Best Bee Smoker: 2023 Reviews (Top Picks) And Guide

Last Updated on June 14, 2023 by Georgie Smith

It’s no big secret that smoke has a calming effect on bees. The unique bee smoking strategy began in ancient times and still exist today. However, even though the mystery remained until the 20th century, it is always not understood completely today in modern terms.

A bee smoker is a handy gadget used by beekeepers that blow smoke into a beehive before manipulating, handling or inspecting a hive. The first smoker made its way onto the scene in 1875 by Moses Quinby of St. Johnsville, New York.

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Best Bee Smoker

If you’ve ever witnessed a beekeeper while he or she is harvesting honey, you likely watched as he uses smoke as a means of protection. Although with the proper gear, being stung while harvesting is rare.

If you’ve seen this, I am sure you wondered just what the keeper is up to, right? The answer is quite simple. The bees sting trespassers as a self-defense mechanism. The smoke’s purpose helps the beekeeper remain sting-free while ensuring the bee’s safety as well.

The Purpose of the Smoker

One of the leading roles of using smoke while harvesting is so the beekeeper can interfere with the hive’s means of communication. When bees become upset, they produce an alarm signal called an alarm pheromone. Once the other bees smell the scent, they too become angry.

The bees sense of smell is their line of communication. The alarm pheromone bees release when they detect a looming threat smells like banana oil. The same effect happens when the bees stings the keeper.

Even with one sting, the colony receives alerts that increase the chances of the person being stung multiple times in the same spot. One important tip. Be sure to wash your clothes if you find yourself on the receiving end of a honeybee’s stinger. If not, the bees will continue to strike in the same area.

Smoking the hives also cause the bees to be less likely to attack. The smoke puts the colony in survival mode making the keeper no longer a concern. Instead of attacking the intruder, the bees work to store as much honey as possible. Their way of thinking is, If the hive is on fire, they will need to take as much honey with them and make a new one.

The interruption is temporary and doesn’t harm the bees or the colony’s health whatsoever. Once the smoke dissolves, bees recuperate their pheromone feelings between 10 to 20 minutes. [1]

How to Smoke a Hive?

The old smoker—a small metal can with a single hole on the bottom, with bellows connected and shielded by a cone lid—is the favored method utilized by modern beekeepers. To get one started, you will need to start a fire.

To do so, you need to load the smoker with fuel material, such as:

  • Pet Bedding
  • Wood Chips
  • Wood Shavings
  • Dead Pine Needles
  • Untreated Burlap

Next, you should light the smoker with a charcoal/grill lighter. Be careful not to overfill. You only want to add just enough material to create a nice smolder. Once you get the fire going, you will need to put out the open flame and add more of the lighter fluid to the top.

Try to get the material burning. You don’t want to have an open fire due to it making its way from the bellows. If that happens, it will resemble a flamethrower and will melt the bee’s wings.

Once you’re happy with the amount of smoke and heat produced, put the lid back on the smoker. When you’re not using the smoker, keep it in a safe place to prevent starting a fire. While using it, blow it periodically to keep the ashes burning.

Once you finish using the smoker, be sure you thoroughly put the fire out by emptying the burning material in water. Learn how to blow smoke in and around the colony utilizing the tips below.

Tips for Using a Smoker:

Smoking your hive should only take just a few minutes. To get the job done efficiently and safely, use these helpful tips:

  • Walk as slowly as possible as you move closer to the hive. Don’t make any sudden moves or motions or you could increase the chance of being stung. That will not only be painful for you, but it could harm the ability to maintain the colony’s integrity.
  • When at all possible, inspect and handle your hive when it is above 70 degrees and between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. That is when a lot of the colony will likely be out hunting for pollen and away from the hive.
  • Approach the colony from the side or the rear so that you are out of the bees’ flight escape path.
  • Blow the first two to three puffs of smoke towards the entrance of the colony to clean out the bees that are still there.
  • Only use the smoker in moderation. By using the technique too often can increase the amount of honey the bees eat and they will leave the hive and go elsewhere.

