The 10 Best Bee Smokers That Will Calm Bees

If you’re planning to become a beekeeper, there is nothing more important than having the best bee suit, but also the best bee smoker.

Bee smokers have been used throughout history as a harmless way of masking bee pheromones. When used correctly, smokers don’t damage or injure honeybees in any way; the opposite.

Calm bees sting less and are much easier to manage. Reducing the stress levels of a hive during an inspection is paramount to minimizing casualties and also protecting you from unnecessary harm.

The calmer the bee, the easier the hive will be to work with. So whether it’s when inspective hives, looking for the queen bee, or extracting delicious honey at the end of the season, any good beekeeper will have their trusty smoker in hand.

Because smokers are so important, there is of course a lot of choice on the market. And it can be difficult to figure out which one will serve you best.

With that in mind, we’ve picked 10 of our favorite bee smokers that will not only protect you but your hives also.

10 of the Best Bee Smokers

1. VIVO Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker with Heat Shield

VIVO Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker with Heat Shield

Protect yourself (and your bees!) when inspecting hives, with this stainless steel beehive smoker from Vivo.

The main aim of any bee smoker is to calm bees and protect yourself and this smoker does it all effortlessly. It measures an impressive 11”, which stores a large quantity of burning material. More material equals fewer refills, helping to maximize time spent inspecting your hives.

We particularly love the safety features of this bee smoker, which altogether give you incredible peace of mind when beekeeping. First, this bee smoker has a mounting hook on the side of the what shield, which allows you to safely suspend or store your smoker whilst in the middle of hive inspections.

It has a perforated firebase, which provides air pockets at the bottom of the smoker and ensures good airflow throughout use. A protective heat guard surrounds the smoker, which helps prevent any accidental burns.

The canister has a diameter of 4”, which is suitable for a variety of different materials to burn, be it cardboard, newspaper, wood chippings, or dried grass.

With this smoker, you can safely open a hive to inspect without the fear of aggressive bees lying in wait!

Things we love:

  • Superior heat protection
  • Perforated firebase with advanced airflow at the bottom of the smoker
  • Made of stainless steel, which is rust-resistant and heat-resistant
  • Sizeable canister for fuel

2. Mann Lake HD540 Stainless Steel Smoker with Guard

Mann Lake HD540 Stainless Steel Smoker with Guard

Made of heavy-duty stainless steel, this smoker from Mann Lake will help keep bees quiet and calm during hive inspections and makes for a lifelong investment for any beekeeper.

The first thing we love about this smoker is that heat protection is at the forefront of its design. It has a special easy-to-open lid which makes lighting is easy, as well as refilling it. This is especially important when you consider that you’ll be wearing gloves in the thick of the action.

The smoker also has guard features along with heavy-duty hinges, which provide strength where you need it most and helps keep the lid securely on top. The lower bracket placement of this smoker also ensures burn-free fingers, as fingers are placed away from heated surfaces. The pro-bellow is also replaceable, meaning in the evident of breakage, you can still use the smoker.

Because of its long design, the smoker can hold a sizeable amount of fuel before requiring refills – especially important when hives are open and you need a constant supply of calming smoke.

Lastly, weighing only 1.81 lbs, this smoker is incredibly lightweight and easy to carry and hold for extensive periods.

Things we love:

  • Made of heavy-duty stainless steel
  • An easy-to-open lid allows for quick, easy refills
  • Heavy-duty hinges
  • Lower bracket placement protects fingers from heat
  • Replaceable parts in the event of breakage

3. Goodland Bee Supply 11-Inch Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker

Goodland Bee Supply 11-Inch Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker

Offering excellent performance and the highest quality of smoke, this bee smoker from Goodland Bee Supply is an ideal piece of equipment for both beginner and professional beekeepers alike.

First, let’s talk about how well made this smoker is. Featuring leather bellows, welded fall and heat shield and mirror polished stainless steel, the smoker is well made, incredibly durable, and places protection and fuel consumption high on its priority list.

The smoker has a removable internal burn tray, which allows for easy cleanup and helps fuel burn consistently and more effectively. It’s specially designed for situations where a constant supply of smoke may be necessary.

