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HA! Just wondering what everyone uses for smoker fuel. I've been using pine needles, but it seems like it go's out easily or burns up quick. It produces a large amount of smoke for a little time and then when you need it, it's gone or out. It really stinks also.
 

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Wood pellets or burlap seem to last the longest for me. Pellets are harder to get going without a torch, but they last a long time. Wood pellets don't need to be puffed as often to keep them going. Burlap makes a lot of smoke but has a different odor. One I've smelled all my life so I kind of like it, you may not.
 

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Pine needles mainly. A friend uses wood from dead trees & swears by it, but haven't tried it (dead/rotten trees will burn but not produce much heat since the calories have all been used by fungus).
 

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wood stove pellets. I've tried them all and pellets are the best cheapeast, longest lasting and easiest to handle solution i've found. Anyone with more than a few hives will find wood pellets to be the best. The disadvantage is they are difficult to get started and you will need to put something in the smoker to keep them falling out like a wad of grass, leaves or burlap. I light a big fire with cardboard then slowly add pelets while puffing. Keeping a flame is important, then once the smoker is hot the wood pellets are more or less carbonized, produce a copious amount of smoke and burn for a long time.
 

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One tip someone told me for pellets was to keep a half dozen in a glass jar (for safety) with a little liquid fuel (gas, kerosene) and leave overnight or longer, with a top secured. The pellets will absorb the fuel, expand is size and become easy to ignite. Then wrap some pellets in newspaper to form balls. Pre-soaked pellets at bottom to ignite and balls of pellets above to burn. Fuel should burn off quick enough so you're not gassing the hive.
 

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I get the thing going with newspaper and dried grass from the yard then top off with pine shavings, like what I use in my horse barn and chicken coops. A big bag is $4.49 at my local Tractor Supply or feedstore. A gallon ziplock bag full of shavings stays in my bee tool box for adding while in the apiary, if what I loaded with seems to run out before I'm done.

I also tried pine needles, but I don't have a ready supply of pine needles (I don't have pine trees) and I also thought they burned up too quickly and stunk.

One day, I scooped up some dried used horse bedding, with hay and stuff, out of the edge of the compost heap (it's barn leavings, 'nuff said, right?) and added that. It smoked for.ever, so I use that when I know I'll be digging around in the hives for a while. Didn't smell entirely great but not as bad as I'd feared.
 

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I like using old (but clean & 100% cotton) rags like old t-shirts or cotton diapers cut up into strips. Easy to light, beautiful white smoke, low odor, and stays nicely lit. If I don't cut it into strips, it doesn't "breathe" as well.
 

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I went to a honey festival in Frankenmuth Michigan last weekend.
They were doing a bee beard demo on a guy and he lit his smoker up. It was binder twine. IT BILLOWED for a long long long time.

That's what I used today and I am sticking with it.
It's wonderful!
 

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Saw a post on here suggesting denim and have been using my old jeans cut into strips with a few wood chips mixed in. It stays lit and works well.
Love Bruce
 

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I have an abundance of used cardboard. I just cut a strip of cardboard about 2 ft long across the veins and the width of my smoker insert. Then I roll i up tight, light one end, get it flaming good and stuff it into the smoker insert. Makes plenty of smoke for me to do a service on each of our two hives.
Anybody see a reason why I should not use cardboard?
 

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I use rolled up corrugated cardboard. Roll it up , lite one end with a propane torch and put the lite end down in the smoker.

(EDIT) RD35, you beat me to it. :thumbsup:
 

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Pine needles mainly. A friend uses wood from dead trees & swears by it, but haven't tried it (dead/rotten trees will burn but not produce much heat since the calories have all been used by fungus).
Dead trees is perfect. It needs to be rotten, but dry. It's free, stays lit and lights easily. Start some paper put it on the bottom and then pile broken up chunks in until the smoker is full. Work it until it flames and it will give nice cook smoke for quite some time. The smoke can be pretty pungent, however.
 
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