If you have been a beekeeper for any length of time, you will start to realise that alongside a smoker and a hive tool, your blowtorch is an essential piece of kit! However, which blowtorch is good for a beekeeper? If you have ever wondered about this, please read on. In this article we will talk about why beekeepers are so fond of blowtorches and which ones are good for beekeepers to buy!
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Why Do Beekeepers Use Blowtorches?
If you are a new beekeeper, you might not fully understand why the blowtorch is many beekeeper’s best friend 🙂 Beekeepers love blow torches because:
They are Good for Lighting a Smoker
Smokers are used by most beekeepers and a massive problem a lot of them have is when trying to light them! On a mildly windy day, a weak flame will just get blown out, leading to wasted time and frustration. Also, most smoker fuel doesn’t just go up in flames the moment you put a match to it! A blowtorch is a great way to get even the most stubborn smoker fuel to successfully light!
They are Good for Sterilising and Cleaning
What with varroa and other diseases being all over many beekeepers beehives, a lot of them are looking for a quick and easy way to get rid of such things and sterilize any affected hives. A blow torch is a good way to scorch a hive and its brood boxes, supers etc. and ensure that all traces of mites and disease have been eradicated! Just make sure that your beehive is made out of a material that can be scorched (and not melted or burned!). Most beekeepers have a rule…if it can’t be scorched, keep it out of the beehive! So plastic pieces are a big no no if you want to follow this practice.
You can also use a blowtorch to quickly sterilize your hive tool and any other tools you use within your apiary. Again, just make sure that you only scorch the parts of the tools that can withstand it! Beware of plastic or rubber handles 🙂
If you need to know the best way to use a blowtorch to sterilise your beehive, the below video from The Norfolk Honey Co. is my favorite!
Best Blowtorch for Beekeepers
Before we start, you need to decide what the exact purpose is for your blowtorch. If you just want to use it for lighting your smoker and scorching a few tools, a smaller blowtorch (such as one designed for kitchen use) would be enough. However, if you want to scorch beehives and what is inside them, you will need a more substantial blowtorch.
1. Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Creme Brulee and Cooking Torch
If you are just using your blowtorch to sterilize your beekeeping tools and light your smoker, this blowtorch designed for the kitchen would be perfect for your apiary! You have to be careful with these butane torches, as some of the cheaper, generic Chinese branded ones can be dangerous at the best of times.
You pay a little more for this one, but what you get is a high quality and very usable blowtorch. It comes with a 42ml butane gas capacity, which would give you a useable burn time of around 80 minutes. It also comes with Piezo electronic ignition for easy lighting.
I also really like the solid build of this blowtorch. It will definitely last you a while. I quite like the look of the thing too 🙂
2. Sear Pro POWERFUL Cooking Torch
If you need something a bit more powerful to also help you scorch and sterilize your hives, this could be the blowtorch for you! Simply attach the butane or propane tank of choice and you are good to go.
As far as handheld canister based blowtorches go, this one is powerful. It has a quality build too, something that the makers seem to be fully aware of. They offer an unconditional 6 month warranty, and say you can ask for a full refund if there is anything you are not happy with regarding the Sear Pro blowtorch.
There are certainly cheaper options out there, but when you are dealing with highly flammable gas torches, I would personally prefer to pay a bit more and get good quality. Nobody likes gas bottles blowing up in their faces or leaking from the valve!
3. IGNIGHTER Weed Burner Torch
If you don’t like the idea of getting too close to the flame or your blowtorch, then these torches that are designed mainly for scorching weeds in your garden would do the job. They basically add a longer neck between the gas canister and the actual blowtorch flame.
This one offers excellent value, as it has a built in Piezo electronic igniter and a good quality build. And the 35 inch long neck will help to save your back when scorching beehives!
4. Quanie Weed Torch Propane Burner
This blowtorch is the most powerful one on this list, so it would be a great option if you have a lot of beehives to scorch or you want to get your scorching around the apiary done a little faster 🙂
It has a high output 8000000 BTU nozzle, which is what gives you the powerful burn I talked about above. And this has a hose which makes it much easier to use than the other hand held blowtorches above. This thing is designed to attach to a heavy duty gas bottle, not just a small canister!
This Quanie blowtorch has also been built with quality in mind. It comes with a cCSAus certification and a valve seal ring manufactured in Germany. This blowtorch comes with a 2 year warranty too, so you really can buy with full confidence.