With an 11” chamber, you can expect more smoke per refill and is an ideal smoker to use if beekeeping on your own, as it will stay lit for a long period.

Using the smoker is also incredibly easy and straightforward; simply light one of the included smoke logs and set it onto the burning plate. Close the lid, slowly pump the bellows to fan the pellet, which pumps smoke out of the spout.

Lastly, this smoker has great value to it. It comes with 3 smoke fuel logs, allowing you to get to work straight from the box. It’s an ideal tool for hive inspections, harvesting honey frames, merging or splitting colonies.

Things we love:

  • Made of polished, stainless steel with leather bellows, welded fall, and heat shield
  • Lightweight, and has a simple, straightforward use
  • Ideal at producing constant, high-quality smoke
  • Removal of internal burn tray makes cleanup and refilling easy

4. Blisstime Bee Hive Smoker Stainless Steel with Heat Shield Beekeeping Equipment

Blisstime Bee Hive Smoker Stainless Steel with Heat Shield Beekeeping Equipment

Made of high-quality stainless steel, this bee smoker from Blisstime has everything you need to get to work inspecting hives with high-quality, clean smoke.

The first thing you should know when purchasing this smoker is that it comes with an impressive 54 smoker pellets. These pellets are all made from natural plants and herbs, meaning the smoke will not harm beehives.

High-quality smoke ensures bees are kept calm and safe during inspections, helping to inhibit their natural defense tendencies.  And as the pellets are free from annoying chemicals and harmful smells, you can pump away with peace of mind.

You can use these pellets on their own for quick inspections, or mix them with another smoker fuel to improve coverage for longer periods of beekeeping.

The smoker measures 11”, which we think you’ll agree offers a sizeable amount of fuel at any one time, and helps reduce how often you must refill. A protective heat shield (which surrounds the smoker) helps ensure you are kept safe from extreme temperatures.

A mounting hook is conveniently located at the top of the smoker, which means you can hang the smoker on the edge of a hive when not in use, but still within arm’s reach if needed.

Things we love:

  • Comes with 54 smoke pellets which are chemical-free and bee-friendly
  • Convenient hook at the top
  • Made of stainless steel, which is rust-resistant and heat-resistant
  • 11” chamber holds a sizeable amount of fuel material
  • Heatshield surrounds smoker

5. Stainless Steel Bee Smoker with Heat Chamber, Burn Shield, Green Bellow, and Heavy Duty Feature

Stainless Steel Bee Smoker with Heat Chamber, Burn Shield, Green Bellow, and Heavy Duty Feature

This bee smoker from Foxhound Bee Company will maintain a steady stream of quality smoke to keep your hives calm, quiet, and ready to inspect at a moment’s notice.

This smoker has lots of practical features at its core, which we think beekeepers of any skill will benefit from. For example, a stainless steel heat shield surrounds the smoking chamber, keeping you safe and away from any accidental burns. A riveted, double pull ring on the dome means adding fuel is easy, even when fully gloved.

Another exemplary feature of this smoker is the airflow funnel, which forces more air from the bellow to the bottom of the chamber and helps improve both fuel efficiency and making the material easier to light.

Additionally, an airflow tube is also built into the firebox, allowing you to produce thicker smoke with less effort, which is very useful for long days out beekeeping or if you’re examining hives on your own.

We think the extra-large fuel chamber is also a very useful feature, allowing you to hold more fuel, eliminating the need for refilling after every hive. The smoker can work with a variety of fuel types, including pellets, pine straw, cardboard, and wood chippings.

The smoker is designed with premium, rust-proof materials that transform it into a lifelong investment. It has a green, durable leather below which makes it very recognizable – making it easier to find amongst your tools in a flash.

And because of its professional, unisex finish, it’s a great buy for both beginners and professionals alike, man or woman!

Things we love:

  • Made of stainless steel, which is rust-resistant and heat-resistant
  • Stainless steel heat-shield
  • Airflow funnel improves fuel efficiency
  • Airflow tube produces thicker smoke
  • Suitable with a variety of fuel types
  • Unisex, professional appearance

6. Bee Hive Smoker with Tool Kit

Bee Hive Smoker with Tool Kit

This beehive smoker from Muduoban comes with everything you’ll need to inspect hives and frames and will help keep bees calm and quiet all the while.

