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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Chandler, Tx
    Posts
    282

    Post

    One of my co-workers was telling me that he knew an old beekeeper that was a smoker an used cigarettes to smoke his hives instead of a bee smoker. Anybody ever heard of this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Texas City, Tx
    Posts
    183

    Post

    The president of the Madison County Beekeepers Association (Huntsville,Al)uses a blend of tobacco and pine straw. He teaches a beginning beekeeping class and this is one of the things he brings up in class. Huntsville is about 30 miles south of the Tennessee state line and there are a few tobacco warehouses in south-central Tennessee. He uses "scrap" tobacco picked up off the floor at these warehouses.
    you must endeavor to persevere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    Sure. I know old beekeepers who smoke cigars who do it. Some don't even wear a viel since the smoke tends to keep the bees out of their face.

    I prefer my smoker. It will make more smoke and direct it better.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    napoleon ohio
    Posts
    769

    Post

    One of the beekeepers i know keeps a big fat cigar in his truck all the time just in case.It works in a pich but the somker is better.
    Mitch KD8IMF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    So the tobacco smoke works well on the bees, (I've even heard that it has a negative effect on mites), but are the toxins obsorbed in the honey, wax, and or pollen to be passed on to unwitting consumers, or does anyone even know?

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    If there is any significant residue, you're smoking them too much. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
    Posts
    6,624

    Post

    Just the same, if you smoke your bees with tobacco, you might want to put some variation of the Surgeon General's cigarette warning on your honey containers, at least the "May be Habit Forming" part..

    Kidding aside, tobacco is a powerful narcotic and the smoke is quite toxic to insects, not to mention people. It'll knock `em out and kill `em if they get too much. It's one thing to pull on a stogie while working your hives, the bees can (and will) avoid it, it's quite another to blow any volume of tobacco smoke directly into a hive. I'm sure it makes the bees docile..

    If you google "varroa tobacco" you'll come up with numerous references (now days, if you google "banana hubcap" you'll come up with numerous references). Apparently they've done some tests in the Netherlands and elsewhere and concluded that while tobacco smoke did kill mites, it also killed some bees. I'm not aware of anyone currently touting tobacco smoke for varroa control.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,586

    Post

    At last years bee meeting, they were discussing analysis on honey to the parts per billion and trillioin. They said that by testing the honey that finely, they could tell if the beekeeper smoked by the residue of the cigorette smoke inthe hoeny in the parts per billions, or trillions.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    A friend of mine just returned from a conference on breeding high nicotine tobacco strains. The purpose was to extract the nicotine for use as an insecticide. Appearently nicotine is more toxic to the invertabrate than to mammals (most of the carcinogens and toxins in tobacco are not related to nicotine).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hampton, Georgia
    Posts
    68

    Post

    Yes, it does work. Though I am no longer active in beekeeping I have used cigarette smoke (I'm a smoker) to temporarily calm them while doing quick checks around the hives. More on a as needed make do basis when I wasn't planning on opening the hives and didn't have equipment to hand. Usually a case of calming them enough to get up close for a visual inspection of the outside or entrance though I have cracked the top open for a quick peek time or two.
    Now as to the other use of tobacco. I will not open or work a colony without a chew of redman in place. It is true about tobacco relieving the itch of a sting.
    Georgia Wildlife Services, Inc
    www.atlantawildliferemoval.net

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