Preferred fuel for smoker

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Bakerbee 

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I don't use a smoker very much but use my husbands shavings from his wood turning if I do light it. What do you use?
 

gmonag 

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I think the best fuel is anything that is handy. My apiary has a large oak tree in it which drops rotten twigs continuously. That is what I use.
There are dozens (hundreds?) of other options
 

Niv 

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I use a mix of wood shavings, twigs, card, egg box, whatever I can get my hands on really, but I do not put anything in with tape on etc so if using an old cardboard box I remove all tape. Also, if I find something gives off a unpleasant odour or makes me cough I stop using it as figure it cant be good for the girls.

Some say that cardboard can block up the smoker over time, and I do see this to some extent, but its not hard to knock it off with the hive tool.
 

drdrday 

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I tend to use cardboard fruit packaging (we keep chickens, so I don't usually have egg boxes!) or paper potato sacks to get the smoker started, then stuff it with pine needles. There are a couple of trees locally that I walk by regularly, and I can easily fill a bag from what they've dropped on the ground. A couple of bags of pine needles usually lasts me a year.
My smoker definitely gets tarred up by the end of the year, but I always clean it going into winter anyway.
 

Poly Hive 

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Very rotten but dry wood lit by a blow torch. I light it about four times a year or so. Very cool lightly scented smoke.

PH
 

Erichalfbee 

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Newspaper to light then pile on dry rotten wood and top with lavender and dried orange peel then a plug of green grass
 

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I generally use rotten oak but I can't seem to find enough lying around for my needs so I've started using grass pellets since I saw my SBI using them. They take a bit to get going but the nice thing about using them is you can just drop another handful in every hour or so.
 

victor meldrew 

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I generally use rotten oak but I can't seem to find enough lying around for my needs so I've started using grass pellets since I saw my SBI using them. They take a bit to get going but the nice thing about using them is you can just drop another handful in every hour or so.
I use cat litter pellets of untreated wood .
Sweels for ever . A handful of damp grass to generate white smoke and stop the occasional pallet from rolling into the hive.
 

Newbeeneil 

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I use cat litter pellets of untreated wood .
Sweels for ever . A handful of damp grass to generate white smoke and stop the occasional pallet from rolling into the hive.
I think I'd have a real problem if a pallet rolled into my hive!
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
I generally use rotten oak but I can't seem to find enough lying around for my needs so I've started using grass pellets since I saw my SBI using them. They take a bit to get going but the nice thing about using them is you can just drop another handful in every hour or so.
Seen a pellet come out of the smoker like a scene from Fireball XL5 so binned my scrounged couple of handfuls.
 
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fizzle 

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I was advised to avoid sawdust. The sparks can burn their wings.
 

understanding_bees 

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Best fuel I've found yet:

This method, of using saltpetre, is in many ways a good idea. Basically, the saltpetre releases oxygen when it is heated, allowing the fuel to continue burning or smouldering even if no external oxygen is being provided. This kind of treatment, with saltpetre, is the reason why cigarette tobacco can continue to smoulder even when the cigarette is left lying on a cigarette tray. There are two different chemicals which have been known by the common name of saltpetre, namely potassium nitrate, and sodium nitrate. For this kind of purpose, potassium nitrate has advantages over sodium nitrate, because sodium nitrate absorbs moisture from the atmosphere more readily than does potassium nitrate.

I have had varying rates of success with my bee-smoker. There have been occasions when it has erupted with clouds of smoke when the bellows were operated after a couple of hours of the smoker standing dormant, and there have been other occasions when it failed to produce smoke just a short while after it had been lit. The old adage of “where there’s smoke there’s fire” really relies upon there being enough heat in the smoker to keep the cinders glowing, because “if there is no fire, there will be no smoke”.

These days, it may not be a straight forward matter to be able to buy saltpetre (potassium nitrate), because of the other possible uses to which it may be put. In Australia it is necessary for any person who wishes to buy this material to complete an “End-User Declaration for chemicals of security concern”:

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) have identified 96 chemicals in general use that could be diverted from their lawful use for other purposes, including terrorist related activity. Terrorist organisations continue to show interest in chemicals that can be used to produce explosive or toxic weapons. Common chemicals have been used as ingredients in powerful improvised explosive devices in different parts of the world resulting in many fatalities, injuries and damage on a massive scale. Similarly, toxic chemicals have been used in attacks by terrorists to cause injury and death.

It may be the case that similar declarations are required in other countries as well.
 

madasafish 

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How to make saltpetre the medieval way
file:///C:/Users/Mike/Downloads/Report11.pdf
 

Bakerbee 

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I was advised to avoid sawdust. The sparks can burn their wings.
I'm not sure about others posts but mine is not sawdust, it's the curly shavings that come off when turning wood, no sparks anywhere.
 

Bakerbee 

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Ooo I like this recipe :)
 

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