First, let’s talk about the smoker itself. It has a stainless steel body that has incredible durability and makes for a lifelong investment. With a heat insulation board that covers the outside of the smoker, you and your bee suit will always be protected from extreme heat.

A sophisticated heating chamber including a firebase, provides air pockets at the bottom, meaning the smoker requires fewer puffs to cover hives in a blanket of smoke. It has a convenient hook on the side, allowing you to store it safely when lit, but not in use.

Lastly, we must highlight that additional high-quality accessories come with this smoker, making this an ideal purchase if you’re new to beekeeping and want to flesh out your selection of tools.

The J-shape tool, for example, is useful for lifting out the first frame during an inspection. Its sharp edge can cut off beeswax and act as a scraper. Secondly, the traditional hive tool which is also included acts as a mini-crowbar and can pry apart frames and supers alike.

Combined with the smoker, you’ll easily flesh out your selection of tools with just one purchase.

Things we love:

  • Heat insulation board covers smoker and protects you from burns
  • Firebase provides air pockets – fewer puffs required to spread smoke
  • Hook allows you to hang smoker when not in use
  • Comes with two useful hive tools

7. SunVara 11″ Bee Smoker Stainless Steel with Heat Shield Beekeeping Equipment

SunVara 11" Bee Smoker Stainless Steel with Heat Shield Beekeeping Equipment

Stings will become a thing of the past as your hives will remain calm and quiet, thanks to this impressive stainless steel smoker from SunVara.

Firstly, this smoker is a lifelong investment, as the high-quality materials used in its construction ensure longevity. Made with riveted stainless steel, durable synthetic leather, and a wood bellows bound, simply put this bee smoker will last the test of time.

The wrap-around heat shield is an essential safety measure to any smoker and helps prevent direct contact with the hot smoke chamber, eliminating burns to you or your bee suit.

We also love that this bee smoker is incredibly easy and practical to use. It works with a large variety of fuel types including pine needles, mulch, or twigs; liting it should be no problem at all. Not only that, but the 11” chamber allows you to store large quantities of fuel at any one time, reducing the need to refill during a hive inspection.

It also works like a dream – the bellows pull a great amount of air with only the slightest pressure. You can easily operate it even when fully gloved.

Weighing less than 2lbs, this smoker is incredibly lightweight and so can be used with only one hand during inspections or easily carried for long distances.

Things we love:

  • Made of stainless steel, which is rust-resistant and heat-resistant
  • Wrap-around heat shield prevents burns
  • Suitable with a variety of fuel types
  • Lightweight and easy to operate whilst gloved

8. Beekeeping Supplies Beekeeping Tools for Beekeeper

Beekeeping Supplies Beekeeping Tools for Beekeeper

This impressive bee smoker from BeeCastle comes as part of an extensive beekeeping set, making it the ideal starting point for beginners and experts alike.

On its own, the smoker in itself is an impressive piece of equipment. It has an extra shield on the outside, which protects both you and your bee suit from contact with extreme heat. The smoker is lightweight, making it an easy tool to use and carry with only one hand.

The smoker has a convenient hook on the side that allows you to hang it up when not in use or when inspecting hives. The perforated metal circle fits snugly at the bottom of the chamber, allowing great airflow with every puff.

One of the biggest selling factors of this smoker is that it comes as part of a wider set of essential beekeeping tools. These tools include everything from a bee brush, hive tools, queen cage, queen mark tube, and much more.

All of these combined with the smoker makes this purchase truly transformative, where you’ll have everything you need to start beekeeping, with a wide range of high-quality tools.

Things we love:

  • Comes with several essential beekeeping accessories – useful for beginners
  • High-quality stainless steel constructed smoker
  • Hook allows you to hang smoker when not in use
  • Heat guard around smoker prevents accidental burns

9. Aestic Bee Hive Smoker Stainless Steel 12 inches with Heat Shield with Hive Tool Scraper

Aestic Bee Hive Smoker Stainless Steel 12 inches with Heat Shield with Hive Tool Scraper

If you want to have quiet hives with minimal effort, then might we suggest this high-quality bee smoker from Aestic.