Understanding how to smoke your hives properly will assist you with maintaining your beekeeping hobby more safely and efficiently. And, with luck on your side, you’ll soon reap the sweet benefits. [2]

Top 5 Best Quality Bee Smokers on the Market:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01HFI745S&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1Blisstime Commercial Grade Bee Smoker for Beekeeping– Stainless steel
– 11 inches x 8 inches
q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B009Z1SLQK&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1New Bee Hive Smoker Stainless Steel w/Heat Shield Beekeeping Equipment from VIVO (BEE-V001)– 10.6 x 8.7 x 5.1 inches
– Stainless steel
– Best choice for beginner & advanced beekeepers
q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00JVSE76U&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1Bee Smoker – German Design with Oxygenator Fuel Tank Insert (Small)– 8.5 x 8.3 x 5.5 inches
– Stainless Steel
q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B014R5G9IA&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1CO-Z Bee Hive Smoker with Heat Shield Protection– 12″ L x 5″H x 9″W
– High quality & Durable
– Stainless steel
q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00D8ORVG6&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1Aspectek Beehive Smoker– 11 x 8.5 x 4 inches
– Stainless steel
– Effective design

Blisstime Grade Bee Smoker for Beekeeping – Heavy Duty Stainless Steel with Metal Heat Shield and Metal Hook – Superior Airflow Bellow and Excellent Smoke Output:

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Do you have a bee colony in your yard? The Blisstime Bee smoker is perfect for getting close to the hive without having to be afraid of being stung. Made from quality stainless steel, with an excellent bellow designed to make smoking fast and easy.

Another great feature is the added metal hook design that makes it simple to hang on the hive box edge, a limb, or another close object next to the colony. This bonus provides an exceptional addition while doing your beekeeping upkeep or not in actual use.

The Hoont smoker is easy to ignite due to its unique quality oxygen tray that helps in lighting the fire. It does so by letting air enter the fire from beneath the flame. Just place some newspaper or something easy to burn into the smoker.

Next, you need to light the fire, pump the bellows, then add some fuel. Now, all that is left is letting the smoker do its’ job. Continue tapping the bellows as often as necessary to get the smoke as needed. The Hoont will provide smoke for hours.

New Bee Hive Smoker Stainless Steel w/Heat Shield Beekeeping Equipment from VIVO (BEE-V001):

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Designed of stainless steel that enables the production of crisp, safe smoke. The smoke’s purpose is to assist with protection from bee stings while calming bees through hive maintenance.

The measurements from the tip to the bottom of the nose are 11 inches and the canister diameter of 4 inches. One unique feature is a heat shield for a protective guard that surrounds the smoker to assist with preventing burns. The VIVO smoker is both safe and simple to use.

The VIVO comes with a mounting hook located on the side of the shield to allow you to suspend or store your smoker safely. The perforated firebase has air pockets on the bottom to ensure proper airflow.

Bee Smoker – GOODLAND Beekeeper Heavy Duty Stainless Steel with Oxygenator Fuel Tank Insert (Small):

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The GOODLAND Bee heavy-duty stainless steel smoker comes with an oxygenator insert that continues to feed fuel to the smoker to maintain the burning. One of the unique extra features added to the GOODLAND is its leather bellows.

There is the division or Agralogix Logo Burned into Wood Backing. The GOODLAND bee smoker is a leader in the industry due to its heavy-duty structure. With its intelligent design, this bee smoker will last for many years.

BeesNise Hive Smoker Stainless Steel with Heat Shield Protection Beekeeping Equipment:

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The BeesNise bee hive smoker made from stainless steel comes equipped with a built-in shield to keep your hands from burning while keeping them cool. The perforated removable base plate has foldable stands that supply excellent airflow.

It comes with a mounting hook that allows you to hang the smoker and free your hands to work more closely with the hive. The sturdy colony smoker offers a calming effect on your bees that assist you with getting into the hives to harvest honey, merge the colony, or perform routine checks.

