviouslyy disagrees. At the moment it is used in a spray form but that can get the hive wet, and irritate the bees more then assist the bee keeper.

The air intake could pose a potential risk, further development would likely include a filter that blocks the intake of bees/dust. The holes are very small, but bees do have the tendency to find anyway in.

The device features a silicone seal between the tongue and groove of the mouldings, meaning it can be washed with a wet cloth without any issues. the majority of wax and propolis is better to be chipped off anyways.

I prepared test rigs and adjusted their height/ volume of fuel/ and the flow of air through them to test how effective the technology and the venturi effect.

Nice to see you have the answers – your hard work shows!

What are your plans for your bees now that your project is over?

because I’m likely to be moving, I’ll be donating them to a friend who helped me get them in the first place. Definitely recommend giving beekeeping a shot if you have a garden and an hour on the weekend spare.