Thermo-Zapper-Gun

My 12-year-old ordered a laser gun from Amazon. Apparently it could burn your eyes out, but we are hoping not to test that. It’s a thermometer. The laser part is just a pointer, the laser actually has nothing to do with gauging heat or cold. It just helps you know you are pointing the gun at the right thing. We’ve tested it on snow (-2C), boiling water (94C here along the Rockies), armpits (34C). It seems accurate and it’s certainly easy to use. It’s not a toy. Maybe you know all about it already – I heard it’s available at Costco. (I wouldn’t know about that because I was expelled from their campus the day I cleaned out their week’s sugar supply.) This gun cost my boy less than $20, delivery included, from Amazon.ca

I can see a lot of beekeeping applications for the thermal gun. It could be a quick way of checking the temperature of honey tanks and wax melters. When people ask me about heating honey before straining it, I’d always say, “make it hot, but not too hot.” 140 Fahrenheit (60 C) is good, then strain the honey and cool it as quickly as you can. (Containers into cold water usually does the trick.) But lacking a thermometer, I’d suggest making the tank so hot you could just barely keep your hand on it – and not any hotter than that. But then I found out my palms are pretty thick and can take more heat than those of some other folks. The thermo-gun removes ambiguity. If you make a freezer to store your comb honey, you can check all the corners to see that the temp is consistent and heat is not leaking in anywhere. I am also thinking that you might use it to check your hives mid-winter. Shining the red laser beam into a hive’s top entrance should result in a temperature warmer than ambient air. You might have to do a number of hives to see if any are anomalously cold (which might be dead) or warm (the bees might already be up in the top chamber and may soon be hungry). I won’t collect a commission on this device, but you might make use of it, so here are links to (Canada) Amazon.ca and (USA) Amazon.com. If you think of some other uses, let me know.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a geophysicist who also does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has written two books, dozens of magazine and journal articles, and complements his first book, Bad Beekeeping, with a popular blog at www.badbeekeeping.com. Ron wrote his most recent book, The Mountain Mystery, for everyone who has looked at a mountain and wondered what miracles of nature set it upon the landscape. For more about Ron, including some cool pictures taken when he was a teenager, please check Ron's site: miksha.com.
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