Picking the right bee smoker for your hives is really important.
If you’re anything like us your bees are like your family and making sure you care for them properly is vital.
We’ve created a list of the best bee smokers available in the UK today.
Best UK Bee Smokers
We’ve personally tested the first two smokers on the list with the third being a little different and while we haven’t had a chance to purchase one yet we hope to be updating our review with our personal experience using the smoker.
This attractive stainless steel smoker is competitively priced amongst other similar models on the market.
It’s a fairly large unit at 4 x11 inches meaning that most casual beekeepers shouldn’t need to relight during inspections.
The bellows are made from real leather unlike some cheaper smokers and I think this really helps with smoke output.
We love the three packs of smoker fuel that get bundled together with this one making it a simple one purchase package.
The lid’s got a lovely tight fit on this unit meaning you don’t lose any pressure as you work the bellows.
Comes with the standard hooks to hang on your fence or hive (these are invaluable in my opinion as I always find myself laying down my smoker while doing my inspections.
This smoker is slightly cheaper than the Goodland but still perfectly good for the job.
You don’t get anything additional alongside the smoker unit so you’ll need to buy your smoker fuel elsewhere.
The size of the unit means it should be acceptable for inspecting 3 to 4 average-sized hives at once.
Standing at 7x 11 inches this smoker is slightly bigger than the Goodland despite its cheaper price tag.
Whilst we haven’t personally tested this bee smoker we love the idea!
Surprisingly, the smoker only requires 4x AA batteries to power it.
The stainless steel unit is approximately 5 x 11 inches making it a close match to the Goodland in terms of capacity.
Please note the unit does not come supplied with batteries so you’ll need to get some if you plan on going down the electric route.
We love the idea of not having to use the bellows all the time but the question has to be asked, how long will this last.
Our current smokers have been through the wars and I’d want to test this for at least six months before I give a solid verdict.
Best practices for using a bee smoker
- Light a small fire in the base of the fire chamber, you can use a bit of waste paper or cardboard for this task.
- Gently pump the bellows to encourage the flames within the chamber.
- Gradually add your chosen smoker fuel making sure not to smother the flames.
- Once you’ve achieved a consistent flow of smoke make sure you regularly pump the bellows to ensure it doesn’t go out.
- Always approach slowly from the rear of the hive without any sudden movements.
- Begin by directing a few puffs of smoke at the hive entrance
- You can gently lift your outer cover and apply smoke to the frames if required
- When placing your smoker down always be aware of potential fire hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve created a list of some of the common questions we get about bee smokers.
What is the best smoke for bees?
Cotton is without a doubt the best smoker fuel. It provides cool smoke that won’t risk hurting the bees in your hive or nest.
It also provides the longest smouldering burn off time which means you can work for longer without refilling your bee smoker.
Burlap comes as a close second but loses out due to its longer smouldering burn off time.
How much do bee smokers cost?
Bee smokers can cost anywhere between £15-£60 pounds depending on the brand and quality of components and manufacture.
Is bee smoking cruel?
Using a bee smoker correctly is not cruel to bees.
The smoke produced by bee smokers interferes with a bee’s sense of smell, limiting the response to alarm pheromones and making managing hives a much easier process.
Is a bee smoker necessary?
While a bee smoker isn’t necessary for docile, unaggressive hives it’s always good to have one to hand.
If a hive loses its queen or becomes distressed for any reason it can quickly switch to show signs of aggression that can be mediated quickly by a bee smoker.
Can you use wooden pellets in a bee smoker?
Yes, while wood pellets aren’t the best source of fuel for your bee smoker you can get a relatively cool consistent white smoke with compressed wood pellets.
Always remember to test the temperature of your smoke on the back of your hand before administering it to the colony.
What do you light a bee smoker with?
You can use any excess waste paper or cardboard as a medium to light your smoker.