Because of the bee smoker fuel, interactions between beekeepers and their charges are less hostile and less excruciating for both parties. In the absence of an adequate smoker, the bees are likely to become more agitated, and as a result, they will attack the beekeeper.
Simply explained, a bee smoker is a piece of metal equipment that acts as a conduit for communication between beekeepers and their hives’ inhabitants (the bees). Its purpose is to put the bees in a hive at ease so that the beekeeper may work more safely around them.
What Is a Bee Smoker?
Smoldering fires and cold smoke are produced by the bee smoker, a beekeeping instrument. When honey bees are inspected, beekeepers employ smoke to alter their behavior. Reduced protective behavior and movement of the bees can be achieved by using smoke.
We recommend lighting a smoker and bringing it to the apiary each time you want to open a hive, even if you don’t use it for inspections.
There is a widely held belief that this “simulation” causes the bees to go into a coma due to a lack of food. Smoke has a chemical effect on the hive, not a physical one, although this is likely accurate in part.
Isopentyl acetate and 2-heptanone are two chemicals that bees use to alert each other when they sense danger. Using these chemicals as a warning system, other bees begin producing more of the chemical in question.
Read also: How Long Do Bees Live?
What Is a Bee Smoker Fuel?
In a sense, smoker fuel is “fuel for the fire.” Your bee smoker must be loaded with a long-lasting, easy-to-light material in order to produce smoke.
Almost any beekeeping supply store carries bee smoker fuel. Wood pellets, cotton fiber, or burlap are commonly used in the production of these types of fuels. However, if you have the right supplies, you can also make your own smoker fuel.
What Are the Disapproved Bee Smoker Fuels?
In order to avoid having to restart the smoker during an examination, you want a fuel that will smolder for an extended period of time. Newspapers and huge pieces of wood burn too quickly and emit a lot of hot smoke. Paper is a good starter but not a long-term smoke source.
Avoid picking up poison ivy or poison oak, which emits poisonous fumes, when collecting your free organic resources. The following fuel sources should be avoided:
- Petroleum-based products such as gasoline or lighter fluid
- Synthetic materials such as rubber and plastic
- Objects such as pesticides that have been chemically, or glue treated.
What Are the Best Fuel For Bee Smoker?
Read also: What Is the Structure of the Bee Antenna?
- Cotton Smoker Fuel
Fuel made from old garments and rags made from cotton fibers is good. Do not use rags that have been treated with chemicals or cotton that has been heavily dyed or otherwise treated.
Cotton fibers make up the majority of the fuel sold by supply firms. It never burns with an open flame, the smoldering gives off a cool smoke, and it smokes consistently.
Bee smokers love the flavor and convenience of burlap as a fuel. Burlap remnants from various gardening operations are frequently used.
Make sure you’ve got untreated burlap in your inventory. They are rather easy to get by, and can be fashioned from old burlap bags. When heated to a minimum, it smolders.
What are other Fuel Sources For the Bee Smoker?
The fuel used by some beekeepers includes ingredients such as citrus peels and herbs like lavender. I believe that they produce a lovely perfume more for the advantage of the beekeeper than for the bees themselves.
On the other hand, if they are easily accessible and don’t cost anything, there’s no reason not to utilize them to help fill the smoker.
- Wood Shavings
Wood shavings are one of our favorite types of smoker fuel, especially when combined with pine needles.
Wood chips made from pressure-treated wood should not be used.
Because cedar shavings are untreated, we’ve found that they work well as bedding for our pets.
- Dried Pines
It is easy to start a fire with dried pine needles and cones, but the resins they contain will leave a significant amount of creosote in your smoker. If you live in a location with pine trees, you won’t have any trouble finding them.
Additionally, if you forage for them yourself, they are completely free, simple to light, and produce a constant smoke.
Read also: Do Bees have lungs?
Tip-Off: Precautionary Advice When Using the Bee Smoker
Never forget that working with a bee smoker is like playing with fire. Fire is dangerous to our health because of the toxic smoke it produces.
Despite the fact that bee smokers are designed to be safe, there is always the danger of an uncontrolled fire or smoke inhalation.
In order to secure your own safety, always ignite your smoker in a non-flammable area, make sure there is water around, and make sure that your smoker is in good condition with a heat protector in place.