The smoker is the emblem of any beekeeper. An effectively light up smoker, meaning one with cold and white smoke, ensures the security of beekeepers.

To light up your smoker, you can use dry newspaper, dry grass, pine needles ou buy smoker fuel (which is very convenient because it ensures an effectively light-on smoker under any weather). You need to avoid synthetic fabrics, colored papers and plastic materials at all cost.
Before visiting your apiary, you must each time verify the state of your smoker. To clean it, you can simply use your tool hive by scraping the excess that blocks the smoke from coming out of the beak.

Here are 6 easy steps to light your smoker on:

1 – Before lighting it, open it and turn it over while tapping it gently on the ground. Also check that the beak if clear enough to let the smoke come out.
2 – Pick a non-inflammable spot and light your smoker fuel above the open smoker.
3 – Carefully place your light-up smoker fuel inside the smoker. Keep the smoker open and press the gusset between your thumb and your index a few times.
4 – Add some other fuel, such as haystack, cotton canvas, corrugated cardboard…
5 – Using your hive tool, pack down the content of your smoker. No hot, light and blue smoke must come out of it, it would mean that the fuel is catching on fire.
6 – Close the top of the smoker and press the gusset a few times.

Your smoker is light up! You can now enjoy visiting your apiary.

Here are 3 easy steps to use a smoker:

1 – Press the smoker’s gusset a few time at the entrance of the hive, with the beak facing the inside of the hive. By doing so, you are alerting the bees of your arrival.
2 – Remove the rooftop then proceed to remove the corner of the cover with your hive tool, and smoke the top of the hive. Keep using the smoker while removing the rest of the cover.
3 – Remain calm and avoid sudden movement while continuing to press the gusset (beak towards the inside of the hive, between the frames) in a regular manner for about 30 secondes. If the bees seem agitated, repeat this step a little longer.

Always keep in mine that slight pushes of gusset are ideal to keep bees from being aggressive and that, with time, you will master the art of using a smoker. However, be careful not to over-smoke your bees and risk to suffocate them. Your smoker should remain close to you at all time while you are visiting your apiary.