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Author Topic: Have you used Herbs as fuel for a smoker?  (Read 1561 times)
FlowerPower99
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« on: February 18, 2013, 04:27:30 PM »

Just wondering how you've used it or what went into how you prepared the herbs for the smoker.

I like the idea of being able to grow/make a smoker fuel at home (like Lavender) instead of having to buy fuel.
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2013, 05:05:33 PM »

Pine needles are one of the best fuels. Yard grass clippings work, too. Rolled up cardboard is great. Bailing twine, the tan type, is my favorite. An old t-shirt or jeans work well.

There is no reason to ever buy fuel.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2013, 05:38:26 PM »

I was using burlap but the price went up a good bit, using pine straw now and notice less tar build up. Emil's smoker always smells nice, he uses old jeans. Schawee uses grass clippings, lasts quite a while and smells kinda nasty to me though. Smiley

Since you mentioned herb or rather herbs...

Two years ago, I removed a hive from a garage wall interior and the home owner's repair guy busted out some whacky tobaccy. I asked him to blow some of that stuff all up in the hive and we waited to see if the bees had any brownie requests but never really noticed any difference whatsoever, just since you asked!  grin


...JP
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schawee
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2013, 06:31:24 PM »

I use pine needles now and smells better than grass "the legal kind" grin  and its free
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Joe D
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2013, 07:37:42 PM »

I use pine needles or shredded paper to get it started the fill  smoker with wood chips.  I have a chipper I put small limbs through, usually have a 5 gal bucket of chips mixed with saw dust in shop.



Joe
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bud1
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2013, 07:52:19 PM »

last one i know that uses them herbs kinda roles thim in some paper. but he dont blow no smoke on the bees.
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2013, 09:35:48 PM »

I like to use the dry free herbs that grow in the woods around the hives.  Red oak, hickory, and pine herbs all grow wild and are free. 
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ozebee
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2013, 11:21:35 PM »

As well as pine needles I have used the bark from a paperbark tree (Melaleuca) and it burns and smokes profusely. The smoke can be a bit hot at times however but it is very easy to light because of the oils in the bark. Has anyone else tried it??
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2013, 12:26:26 AM »

I don't know if Cedar boughs count as an herb, but it's pretty much all I use. It's supposed to work for mites, and I'll chalk it as a win - cause all the bee troubles I've had weren't mites - and half of those were stupidity or ignorance on my part.
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2013, 01:56:38 AM »

.
I keep smoke as mild as possible. No strong smokes, no strong odors, no herbs no this or that.

Bees go into panic easily and they rush down and soon up

-
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2013, 05:08:05 AM »

I've used essence of cow (cow paddy) but that was just to keep the smoker lit. Once I learned how to tightly pack the smoker with the pine needles, it was no longer necessary to use them. When it is packed real tight the smoke is very cool, as in cold.   grin Scott and Schawee did a great video on this at Bud4.
Jim
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2013, 05:23:33 AM »

.

heh heh heh

Give them mercy..

Beekeeping - Lighting a Bee Smoker
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JackM
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 07:44:45 AM »

Well those special herbs are legal in WA now, so I can mention.  Tried some last summer to see if the effect on the bees was any different.  I noticed no difference.  Frankly I think sawdust is best for me.
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Lone
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 08:54:26 AM »

Quote
heh heh heh

Give them mercy..

haha  it's bad when the beekeeper is the one getting smoked out.

Flowerpower, you could use aromatherapy but that lavendar might make them all sleep.  I prefer to play the mandolin for them like at the start of Finski's video.

 cheesy

Lone
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 09:52:50 AM »

Hard to beat whatever is handy... dried grass, pine straw, but I guess burlap beats it because it burns longer and stays lit...

There is no reason to work hard at smoker fuel nor to buy it...
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FlowerPower99
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« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2013, 02:11:40 PM »

Many great suggestions. Thanks everyone!
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Beeboy01
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2013, 09:26:51 AM »

Has anyone tried coconut husks for smoker fuel? I have a bag of them when from when I pulled the husks off of some. Going to give them a try this weekend if the weather hold out and was wondering if they work or not. 
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JP
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2013, 03:01:18 PM »

I'm sure coconut husks would work fine, similar to palm tree fibers that I've used, get them between the stalks.