Made with stainless steel and with genuine leather below, this bee smoker is a lifelong investment in your beekeeping arsenal. It will ensure a consistent stream of smoke with even the smallest of puffs.

Let’s talk about how well-designed and practical this smoker is. It contains a perforated firebase with foldable legs to lift fuel from the bottom of the barrel, ensuring great quality of airflow.

It also has a protective heat shield, which prevents burns or heat damage. A mounting hook allows you to store the smoker within arm’s reach when not in use.

At 12” high with a diameter of 4”, the smoker can hold a sizeable amount of fuel per refill. Additionally, a stainless steel red hive tool is included, which is an essential tool for examining hives and certainly adds even more value to your purchase. The attractive red color also ensures it’s easily spotted among your tools.

Things we love:

  • Made of stainless steel with genuine leather
  • A perforated firebase ensures healthy airflow in the smoker
  • Mounting hook for easy storage
  • Comes with a stainless steel hive tool

10. Flexzion Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker with Heat Shield Protection and Mounting Hook

Flexzion Stainless Steel Bee Hive Smoker with Heat Shield Protection and Mounting Hook

No need to be afraid of bee stings or aggressive hives again, with this impressive bee smoker from Flexzion.

So what makes this smoker special in particular? Firstly, it’s made of heavy-duty stainless steel, with a superior bellow that makes puffing super easy and quick. It features a mounting hook to hang the smoker when not in use but within arm’s reach.

Now let’s talk about the inside chamber. A heavy-duty tray helps in lighting the fuel by allowing air to penetrate from underneath. Simply place old newspaper inside, light the fire, pump the bellow, then add some fuel and the smoker will take over.

When lit, the smoker is exceptional at keeping the flames alive inside – no fear of having to drop everything and relight the smoker. Simply continue to gently pump accordingly to whatever smoke level is needed.

Safety-wise, the smoker comes with a heat shield that prevents burns or close contact with the hot metal. It also has an easy-to-open lid making refilling very straightforward, and also emptying at the end of your day.

Lastly, weighing only 1.9 lbs, it’s an incredibly lightweight smoker that can be carried for long periods without fatigue, and can be used with only one hand even whilst fully gloved!

Things we love:

  • Made of stainless steel
  • Mounting hook for easy storage
  • Heavy-duty tray aids in lighting and maintaining fire
  • Lightweight at only 1.9 lbs
  • Heat guard around smoker prevents accidental burns

Bee Smoker Buyer’s Guide

A bee smoker is an essential tool you must have when beekeeping, and finding the best one is paramount to your success and to grow your confidence.

Here’s what to look out for:

Heat Protection

Smokers can get very hot, especially if they are holding a lot of fuel material. For that reason, it’s very wise to invest in a smoker that has a heat guard.

A heat guard protects your bee suit from coming in contact and causing a hole to develop.

Mounts

After smoking a hive, you will want to put the smoker down in a safe place, where it causes no danger to you or others, but is close by in case a hive needs additional smoke.

Many of the best bee smokers come with safety mounts; little lips that allow it to hang off the side of a hive or bench.

Easy to Use?

The first thing to consider with a smoker is how easy is it to open up and close? After all, the majority of the time you’ll spend using the smoker, you will be fully suited up and fully gloved.

For that reason, consider a smoker with an easy lid. Invest in one with strong hinges and which is lightweight, so that you can easily carry it with one hand.

Stainless Steel

Every smoker we have recommended has one thing in common; they are all made of stainless steel.

Stainless steel should always be the default material to consider with a bee smoker, because of its innate rust resistance and tolerance to high temperatures.

Fuel Type

Every beekeeper will have a preference as to what fuel they want to use with their smoker. Manufacturers can make suggestions as to what fuel suits what smoker best.

For example, smaller chambers may require finer fuel such as wood chippings or straws to burn with. Larger ones may require cardboard. Some smokers come with their fuel source, too. It’s always wise to consider what one can suit your preferred fuel choice.

