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Author Topic: Favorite smoker fuel  (Read 40174 times)
forrestcav
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« Reply #60 on: April 20, 2011, 09:31:09 PM »

my first trip to a hive with my mentor. He stoppedon the way out the basement and scooped up hand fulls of dried leaves and stuffed the in. Lit ans pumped the bellows to it smoked. I was thinking "wow, thats cool and cheap too. I guess you don't have to buy smoker fuel."
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Just a beek with my first colony. With my first harvest behind me.
oldbeebum
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« Reply #61 on: April 20, 2011, 10:57:24 PM »

I use pine straw because it is free and it works.
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G3farms
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« Reply #62 on: April 21, 2011, 07:51:50 AM »

burlap and cedar tree bark is my favorite, it will last for hours.
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slacker361
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« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2011, 08:01:38 AM »

I wonder if that hamster bedding would work?
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2011, 02:38:41 PM »

I wonder if that hamster bedding would work?

New or used?

I can mail you some  grin

Shooo-weee
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slacker361
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« Reply #65 on: April 21, 2011, 04:36:41 PM »

If the hive is a good producer they get the new stuff,,, not good producers they get the used stuff...
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GWDawg1
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« Reply #66 on: April 24, 2011, 07:59:33 AM »

Anybody use those smoker pellets that go into the BBQ smokers? I'm going to pick up a sack and give them a try.  If they don't work I can always use them in my BBQ!!
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vpetemo
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« Reply #67 on: May 01, 2011, 04:57:15 AM »

I have read with interest everybody's ideas about the perfect smoker fuel and for many of them i have been there and done that except for the sumac. I probably used the burlap and cedar chips the most which both made good smoke. The wood shavings were sometimes too hot or if I needed to get it revived it would start throwing sparks if I pumped too aggresively. I have finally cast them all off for a much better method. It is not original with me but I am a believer. I was looking through the Beekeeping For Dummies book and the author mentioned that he had started using pellets for a wood pellet stove so I thought I would give it a try. I have found it to have the best features needed for a smoker. It is cool, starts easy, smells good and keeps going without any attention. In fact, after I get done with a full inspection of my six hives and I go back to the house it sits outside the rest of the day until all the pellets have burned up. All I do is throw some wood shaving in the bottom, light it with a butane torch or lighter, pump it a few times to get a flame going and then just fill it up with pellets. In less than five minutes you can set it down and let it smoke away. A few puffs and you've got a cloud. I bought a 40# bag at Attwoods for $5 and that will last a long long time.
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rbinhood
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« Reply #68 on: May 08, 2011, 07:38:27 PM »

Try a couple of old farmer smoker fuels....dry cow patties, horse pucks, a couple of handsfulls of simi dry sweet feed, and the best broken-up corn cobs, the cobs produce a very cool smoke and last a long time.
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hilltophermit
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« Reply #69 on: May 12, 2011, 10:14:01 AM »

I use sumac. As others have said, it burns cool, smells good, is plentiful and free. Though I have never tried it, I know of those that smoke it and make tea out of it. To each his own. As for smoker fuel its the best in my experience.
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slacker361
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« Reply #70 on: May 12, 2011, 11:12:49 AM »

wow I just found some stuff that works really good, you know those cup holders from fast food places, they are made of presses paper, that stuff works great especially to get the wood or what have you going. Also I am going to try Michael Bush's modification to the smoker , he says that is will make it stay lit....which I need
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SmokeEater2
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« Reply #71 on: May 16, 2011, 04:39:21 PM »

I've had good luck with burlap,oak leaves,pine needles etc. I am going to make one of the smoker inserts that someone mentioned though. Good idea!
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Haddon
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« Reply #72 on: May 17, 2011, 05:52:01 PM »

I use pine needles the nice people in my town put them out in a bag in front of their houses for me to pick up.
 grin

With that said God have mercy I am tired of smelling pine needles burning I have grown to hate the smell more than my bees anyone else tired of the smell.
Now they work great if you get it lite well and there is nothing easier to light all I use is a match no blow torch not even a lighter. Can last for hours done right but still the smell sinks into your cloths and I have got to hate it so bad I now change cloths after using the needles.

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qa33010
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« Reply #73 on: June 01, 2011, 03:54:22 PM »

   Bought two bags of untreated wood chips (mainly cedar) for fire starting about six years ago.  Still have them and use regularly.  They were only a buck and a half each.  Price is a lot higher now.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Matthew207
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« Reply #74 on: June 01, 2011, 10:04:28 PM »

I use coastal hay that is very dry.  Very thick smoke and lasts through two hives.  Pack it really tight so that there is not a lot of air space for the ember to go out.  Works good every time!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2011, 11:18:03 PM »

Why would you buy smoker fuel?  Burlap is my favorite although pine needles smell better.
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Michael Bush
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #76 on: June 02, 2011, 08:11:15 AM »

Sycamore tree bark - I pay my kids to pick up bags of it - starts burning easily and burns hot.  Burns fast, so I follow that up with either pine straw (which I pay them to pick up too) or wood pellets and a burn that will have some good thick cover and lasting power.
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Rick
cowboygourmet
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« Reply #77 on: June 02, 2011, 08:52:31 AM »

I think I've come up with the perfect combination.

Burlap cut into 5-6" strips rolled around some pine needles and insterted into a toilet paper roll.  Lights fast, burns long, and has a moderate amount of smoke.  

I tried it tonite, think it works pretty good.

Let  me know what you think.

Now I think this is a great  idea and would be easy to store and use.  I give you a rating of 3 stars!!!!
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Haddon
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« Reply #78 on: June 03, 2011, 05:22:48 PM »

I stumbled onto something the other day I was lighting my smoker with pine needles and the hand full I had grabbed wasn't enough to fill the smoker being to lazy to walk the 10 feet back over to the pine needle pile I looked down at my feet and the bag of peat moss was siting there I remembered the Scots used it for fuel so I grab two hand fulls of that and threw it on top of the small wad of pine needles worked the bees for about one to two hours got hot and left the smoker in the field I came back like 3 hours later it was still lite with out a single puff and that was the first day I had my suit back and was looking for queens so I only puffed it like 4 times in the first 2 hours part of the reason I left it out there I thought it had to be out.

So pine needles then peat moss on top worked like a charm and the smell was not near as bad as pine needles alone.
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AllenF
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« Reply #79 on: June 03, 2011, 06:50:35 PM »

Just to let everyone to know, I caught my pine straw along the house and the grass in the yard on fire today.   Very hot and dry today.   Lit the smoker and started smoking a swarm hive I placed on my front porch for all to see.   An ember came off the lid of the smoker and caught my pine straw on fire.   I am standing there in shorts and flip flops so I can't stomp it out.  I use the empty deep box I was holding to drag the pine straw out into the grass to let it burn out.   But it is so dry the grass burnt.   I buried the fire with the deep box several times because it kept starting up again and again.   The wife is going to kill me so don't let her know and I'll play dumb.         Be careful with that smoker folks.
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