Honey Keeper Beehive Smoker (29X21.5cm) beekeeping equipment Stainless Steel with Heat Shield Protection:

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With beekeeping, it is vital that you shield yourself. The Honey Keeper Smoker assists the keeper with calming the colony of bees so you can guard yourself against painful stings while maintaining your hive, doing lawn maintenance, or gardening.

As the smoke enters the colony, bees hustle to store as much honey as possible in their body. Once they are full, the chances of stinging are narrow.

We recommend to best effects to smoke between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. That is the best time because this is the time more bees are out searching for pollen making it easier to maintain the hive.

What is the Best Bee Smoker Fuel

Smokers have been around in beekeeping for centuries. The technique started perhaps with just a simple pan or a smoldering stick for burning. Beekeepers also used various bellows as initially employed by smiths or other beekeepers.

As mentioned above, Moses Quinby was the first (1875) beekeeper businessman in the United States. His recognition is for the creation of the current single-handheld smoker (1875) made with bellows fixed to a tin burner.

Many kinds of fuel can work for a smoker. These fuels include:

  • Hessian Burlap
  • Pine Needles
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Paper Egg Cartons
  • Rotten or Punky Wood.

Some supply sources also sell commercial fuels like pulped paper and compressed cotton. The fuel in the devices’ burner smokes slowly as there is only a slight total of oxygen within until a grip of the bellows delivers a gust of fresh air.

There is no doubt that lighting a smoker and keeping it lit is one of the most challenging aspects of being a beekeeper. If you can learn to light your smoker successfully, then everything else will be a breeze.

Even though using natural supplies as fuels is okay, several fuels aren’t safe for your colony, these are;

  • Plasticized coated items such as binders, glue or inks
  • Painted, treated, or finished wood chips
  • Natural fibers or human-made fibers with artificial colorants
  • Tainted wood chips from chain oil

Goodland Bee Supply 11-Inch Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker with 3 Pack Of Smoker Fuel:

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The Goodland Bee Supply is an 11-Inch Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker including a three-pack of Smoker Fuel. The fuel is three smoke logs. Mugwort is the main ingredient in the smoke pallets. The smoker is a polished, stainless steel welded structure with an etched laser logo.

Due to the welded fall and heat cage, there are slim chances of injuries from burns as well as increased protection from breakage in the event of drops. The Holed Smoke Pellet Stand Offers Ideal Air Flow

Created for simple use for the beekeeper who wears Gloves and the mounting hook offers secure storage when in use or the ability to hang it while you maintain your hive.

Mann Lake HD554 KwikStart Smoker Pellet:

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KwikStart smoker pellets are everything you could want in a starter. Simplicity is the key to this product. All you need to do is merely light the flame, blow it out then watch the smoke roll. If you are using this to start another smoker fuel, let the flame burn for fast fire-starting action.

These pellets are perfect for checking on one or two hives. It is just as good to use as a starter for another smoker fuel you may be using. The pellets remove the effort it takes the work to start your smoker. Measures 8-1/2-inch length by 5-1/2-inch width by 2-inch height.

Mann Lake Bee Smoker Fuel, With Bonus Beekeeping Smoker Fire Starters, 2 Pound Bag

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This product also has a two-pound bag of smoker Fire Starters. When you start beekeeping, you are doing more than just watching bees make honey; you are investing.

Like all significant investments, you shouldn’t sell yourself short with the tools you use. Bee patient smoker fuels are a fantastic addition to your toolbox for your beekeeping adventures. The Bee Patient fuel product burns, smolders, and smokes just right so that your bees can relax and be patient while you do your work inside their colony.

In Conclusion

There is so much more to beekeeping than what meets the eye. As with smoking, there are several ideas of what and how smoke affects the Bess. Many feel that bees respond to the smoke as they if they were in a forest fire.

In this case, they would gorge themselves full of honey and fly away to search for a new home if they indeed needed to “fly the coop.”

Second, the smoke is meant to disguise the cautioning pheromones given off by guard bees, preventing the troops from receiving the battle cry. Pushing the bees around a little bit is okay, however, if you over-smoke, it won’t work. Why?