Capacity

The typical size of a bee smoker is anything from 11” to 14”. This allows you to hold a sizeable amount of material, whilst not having to refill it as often, too.

Pay close attention to bee smokers which fall outside this typical size bracket. Bigger smokers can be harder to light and also maintain, whilst any smaller than 11” may require very fine fuel particles to ignite with.

Additional Accessories

Some bee smokers come with a variety of additional accessories, such as hive tools, bee brushes, queen cages, and more. These can make for great investments, particularly if you are only starting beekeeping.

Bee smoker with apiarist

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you burn in a bee smoker?

There are a variety of materials that can be used to ignite a bee smoker. Good examples to use include dried pine needles, newspaper, cardboard, leaves, wood chippings, and straw.

Always ensure the materials used are free of harmful chemicals. Never use plastics or highly flammable materials such as gas or lighter fluid.

How to light a bee smoker?

Whilst smokers may come with instructions, the general steps of lighting a smoker include:

  1. Crumple up a good fuel substance, such as newspaper, cardboard, or wood chippings, into the smoker’s chamber.
  2. Light this material up with a match or igniter.
  3. Keep pumping the bellows continuously to fan the flames.
  4. You can add additional fuel such as straw or dried grass to bulk up the chamber.
  5. When smoke is pumping out, only then place the lid back on.
  6. Continue to pump the bellows to maintain ignition.

Does smoke keep bees away?

Smoke is an effective way of calming bees, as it masks alert pheromones which often attract more bees back to the hive to defend it. Bees are calmer and generally quieter when smoked.

Calmer bees are not only easier to examine, but it also ensures you won’t be attacked or stung as often vs. unsmoked bees.

Smoking is particularly effective when doing quick examinations of hives, such as opening and taking out one or two frames.

Are bee smokers bad for bees?

Beekeepers have used bee smokers to calm bees throughout history, and when used properly causes no harm to beehives.

Here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

  • Ensure smoke is never too hot, or that you pump too much into or across a hive.
  • Allow some time to pass between smoking a hive and opening it up
  • Never burn materials that can harm or distress bees (such as pesticides/plastics/foul-smelling scents)

When to smoke a beehive?

Smoking a beehive is best used before and during an inspection, and never afterwards.

You can smoke the entrance of a hive with a few puffs to settle any guard bees. Allow at least 30 seconds to a minute to allow smoke to settle.

When removing the roof, slowly disperse several puffs across the top of the hive, and never directly downwards.

Smoking a particularly busy frame can move bees along to emptier frames, thus reducing any casualties as you remove the frame for inspection.

Always work towards one direction; never smoke randomly or in more than one direction, as bees will be unsure where next to move to.

No matter how docile a hive may appear, it’s advised to always use and rely on smoke to reduce stress levels.

If you are stung or have bee stings in your suit, briefly smoke that area to mask any danger-pheromones.

How do I maintain a smoker?

High-quality smokers require less maintenance. Before use, however, it’s always good to check its condition. Ensure no parts have become loose, or that the lid is misshapen and won’t sit correctly on the lid.

Check hinges and the safeguards to ensure you’ll be protected at all times. Lastly, ensure the spout of the smoker is free from debris before use.

Conclusion

Bee smokers have been used throughout history and across the world to help, nurture and calm beehives.

They naturally use smoke to suppress panic and instinct. In this way, bees are less anxious and less likely to sting you. And because smoke doesn’t harm bees, you are protecting them and yourself in tandem.

For this reason, investing in the best smoker is of the utmost importance, as many become lifelong tools to experienced beekeepers.

Remember, the majority of beekeeping takes place when inside a bee suit. It’s pivotal that the bee smoker you choose is easy to use, even when fully gloved. Your smoker should always be made of high-quality materials that keep you safe from heat and requires little to no maintenance.

Remember to pick a smoker that is both easy to refill, and which can burn whatever material you plan to use. Finally, smokers should be lightweight and easy to hold, especially for long periods or across long distances.

With the best bee smoker, you’ll bee-stung less, have more success than ever before. Your confidence will grow with each outing, and your bees will be all the healthier for it.


Related Posts

Leave a Comment