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Author Topic: Smoker fuel  (Read 4695 times)
Big Steve
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2009, 08:35:58 PM »

I like using dried up cow patties they are hard to get going but last a long time.  I usually use burlap on the bottom and cow patties on top.The burlap lights them.  I dont think they smell to bad and they are all over my corral plus the price is right if you know what I mean. STeve
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tillie
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2009, 09:05:56 PM »

Quote
Where do you purchase a bale of pine needles??

Annette,  I get them like G3Farms said, from Home Depot or Pike's (landscaping). 

I actually have plenty of pine in my own yard - pine is plentiful here in the heart of Dixie - but I don't have the time to pick all the sticks out of what I can gather on the ground and when I think of doing it, it's usually wet from the last rain - so having a cheap, dry bale in my carport is fast, efficient and always available at the drop of a hat.  A full bale only costs about $4 - $5 - well worth it, I'd say.

Linda T in Atlanta
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the kid
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2009, 10:20:23 PM »

was useing pellets ,, but hate it when they roll out in to the hive ....
was going to work and saw a tree trimmer putting trimmings into a chipper
stopped and asked for some chipps ,,  for me thats what I'll be useing ...
 a ltttle straw in ,, lite ,,   chipps ,,, lots of smoke
if there still green ,, put them in the sun on a small tarp ...
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WOB419
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2009, 10:22:36 PM »

Annette,

Lowe's keeps a couple of trucks of pine needles at the end of the building.  Pay at the register and they will have someone load it into your car/truck.  It only costs about $4.00.  As others have said, it is very convenient and effective.

I also mix in some green leaves sometimes to provide a nice cool smoke, it works nicely.

I was surprised that with so many posts nobody mentioned newspaper.
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MacfromNS
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2009, 10:32:23 PM »

I take cardboard and saw it on the table saw to get the right size, then roll it up, tape it and keep a bag of them on hand. I put a hand full of grass on top.
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2009, 11:08:01 PM »

why do you smoke?
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sc-bee
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« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2009, 04:32:46 AM »

I use pine needels but kind of pricey. It's attached to the MORTGAGE Wink!
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« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2009, 07:53:42 AM »

why do you smoke?


This calms the bees down a bit and makes them gorge on honey, thinking their home is on fire and they will have to leave, also is a very good way to move bees around. A little smoke will go a long ways.

Some people wear gloves and some don't, you can smoke your hands a little before going into the bees and they will leave them alone for the most part.

If a bee stings you or your clothes just puff a little smoke on the spot after you pull the stinger, this will help to mask the attack pheromone.

Other will chime in and add to this.

G3
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2009, 08:04:40 AM »

I have my own little system that works great and stays lit for a very long time!  I start the smoker with one piece of crumpled newspaper, and bring this to an aggressive flame.  Then add another piece of crumpled newspaper and again bring to an aggressive flame.  The newspaper burns down and the smoker begins to get hot.  We're about 1 minute into the process now.  Then add 1 handful of woodchips.  They don't have to be 100% dry, slightly damp is ok. Puff again until you have flames.  You will be almost choking on the smoke. then fill the smoker the rest of the way with wood chips and puff until you have a good cloud of smoke coming out.  It will be traveling across your yard and over to the neighbors'  rolleyes

Now close the lid and head to the hives.  It takes about 2-3 minutes to light, and I get through 4-5 hives before having to add fuel.  Adding fuel takes only 1 minute because the smoker is already hot.  You want the hot embers in the bottom of the smoker, and the damp chips on top to cool the smoke, which is why I add after 4-5  hives.  At that point if I go too much longer, the smoke gets hot, and the chips inside will eventually ignite, and you will have a flame thrower!

justgojumpit
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« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2009, 11:07:20 AM »

I use pine straw, around here you just pick it up by the hives or you can go to a thicket and fill a garbage bag full for free....
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CBEE
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« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2009, 02:25:05 PM »

I like burlap and bailing twine also. I scrounge around at the coffee shops and get free sacks. I know enough farmers that usually change twine spools every year rather than worry about old twine breaking in the machine as it is tied off and will give it to me instead of throwing it away.If you want to by new, any farm co-op will have it.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2009, 08:26:38 PM »

I use pine needles but kind of pricey. It's attached to the MORTGAGE Wink!



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 BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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alfred
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« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2009, 08:40:57 PM »

I've been using saw dust and wood shavings left from making pine hive boxes. Sometimes I also use the wood mulch that I put down in the yard.

I did use newspaper to start it up and had a whole method for trying to keep the thing going, now I just use the blow torch, works great. Starts it right up, then I keep it on hand in case I need to relight the smoker, no muss no fuss. I think that I read about it on the forum. I think that someone had said that they went on inspections with one of the BIG GUYS, like Michael Bush or someone, and that's what they were doing. It made so much sense..
Alfred
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annette
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« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2009, 10:16:20 PM »

Thanks again for the info. I am going to look at Home Depot first since it is close to my home, then Lowe's.

Good information,

Sincerely
Annette
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yjk
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« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2009, 10:56:10 PM »

I used wheat straw and a little paper. It doesn't last to long but it does put out a lot of smoke. Good for a short work time.
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tillie
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« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2009, 11:03:40 PM »

to the question, why do you smoke?

I don't really.  I light the smoker to use it to let the bees know I'm about to inspect the hive so I give a short puff or two at the door and then set the smoker down and don't pick it up again until I'm ready to move to the next hive.

I do like to have it lit since I occasionally have had a catastrophe occur - like dropping a frame full of bees or picking up the box and the inner cover is stuck to it and it drops, crushing bees.  Things like that seem to rile up the hive pretty badly and I am glad then to have the smoker to calm things down.


We've been doing teaching inspections at the Blue Heron and the participants are amazed that I don't smoke the bees but we have great inspections and so far, knock on wood, nobody has been stung.

Linda T in the N Ga mountains for the weekend
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trapperbob
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« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2009, 02:39:38 PM »

 wood pellets for horse bedding work real well but if you have cedar trees around they constantly drop and blanket the ground rake this up or scoop it up it works great makes lots of smoke and best of all it's free. My bees are next to cedars so I use it often and it smells good at least I think so.
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BenC
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« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2009, 11:16:46 PM »

Pellet stove fuel is hard to light but gives off good smoke and lasts a LONG time.  Put some grass on top of it to keep it from pouring out the spout.  Cedar shavings (pet bedding product) work well and smell good  Smiley but the smoke can get a bit hot if the bellows are pumped excessively.  Barley straw works very good but doesn't last long.  Grass clippings work good but stink.
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nella
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« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2009, 05:31:07 AM »

Some baler twine is chemically treated.
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MustbeeNuts
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« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2009, 06:57:32 AM »

PIne needles , my yard is  over full of them. They work great, I don't bag em, probly should but they dry out  pretty quick after a rain.
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