Preferred fuel for smoker

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Bakerbee 

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Ahhh it's not posting erichalfbees post!
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
When I started beekeeping and knew no better in many respects, I bought a small bag of "smoker fuel" along with my bees and hive. Like many people, I've since realised that fuel is lying everywhere just waiting to be turned into smoke. But I have to admit that when I throw in half a handful of the "official" wood pellets the smoker gives more long-lasting and attention-free smoke.

I'm not certain, but I think that anyone who has access to the pellets used in some biomass boilers will have an easy, bulk source for this product. As far as I know, in order to meet the requirements for a "clean-burn" in a boiler, the pellets shouldn't contain any additives harmful to bees, but I'm sure there are real experts out there who could give a more definitive view on this.
 

pnkemp 

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My personal brew is wood shavings sold as animal bedding, with some dried orange/satsuma skins added (I just save them when I nosh one). Nice fragrant and cool smoke as long as I don't puff too hard. If it's getting a bit hot a handful of grass cools it down and provides plenty of smoke.

What I need is a reliable way to extinguish it so I can pop it in the car fairly soon after finishing. Or get myself a metal box for it.
 

hemo 

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An every day item to save up for smoker use through out the course of the year are discarded cartons from loo and kitchen towel rolls, they burn well.
I tear mine down one side and wrap them together to fit a few in the burner can along with other fuel.

Dried fir tree bark, dried lavender/rosmary cuttings, egg boxes lightweight hessian when I can get it free and news paper. Still have a sack of horse grass pellets from 10 years ago to add to the can.
 
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jenkinsbrynmair 

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Don’t Welsh churches have incense?
nope, as my grandmother used to say (she was Church in Wales) we split from Rome in 1533 and the English have been trying ever since to get back in to the club.
Shades of remainers and brexit really 😁
 

RichardK 

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A few weeks ago I started using wood pellets made for pellet burners. Bit of paper to get it going, add a few twigs or small wood offcuts, add some pellets, ball of tightly screwed up paper, more pellets and repeat. Burns a nice long time.
 

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What I need is a reliable way to extinguish it so I can pop it in the car fairly soon after finishing. Or get myself a metal box for it.
1. Stuff the spout with a twist of grass . Or a piece of cork
2. Spray inside with water - not very effective.
3. Empty contents out into a metal box and spray with water Or put on lid. (Association apiary uses small dustbin with lid)

I use grass. .
 

gmonag 

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My personal brew is wood shavings sold as animal bedding, with some dried orange/satsuma skins added (I just save them when I nosh one). Nice fragrant and cool smoke as long as I don't puff too hard. If it's getting a bit hot a handful of grass cools it down and provides plenty of smoke.

What I need is a reliable way to extinguish it so I can pop it in the car fairly soon after finishing. Or get myself a metal box for it.
Stick a cork in it

Smoker Cork.jpg
This arrangement on my toolbox also stops the hot parts from touching anything and starting a fire.
 

CLB 

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As total beginners earlier this year we found our smoker kept going out before we were ready. We mentioned it to one of the guys in Thorne's Windsor and he gave us his recipe. He told us to buy animal straw to light it with and either compressed wood shaving pellets sold as cat litter or compressed grass pellets sold for rabbits. He really was right, it stays alight for ages and gives a lot of cool smoke.
 

Beebe 

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Somehow it's escalated to seven.
nope, as my grandmother used to say (she was Church in Wales) we split from Rome in 1533 and the English have been trying ever since to get back in to the club.
Shades of remainers and brexit really 😁
Shhhhhhhh!!!!!! Religion and Brexit....!

I was a Catholic altar boy when I was only at primary school and spent a lot of time on my own with old men, all of us wearing what appeared to me to be dresses. I was one of the fortunate ones and have memories only of being bored on the altar (no pun intended). But on the very, very rare occasions since, when I have experienced that smell, it has brought back unhappy memories of grumpy, bossy, miserable-faced, old Canon Klomp (real name). So I wouldn't be wanting the smell of church incense spoiling my beekeeping. :)
 

Wilco 

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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 differen
How to make saltpetre the medieval way
file:///C:/Users/Mike/Downloads/Report11.pdf
t 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.
Should be readily available on Amazon for making biltong/curing meat. Think in 500g bags. Given we also may use sulphur and produce charcoal... Wonder how many beekeepers are in watch lists! :laughing-smiley-014

Wood shavings for animals - local feed store should still these by the bale for horses (e.g. Bedmax) for under £10 a bale. Should last a few years. Extracted sawdust pellets for burning are often also available at a similar price point for about 20-25kg from feed stores.

I generally use cardboard, easy to make strips roll them from boxes that would otherwise be in the recycling. Occasionally put some grass on top. Have used old dropped wood before successfully, easily found under most mature oaks.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Should be readily available on Amazon for making biltong/curing meat. Think in 500g bags. Given we also may use sulphur and produce charcoal... Wonder how many beekeepers are in watch lists! :laughing-smiley-014
You're talking of gunpowder, a 'low explosive' and pretty much low risk nowadays as it is pretty risky/awkward to mix an effective batch and you need one heck of a lot to cause any great damage, and why bother when you can make up a myriad of high explosives safely in your kitchen with easily obtainable ingredients from supermarkets (well, before brexit anyway) many of which are not even on the precursors list as yet.
 

Wilco 

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why bother when you can make up a myriad of high explosives safely in your kitchen
For some reason that phrase really appeals to my sense of humour.

But yes, I do agree. Potassium nitrate is much more fun in smoke bombs anyway.
 

pnkemp 

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Stick a cork in it

View attachment 28456
This arrangement on my toolbox also stops the hot parts from touching anything and starting a fire.
I must sort out a nice toolbox sometime, but for now £2 got me a metal file box I can pop the smoker into - a bit cheaper than an Abelo or Thornes box at £50 or so!
 
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