Been busy reading about bees...........
I see that some people use the wood pellets used in stoves for the smoker. Anybody use this? Any tricks to it?
If I'm going to be working the bees all day I'll put in a piece of match light charcol. Once it gets lit it keeps the fire lit for hours and hours. I would expect the wood pellets would work the same. I don't know how it would work to have a smoker full of them. Just make sure the smoke isn't too hot.
I don't smoke the bees at all.
But with only four hives located close to the house, and not moving them ect. it hasn't been neccessary.
I use lavender essential oils on my hands and keep light sugar spray bottle handy to spray them if they get excited. Works wonderfully.
>I use lavender essential oils on my hands and keep light sugar spray bottle handy to spray them if they get excited. Works wonderfully.
I'd like to see you do that in MY yard.
Hi there. I used the wood pellets all this last year. They work great once you get them going and they will keep going for a long time. The only downfall that I have noticed is that you have to bee careful not to blow the pellets out the top of the smoker while you are using it. I think that I am going to put a small piece of hardware wire at the top of the smoker to keep this from happening.
Michael, doesn't Match Light charcoal have some sort of fire starter on it? Doesn't that harm the bees? I'm endeavoring to get like Daisy and never smoke my bees, but I find I have to at certain times when I'm really breaking the hive down, cleaning the bottom board, etc. or when I'm taking off honey! On my routine inspections, though, I use baby powder on my hands and Honey B Healthy in a spray bottle.
Bullseye, I'm a store manager and can't get away for very long at a time but I'd be willing to prove it to you.....
I just might drive down your way and manipulate your frames for you....
>Michael, doesn't Match Light charcoal have some sort of fire starter on it? Doesn't that harm the bees?
I assume it does. My guess is that it is paraffin. I have not had any problems with it harming the bees. I only put one piece in for the purpose of keeping things lit.
>I'm endeavoring to get like Daisy and never smoke my bees, but I find I have to at certain times when I'm really breaking the hive down, cleaning the bottom board, etc. or when I'm taking off honey! On my routine inspections, though, I use baby powder on my hands and Honey B Healthy in a spray bottle.
I have started using the spray bottle of light syrup when I think I can get away with it, but I still think smoking is less disruptive than a defensive reaction by the hive.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited January 21, 2004).]
I used to use burlap scraps and have transitioned over to cedar chips (pet bedding) Works really well. I normally only smoke when I close things up. This is only done if placing the inner cover and or outer cover would result in smashed bees.
I also keep a spray bottle of alcohol saturated with peppermint oil. This is great to mask the scent of stings and when used as a preventative, has done great to keep me from being stung. I tried this after talking to a few people - proof was in the pudding and it does work.
Martin, I would second the cedar chips that are used as pet bedding. They light easy and have a nice smell. cheap.
Have any of you used those fire starter logs/ sticks? I was thinking of trying them by cutting into 1 inch pieces and then filling the smoker with pine needles (straw). What do you think?
I would think that fire starter sticks or logs would burn too hot because of the parafin wax in them. Sorry about my spelling.
just South of Lansing Michigan
I would think it would be either giving off acetelyne fumes, if it wasn't flaming, or flaming eaiser because of the fumes. The charcol quickly burns off the parafin and leaves the charcol as a coal. The fire starter will burn for a long time as a flame. I think it would be too hot.
I started using wood stove pellets last year and they work great. I can pick up a 40lb bag for around $3 and two of these will last all year. You will also need a big bag of the pine shavings they sell for pet bedding. Use the shavings to get a good hot fire going before you add the pellets Then pump pump pump until the pellets get going. They last longer then anything else I have found. One evening last year I quit working around 5 pm with my Kelleys jumbo smoker and went home. The next morning around 8 am I was surprised when I went out and my smoker was still smoking on the back of the truck!!! and before the bandwagon starts yes I know I should have it in a smoker box or something else and I should have put it out.
I like to use sumac. Pick it in the fall when its red. A bushell lasts me a year or more. Its free. I start it with a little shredded newspaper and a squirt of lighter fluid. I like the smell, I think the bees do too.
Beekeeping with with out smoke?? Why that would be like.... like... a pickup truck with out a gun rack. Like...like.... a boy with out a dog..... Unheard of....