Because if smoke surrounds them, they would not be able to “fly away” from the smoke but will instead merely stagger around disoriented. Not exactly what you wished for when you cranked up the smoker, right? So, be sure to use the smoke frugally, and both you and your bees will be happy.

Final thought. If your hives aren’t at or close to your home (or even if they are), you have a burning, hot smoker you must store and/or transport. Be sure the fire is put entirely out before you place it anywhere. And, just for an extra added security purchase a metal box that has a lid if you are going to be transporting your smoker in your vehicle.

The best part of beekeeping varies from person to person. But, what everyone can agree on is a lot of inner satisfaction is watching Mother Nature do her kind work. There is so much more to keeping bees than just gathering honey.

You achieve an inner serenity to something magnificent, yet so small. Whatever you chose to do with your bee hobby, make sure you take time to enjoy it. It’s God’s work.

Questions and Answers

Q: Are there any other ways to do smoking rather than the traditional bee smoker?

A: Yes! If you would rather not use a traditional smoker, help is on hand with liquid smoke. A lot of beekeepers are using liquid smoke because there is no standard lighting required. With liquid smoke, there are no chances of burning yourself, and it never goes out.

Liquid smoke is available in a concentrated manner that you dilute with water. Liquid smoke forms by reducing the smoke given off by wood as it smolders. It is entirely natural and will not harm you or your bees.

You can then directly spray it from a regular garden sprayer. It is simpler to use than a traditional smoker but doesn’t entirely have the glamour of a regular smoker. However, it is gaining widespread success in the beekeeping industry.

Q: What Do I Do If I Get Stung?

A: Bees will not sting unless they’re provoked in a way such as being caught in human hair or crushed. When you are near a beehive, refrain from making rapid movements or flapping your arms. If the bees are upset, walk away through trees or an overgrowth of sorts. Remove the stinger as soon as you get stung from your body and make sure it didn’t break off in your skin. If the stinger is still there, the venom will be pumping in your body after the bee is gone.

Q: How Do I Light a Smoker?

A: Lighting your smoker and keeping it lit is a problem many beekeepers face. That is something that leans more into the scientific world than beekeeping. First, empty your smoker on the ground. Make sure you remove all burnt fuel left from the last burning.

Here is one version: Crumple up the paper, light it, and drop it in your firebox. Pump the bellow until it lights up well. Be sure not to use fire retardant paper, such as magazine paper; it won’t burn very well.

Next, add fuel such as dried grass or hay. Then add you’re partly burnt fuel and continue pumping until you have a good fire. That is an essential step in creating a good firebase. Otherwise, the fire will die down fast. Add fuel as necessary.

You will need to keep your smoker held upright. If you lay it down the ember will burn out. When working the bees, try keeping it between your knees, holding it by the bellows. If you put it on the ground, be sure it is upright. By adding fuel when necessary, you can work bees all day without the fire going out.

Q: What Do I Do with the Smoker When I am Finished?

A: Laying your smoker on its side is enough for it to go out quickly. However, if it is a windy day, it could stay alight. Plug the nozzle with grass or something similar will ensure a quick end. Your smoker should be ready for trouble-free lighting next time.

Q: What should I Do to Keep My Smoker in Good Condition?

A: Your smoker, as well as a hive tool, are vital beekeeping tools. Ensure you have a good quality well-made smoker, not a cheap, poorly designed one that won’t last long. Keep it in good condition by ensuring the bellows aren’t leaking. If the fabric tears, you can repair it with sticky tape. If it is severely damaged, you may just need to buy new bellows.

Q: What Can I Do to Prepare?

A: As with many of the things in beekeeping, you should prepare. To make matters simple for yourself and to avoid potential problems, always plan. Collect fuel when you see it and keep it a sealed bag. Items such as:

  • Hay
  • Dried Grass
  • Touchwood
  • Fir Cones
  • Leaves

Keep things such as these handy for when you need them. You are ensuring that no matter what type of weather you have, you always have dry fuel. Keep lighters or matches with you and keep your protective clothing clean and handy. If you never empty your smoker, use the partially burnt fuel ready for your next adventure.

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