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Thread: smoker fuel??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Vernon,New York,USA
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    Default smoker fuel??

    what is everyones smoker fuel of choice.this was my first year and I used dry grass.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cloud County, Kansas, USA
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    Default

    Hey Swamprat,

    My first year too. All I've ever used is a mixture of pine needles and walnut leaves that I collect across the road. They are abundantly available to me here. They're easy to light and stay lit, the smoke is white and I don't have any problems with sparks. I can count on the lid to the smoker being creosoted shut after each use. I think the consensus here is to use what is free and available. If grass works for you, go for it. I think most things that burn are ok as long as they don't spark or produce a toxic smoke.

    BB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
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    2,496

    Default Juniper tree bark

    It peels right off and is a nice dry consistency, burns slow and makes great smoke. Plus it's free...tons of those trees around these parts.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Ennis, TX USA
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    5,124

    Default

    I use pine needles. Because my neighbor has some massive Pine Trees So I just rake them up out of my yard. I add some native pasture grass once I get to my bee yard.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Default

    I use Pine needles. It produces a great thick white smoke that really mellows the bees. I have used dry grass before but stopped as it makes the bees agitated on the combs. Pine needles make them very calm and manageable, the queen keeps laying and the workers just keep on at their tasks as I work them.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro,Ohio
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    193

    Default

    I use grass clippings that always seem available because I mow 7 acers. Also I use bailing twine. It gives out a good white smoke that lasts a long time. You have to use twine not the plastic stuff. Wood chips work well. I use the saw shavings from my wood shop that are always around. Good luck with your choice.
    Marc
    life is like a box of chocolates,you never know what you are gonna get

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default smoker fuel??

    Welcom to the forum.
    If you do a search on smoker fuel you will find we went throught his earlier.
    Everything from dried cow chips to----
    Please do not burn any creosot materials.
    O preder wood shaving like the kind that you can buy at feed stores for animal bedding.
    Melalucca bark is good too.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,596

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    this was my first year and I used dry grass.
    Me too. I buy second cut hay. Second cut is usually softer, and not so rough. Gives a nice cool smoke...but burns fast, so has to be re-fueled often. Takes several bales a year to keep my smokers fueled up.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,420

    Default

    Old blue jeans, sumac heads, scrap wood.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    hamburg, new york, usa
    Posts
    440

    Default

    We use smoker fuel by Miller Bee Supply Co. Excellent stuff.
    http://www.millerbeesupply.com/Page29.htm

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
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    2,870

    Default

    Burlap
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Newport, New Hampshire, USA
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    241

    Default

    Waste cotton from old furniture stuffing. I have a couple of trash bags full from an old sofa. A little harder to light than burlap, but it never goes out.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Azle Texas USA
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    369

    Default

    I like the aroma of woods. I some time use pecan or hickory, even just triggs from the trees. Why not enjoy your smoke? Oak has a nice smell also.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central San Joaquin Valley, California
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    490

    Default

    Whatever is free. I prefer pine needles, but I use many types of weeds, eucalyptus leaves, or whatever is dry by my hives at the moment. I found a pile of chippings from some very soft wood trees. I scooped up a 5 gal bucket, and after trying it, I scooped a
    couple buckets more. I am good for this season.
    His Hive Honey Farm - Do all for His glory!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    659

    Default

    I use burlap. The isn't that bad and it's easy to light. The charred remains of burlap from the last use of the smoker is very easy too light and acts as a starter for the next peice of burlap thats added.
    Some people add a chunk of propolis to the fuel but I have often found that while at first it might smell pleasant eventually it gets quit harsh.
    I've also used hay bale binder twine, hay, saw dust, bark, pine cones, pine needles, dried cedar greens, leaves, and rolled cardboard. I think the most pleasant smelling fuel is cedar(when the green leaves turn brown) though it is not as easy to light or to keep going as burlap. The harshest smoke I found comes from cardboard but once it's lit it stays going and can subdue even the crankiest hive and yourself too, been more than enough times I've been doubled over a hive with a coughing and hacking fit from that smoke.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Deisem, ND,USA
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Cottonwood bark burns a long time and does not go out easily. Nut shells from hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, and almonds are also good.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,780

    Default

    Cedar chips or pine shavings.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weymouth, Massachusetts
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    220

    Default

    With any of these types of fuels does anyone notice a difference using an insert in the smoker or not?

  19. #19
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    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default

    Never really noticed a difference, insert or not. I do notice a heavier creosote build up with the cedar shavings, but they produce a nice smoke.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzyBee View Post
    Hey Swamprat,

    My first year too. All I've ever used is a mixture of pine needles and walnut leaves that I collect across the road. They are abundantly available to me here. They're easy to light and stay lit, the smoke is white and I don't have any problems with sparks. I can count on the lid to the smoker being creosoted shut after each use. I think the consensus here is to use what is free and available. If grass works for you, go for it. I think most things that burn are ok as long as they don't spark or produce a toxic smoke.

    BB
    You are using toxic smoke. Walnut leaves, bark, and wood contains Juglone. It is a herbicide that was once used by some native tribes to kill fish. It also is an issue for Sawyers who breath walnut sawdust when milling logs. I don't know how it holds up to burning, but I would not be burning it in my smoker...
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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