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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,659

    Default Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Are the inks and glues used in cardboard bee-friendly?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    967

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Are the inks and glues used in cardboard bee-friendly?
    The glue is just paste made of starch;
    Most inks used on cardboard are soy based and pretty benign.

    Cardboard rolled tight makes a pretty good fuel.
    Be sure to put green grass, or a little bit of rag from an old towel, or *something* in the top of the smoker to stop sparks and hot ash, and cool the smoke.

    Have fun.
    Enjoy your bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    McDonough, NY United States
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I've started using cardboard with long pine needles over it, and fresh grass on top. Cardboard from pizza boxes have that touch of oil on them to help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Morgan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Pizza-scented smoke for Italian bees? Maybe you're on to something!
    If I'm neither sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, nor melancholy, does that mean I'm out of humour?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Keep it simple: grab a handful of nearby dry grass and stuff it in and be done.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Collinsville, Illinois
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    we started with cardboard, then used grass....finally ended up using pine needles...they are abundant here, and fire up quickly, produce lots of smoke (if you need it).....cheapest thing next to grass,but i tended to get grass that was too green, and cardboard is good,but too much work.....there's so much other work to do in this that we just went to pine needles as it is easier and smokes well

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I can get a smoker to burn for 2-3 hours with cardboard. I've had good success with it.

    Benjamin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,659

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I use burlap coffee bags or pine pet bedding; someone mentioned cardboard and I don't think I would want to use it...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Clements, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I used cardboard but found the smell from burning pine needles less offensive to my nose. The bees don't notice a difference.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lafollette,Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I use cardboard, but I don't use any with ink on it. I like to use double or triple walled, and I just cut strips the same depth as my smoker on my table saw, then roll them up as I need them.
    Integrity - Doing the right thing when no one is watching.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I use cardboard with some saw dust on top. so far so good
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,068

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Everything I have seen on cardboard is to avoid the inks packing tape etc. But the cardboard itself is not a problem.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I would think cardboard would ne safe. I've found cedar shavings to work very well.
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,996

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    American cardboard should be pretty safe. It is paper products made in Asia that contain formaldeyde binders for the paper layers and adhesive between layers. Recycled cardboard of course can contain a percentage of foreign cardboard. The bees will die anyway in a few weeks. It is the beekeeper that does not need to be breathing the stuff.
    From the Canadian Health Department --
    Formaldehyde (CH2O) is a colorless gas. It is irritating and has a sharp odour. Formaldehyde is widely produced around the world for use as a disinfectant and preservative. It is also used in textile finishing and in the production of resins that act as adhesives and binders for wood products, pulp, paper, glasswool and rockwool, as well as some plastics, coatings, paints and varnishes, and industrial chemicals.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,774

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Are the inks and glues used in cardboard bee-friendly?
    Pretty much the inks are water based today as long as the cardboard is raw and not a laminated advertisement. The glue joints are hot melt and should be avoided. Cut the cardboard to size with a box knife, utility knife or sharp blade rather than a table saw to avoid breathing in the dust.

    Work? Cutting cardboard to the right length and rolling it up... Don't strain yourself.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I pre-roll smoker-sized cardboard rolls tied with twine on rainy days (of course remove any plastic tape, labels, etc). They light readily and make for easy short-work smoker fuel. For a prolonged outyard visit, I pack up a regular smoker.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brighton, CO USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    I've recently started using a roll of carboard in the bottom of my smoker, with 100% cotton rag and grass on top. I haven't noticed any problems, and it does stay lit a lot longer for me.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    We buy and sell nucs living in cardboard hives, keep bees in wooden boxes, (wood is cardboard’s raw material) and ever burn cardboards' precursor material, cellulose (grass, leaves, cotton, bark, and shredded wood) in our smokers. If cardboard is harmful to bees, am I the only one here who questions the intelligence of bee keeps?
    Last edited by Scrapfe; 07-08-2012 at 11:04 AM.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: Is cardboard safe as a smoker fuel?

    Quote Originally Posted by dehavik View Post
    Pizza-scented smoke for Italian bees? ...
    How's about sour kraut scented smoke for German bees? But that brings on the wisdom of using caviar scented smoke on Russian bees.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

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