As I have been learning about the many aspects of beekeeping, I am trying to decide what I will do and what I will use.
One of the tools of a beekeeper is a smoker, it is used to help to hinder the bees sense of smell and so alarm pheremones will not be detected as easily. Also the bees think there is a fire nearby and so prepare to leave the hive, so they gorge on honey and just like us when we are stuffed with food, they become lethargic.
Paper is put into the canister of the smoker and lit and then fuel is added. Online you can buy rolls of corrugated cardboard or even small pellets of chinese medicinal herbs.
Different fuels will give off different smoke from a hot acrid smoke to a cooler smoke that doesn’t leave everyone coughing and spluttering.
So I have decided to for go the smoker fuels that are offered for sale and use what I have on offer in my garden.
I have started cutting some herbs that we have growing in the garden, we have more than enough Lavender and the above is from one plant and I have also cut some Mint, Thyme, Sage and gathered some Bay Leaves.
You can also use dried orange peel, Rose petals and the key is to really stick to anything that can is edible or would be used in essential oil, some of the plants can produce smoke that wouldn’t be pleasant and could also possibly be dangerous if inhaled.
By using herbs and plants that are edible and used in oils, you will get a pleasant smelling smoke.
Just experiment, have fun and see what you can produce!
I am going to be cutting and collecting various plants and leaves and I will create a blend and see what works and what doesn’t and it is important to test it first without going straight in and smoking your bees.
Once you have figured out what works, package up amounts ready to go.
So my herbs have dried and so I fried up the smoker!
I had previously lit it using the roll of corrugated cardboard that came with it and it wasn’t something I was happy to use. This time I started the smoker using paper and then added some dried herbs which were, Lavender, Mint, Thyme, Bay and a couple of dried rose petals and the smoke emitted was white, it didn’t make me cough and splutter and actually had a very nice scent to it and so I am going to use this when I get my bees!
Let me know in the comments if you use herbs in your smoker and if so what works!