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Smoker Fuel

A continuous flow of cool smoke to hand is comforting to the beekeeper whether needed or not.

The usual fuels are sacking, cardboard, leaves, pine cones and rotten wood. The first two are prone to being dowsed in non flammable chemicals, leaves burn too fast and pine cones are resinous. Yes I use rotten wood. I look for fallen trees and harvest the interiors of wood that is so rotten it is light to the heft.

I light my smoker as follows. I light a crumpled piece of newspaper and put the wood, usually as a chunk on top, puff the bellows until I have a stream of cool smoke and that’s it. If I have a slow burning chunk, and this season I had one that lasted near the whole season I light a small blow torch, use that to heat the chunk and pop it into the smoker again. Yes I take it out to light it.And yes I keep my fingers out the way!


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