...JP
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Stromnessbees
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2013, 06:23:19 PM »

I usually start off with an egg box, then add a few dried teabags on top.
The teabags keep going for a long time and don't smell too unpleasant.

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jan
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2013, 06:50:10 PM »

I have a ready supply of road apples all around the place.  I tried them and they actually work quite well!  You just have to make sure they are not fresh!  The green ones dont light real well! grin
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greenbtree
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2013, 11:17:37 PM »

Road apples - yeah, they last, but I have found them to be a bit acrid in the smoke department.  Probably depends what was going in the front end though.

JC
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fshrgy99
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« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2013, 10:20:11 AM »

I was using burlap but the price went up a good bit, using pine straw now and notice less tar build up. Emil's smoker always smells nice, he uses old jeans. Schawee uses grass clippings, lasts quite a while and smells kinda nasty to me though. Smiley

Since you mentioned herb or rather herbs...

Two years ago, I removed a hive from a garage wall interior and the home owner's repair guy busted out some whacky tobaccy. I asked him to blow some of that stuff all up in the hive and we waited to see if the bees had any brownie requests but never really noticed any difference whatsoever, just since you asked!  grin


...JP

No difference to the bees that is Smiley
Just curious .... how long did y'all try for?
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lazy shooter
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« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2013, 10:26:10 AM »

Jan:

How can your bees feel good about themselves if you force horse dung into their home?  Have you no shame?  Do you live in a home filled with horse dung residue? grin
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jan
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« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2013, 06:03:14 PM »

Lazy, did I mention I was born in a barn?  Not really--but I was born outside! 
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jim81147
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« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2013, 10:34:07 PM »

Has anyone ever used something to create smoke that actually made the bees mad? I would think that with different compositions of fuel , somethings might be irritating to them .
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iddee
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« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2013, 10:38:03 PM »

Don't know about making them mad, but sulfur smoke will instantly kill the whole hive.
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« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2013, 10:49:49 PM »

I know to give them alittle smoke, but alot will cause those gals irritated. shocked
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
Beeboy01
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« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2013, 08:59:07 AM »

Tried coconut husks as smoker fuel this weekend, they light quickly but just don't last very long. I'm going to keep them as smoker fuel to light up other stuff like small branches or wood shavings.
  I was using grapefruit leaves as a fuel, read somewhere that it would knock the mites off the girls. Instead it really got them worked up, the hives stayed aggressive for about two days after using the dried grapefruit leaves in the smoker.  Even the residue left in the smoker would work the girls up when smoked. Ended up cleaning out the tar with a torch just to calm the yard down. Couldn't see any change with the mite load but it was only one application.
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rwurster
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« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2013, 09:30:00 AM »

I use corn husks/cobs in early spring then turn to whatever is growing on the ditch banks and is dry by late spring through then end of the season.  The bees seem to especially not like it when I add twigs from a weeping willow near my apiary.  The smell of that stuff smoldering gags me too.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2013, 11:08:46 AM »

Tried coconut husks as smoker fuel this weekend, they light quickly but just don't last very long. I'm going to keep them as smoker fuel to light up other stuff like small branches or wood shavings.
  I was using grapefruit leaves as a fuel, read somewhere that it would knock the mites off the girls. Instead it really got them worked up, the hives stayed aggressive for about two days after using the dried grapefruit leaves in the smoker.  Even the residue left in the smoker would work the girls up when smoked. Ended up cleaning out the tar with a torch just to calm the yard down. Couldn't see any change with the mite load but it was only one application.

When you use grapefruit leaves, only use 1 or 2 leaves in your smoker. They are not the main fuel.
Jim
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Davepeg
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« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2013, 03:14:52 PM »

I grow lavender and use that in the smoker, I have also used whatever herbs in the garden I have cleaned up..... basil thyme and rosemary.
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