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Smoker fuel

An English beekeeper has developed a method of using newspaper to make a useful smoker fuel. If sheets of newspaper are used in smokers they burn up quickly producing hot smoke for a short period. The ideal smoker fuel is of course cool smoke produced over a long period, and this can be achieved by making newspaper into a pulp or papier maché.

Shred newspaper into a bucket of water and leave it for 10 days, stirring occasionally to produce a soft mush. Obtain a piece of tube with an internal diameter slightly smaller than the smoker and fill it with the pulp. Press the water out of the mix with a plunger, and finally push the compacted pulp from the pipe. After the pulp has dried thoroughly it is ready for use.

The advantages of this material are: 1) it gives a non-irritant smoke and does not produce tar deposits; 2) it stays alight well; and 3) it can be extinguished with water and reused after drying. Use a length of ignited newspaper to get the material burning.

(Ken Reed, Epsom division of the Surrey Beekeepers' Association)