Walnut wood shavings ok for smoker?

I know we can’t use chain saw shavings for the smoker (after cutting wood) due to the amount of chain oil that inherently gets mixed in while cutting.

But a wood worker carpentry friend gifted me a bucket full of hand shaved walnut wood shavings.

Walnut ok?

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G’day Cowgirl, I’m sure walnut wood shavings are ok for the smoker. I use anything (non toxic) that makes smoke. Cardboard, dry leaves, bark, dry grass, dry banana leaves make good smoke. Pine needles, dry fern. If I was given a bucket of walnut wood shavings, I’d use them.

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No problems:) I nearly put a link to a video, not about lighting a smoker, however in the video it shows how not to light a smoker. Here it is:)

I didn’t watch the whole video. In the bit I did watch, he lit his smoker 4 times.

Hemp horse bedding is great.
A sack will last you a few years and costs pennies

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I’ve gotten to a point where I haven’t used my smoker the last 3 inspections and even though the bees have their protection radar on (aggressiveness), they seem more mellow without the smoke in their faces than when I use it.

I suppose the smoking was very important when all people had to cover themselves was old burlap for a suit and it was probably far easier to get stung in burlap than the modern days suits we can purchase now. Just a thought.

And as an after=thought on this topic, I would definitely use walnut as I like the smell of walnut anyway. Don’t know if bees would but I do. However I use cardboard inserts that come with mason jar cases, old rolled up newspaper, lint, wood pellets and dried straw from the fields when I do use my smoker.

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They sure are. I use little smoke, most colonies none at all. I see lots of videos here and elsewhere of folk puffing copious amounts of smoke on the face of combs they have taken out of the hive…why?
The best way to use smoke if you are going to is to give one puff under the crown board a few minutes before you take it off. It takes that long to “pacify” the bees by filling their tummies. Instant smoke is good if you need to get bees down into the box or off the frame lugs and as such they just get out of the way of the irritant fumes.
Remember that the bees fill up with honey when you smoke them…then when you close up they have to put it back.

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Maybe not black walnut? It’s said to be toxic to bees? I have a walnut tree and I stained my hands for three weeks picking all the nuts this year. The sap is nasty.

Yes- apparently woodworkers recommend breathing masks etc when working it as the dust is toxic. I read somewhere that bees avoiding making nests in black walnut trees.

have you tried hessian sacks cowgirl? We have been using them and they work quite well. We tear off a piece- roll it into a tube- place lit newspaper into the smoker- get a good flame- then place the roll on top: Puff, puff puff, puff puff etc- and you are good to go (having said that a few times it has petered out mid inspection- the main thing is to really get it going well at the start).

Two really good fuels for a smoker are rosemary or lavender, chop off branches and allow to dry hanging or on a rack, but not too dry, some moisture in the fuel helps keep the smoke cool. I light mine using a small gas blowtorch as it’s quick, but paper will do to start it off,

Using rosemary or lavender has many advantages…

  • it seems to keep lit much longer than other forms of fuel, right down to the empty smoker.
  • some tree woods are very sappy and produce a lot of tar, it not only clogs up your smoker but is also unpleasant and can give a bad taste to your honey.
  • herbal plant smoke smells nice, and it’s been proven that bees react more favourably to it than more aggressive types of smoke. Both plants have constituents that are calming (to bees and humans). Also, if I need to smoke myself to keep the bees off, it’s not so unpleasant.
  • toxins - are you sure when using hessian, cardboard, etc. what chemical treatments have been given to the product that you’re using. A lot of cardboard has fire retardants added (be especially concerned if it’s awkward to light or kept lit.) If I wouldn’t eat it myself, I’d rather not put it in my hive to contaminate my honey.