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Author Topic: What is a reccommend smoke material  (Read 4844 times)
annette
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2012, 11:46:37 PM »

I use pine needles, but now I am using nothing at all. I never did get the apiary weed wacked down properly and I was afraid of starting a fire, so I did not smoke them.

My friend Joanne doesn't smoke them either and yesterday I helped her with her bees and got stung about 20 times in my gloves. A few of the stingers got through my thick leather gloves. With no smoke to use on my gloves, they just kept coming.

I love pine needles though.

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JP
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2012, 08:20:23 AM »

Been using burlap for a while but been buying big rolls of it. The price just about doubled. Been using pine needles but in a jam as others mentioned just about any dry fuel will work. I would stay clear of pine bark though, lots of resin there making for a super hot burn, too hot!

I did a removal a few years back and there was a guy on site smoking whacky tobaccy. I had him smoke the hive with it out of curiosity. Wink I did not see anything out of the ordinary. They acted as if they were smoked with any other fuel. Not even one twinkie request.  grin


...JP
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T Beek
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2012, 08:40:48 AM »

Did their eyes get bloodshot?  Wink,

I've used most of the materials mentioned on this page but always return to rolled cardboard, sized to fit tightly, lit from the bottom w/ a few scraps of paper, lights easy, stays lit for an hour or more and always blows cool smoke.

t
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Finski
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2012, 09:52:59 AM »


The best here is rotten birch. It debends on mushroom species, what makes it suitable.

All which make strom smoke, like grass or needle, makes much tar. It glues the smoker, and even worse it gives odor to honey.

Tar vapour condensates on the surfaces of the hive. You may taste the odor  of smoke in the cappings' honey and it is not pleasant.


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T Beek
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2012, 11:11:05 AM »

I keep my smoker clean by flaming it w/ a propane torch between every couple uses.  Tar scrapes off easily afterwards.

t
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2012, 01:29:13 PM »

.
My smoker has no tar because I use  such fuels .

I do not rember how old is  my recent smoker, perhaps  15 y old,
but it has no running tar. And the  cap does not  glue itself locked.
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JP
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« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2012, 10:06:42 AM »

If a smoker lasts me two seasons I am lucky. Four years I would be ecstatic! 15 years, what I put them through would be a miracle!  Wink


...JP
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Finski
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« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2012, 11:36:18 AM »

If a smoker lasts me two seasons I am lucky.

my friend here nearby drive with car every year over one smoker.

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« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2012, 12:22:53 PM »

I'm just a hobby beek but using a tin can insert w/ some holes drilled through bottom will have your smokers lasting many years (just replace the can insert each year). 

I've got a 'large capacity' copper one from the early 70's that I still use if I need to visit several colonies in a day, might only use it once or twice per season though.

t
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JP
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« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2012, 01:35:38 AM »

If a smoker lasts me two seasons I am lucky.

my friend here nearby drive with car every year over one smoker.

.

I ran over the one before last with my trailer. That was a first, hopefully a last. embarassed

I drop them from ladders quite a bit.  tongue


...JP


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hjon71
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« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2013, 04:53:12 AM »

It's all new to me but I get thick cool smoke from dried leaves. They are plentiful and free smiley
If my smoker gets weak I pop the top pack more in pump a few times then close the top. Works best if you pack it tightly.
I may have to try the can idea just to see...
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Simon
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« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2013, 06:53:17 AM »

I'll second JP's burlap idea.  I have only ever used burlap or hessian, usually old potato bags rolled up tight and chopped off into appropriate lengths with the axe - lasts pretty well and if the fuel gets low, you can chuck in another roll of spud bag and keep on smoking.  I've got a stash of nice thick stuff in the shed ready for future use.  I still have my Grandfather's smoker (used hard commercially by him) and it is in great condition except for needing new leather on the bellows (beyond duct tape now  Cry ).  The barrel is made of brass, so maybe that has contributed to it's long life or maybe the potato bag fuel, ...that and not being used for the last 20 years,  but it is probably 60+ years old.
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10framer
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« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2013, 08:02:03 AM »

pine straw.  i haven't been to michigan in almost 40 years so i don't remember if you guys have a lot of pine trees.  if not i would think you could buy it by the bail at garden centers.
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10framer
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« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2013, 08:14:01 AM »

also, you can work the bees with no smoke during a good honey flow.  if the field force is sitting around the hive with nothing to do they get a little "stingy".  this also depends on the attitude of the the individual hive.  most of my bees are fairly easily stirred right now and i like somewhat defensive bees.  if they are geared toward defending the hive i want to think they are focused on hive beetles as well as bears and beekeepers.
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Finski
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« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2013, 08:18:11 AM »

pine straw.  i haven't been to michigan in almost 40 years so i don't remember if you guys have a lot of pine trees.  if not i would think you could buy it by the bail at garden centers.

That is the worst what you can imagine. The smoke is gaseous tar. It condensates on comb surface and makes to  the honey chimney odor.
It is not good to bees either.

Pine wood, if you have not seen them

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D Semple
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« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2013, 10:06:50 AM »

I get nice thick heavy burlap for free from a local coffee company that brings in fresh beans. If you have a local coffee roaster knock on their door.

The same coffee bean bags can also be gotten from pipe fitters on commercial building sites who use them for shipping smaller parts.

Don
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Beeboy01
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« Reply #36 on: February 18, 2013, 07:21:04 PM »

Pine needles mixed with dried grass works great for me. I pick it up after mowing the yard and let it sun dry for a few days. Sometimes it is hard to keep lit so I will drop a lighted charcoal bricket in the bottom of the smoker before loading the rest of the fuel. In a pinch dried leaves or anything else laying around the bee yard.
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D Coates
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« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2013, 09:20:19 AM »

I'll use just about anything as long as it's 100% plant material.  I always start the smoker with newpaper.  Like Don, I was using free coffee jute sacks but my source dried up.  Be careful getting burlap, it's normally treated with a petroleum of some sort as a preservative.  Smell it, if it smells like oil of any form you don't want to use it.  Coffee bags are safe as fuel as coffee roasters don't want their beans smelling of petroleum.

Lately I've been using worn out 100% cotton blue jeans (cut into 3" strips) and T-shirts (cut into quarters) as the main smoker fuel.  It's easy to wad up and carry a few, it's free, and a wadded strip or two seems to last for hours, even multiple lightings.   In a pinch a tight wad of weeds and leaves from around the hive works fine but it doesn't seem to last very long.
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Parksguyy
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« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2013, 09:45:55 AM »

New beek here myself, last summer was my first season ... rarely smoked the bees, there was no need to ... they were so focused on what they were doing, they never gave me the time of day.  I used a spray bottle with 1:1 syrup and it worked great. I know from another beek that the rolled up cardboard works really nice.  I've also heard that wood pellets work great too.  Now come the fall, it was every man for himself ... the girls really didn't like to be worked on at all.  Very aggressive most of the fall ... seemed like there was nothing I could do to keep them happy.  I think they were on guard given the wasps that were around.  There was no robbing that I could tell but I was chased a couple of times up the laneway. 
One should also purchase the bigger of the smokers too, much easier to light and keep going!   
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« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2013, 09:49:48 AM »

The right amount of smoke is very little.  The wrong amount is none or a lot....
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