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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did my first smoker light up yesterday evening. I might go look at a guys hive this weekend so I thought I would try it out before I needed it. I put in a piece of paper, lit it, then stuffed a small amount of pine needles in. It got hot fast. The needles lit up before I could get the lid closed and there were a lot of hairs hanging out. I was surprised how much smoke it made and if you puff it a lot, fire would bow out. It also got really hot on the outside. I'm sure I was over puffing it. My brother disapeared in one of the clouds.

The hive I might go open is from a swarm catch several years ago. They guy said he just caught it in a box, stopped by a farm supply store and got a hive set and took them home and dumped them all in. He's opened it a couple of time since but has never done anything with it. He said it did have some honey in it the last time he looked and it's always had a good amount of bees coming and going. We talked about pest control in it and he's never done any of that. He said he did see moths in it one time but he just squashed them. I was hoping I could have my first experience opening a hive with someone that's done this more than he has but it's looking like that won't be the case. I've been able to tell him more about bees just from my bee school and my own studies. If it happens I'll take pics.

I also finaly got a response from the club I thik I joined. I had to send a message and ask if they got it and they replied, so that another step forward.
 

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Stuff the smoker completely full of pine needles. I stuff about a fist full of needles in, light it with a propane torch, and then pack it full of needles and use the bottom of the torch to pack it. If you leave the "tender" too loose it will just catch on fire and be a flame thrower, very dangerous, and makes the smoker itself very hot as you found out. You want what is called a deep seated fire which in reality is just a smoldering ember in the middle of the tender.

Good luck with your inspection.
 

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I put dry brown needles on the bottom and get it going and then pack fresher green brown ones on top.
 

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Trick to make a smoker, not a flame thrower.

Once you get the flame really burning you need to stuff, stuff, and stuff as much stuff as you can get in there. I even go as far as placing some green sage on the very top to make sure the smoke coming out is nice and cool. Test it on your skin first. Hot smoke will agitate bees. A nice cool smoke is what calms them down.

It takes some practice to get it right, and to where it will last a long time, but a skill well worth having.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wasn't smoking any bees. It was just a first light up to try it out. My brother was putting some steaks on the grill, but we didn't use this for the smoke. I was also super pumping to see what it would do. Just for fun.
 

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Just saying. If you're going to try it out, it's not a bad idea to try it out in a way you would use it with the bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did. I smoked a washig machine that had just recently died like I was smoking a hive. I cracked the lid open and worked on small just enough puffs. I just super puffed at the end of it all to burn out what was left.
 
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