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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default sumac smoke on SHB

    I've got some hives loaded with SHB's. I've tried the sandwich container traps and they work really great, but I've still got lots and lots of SHB's (they seem to call to all their friends to come join the party).

    So, as I'm grasping at straws and anything that might work, I tried sumac berries in my smoker because they work on varroa mites (I've used sticky boards to count the mites before and after smoking with sumac berries, and to count the mites in non-smoked hives as a control).

    The bees hate the smell, and the berries burn a nice white smoke, acrid, with a tinge of yellow. I smoked my infested hives and the bees fan their wings with a low roar. The SHB start evacuating through every crack and opening.

    Now, will they return? Will I send them to another location?

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,131

    Default

    [quote=Grant;263141]"...The bees hate the smell, and the berries burn a nice white smoke, acrid, with a tinge of yellow. I smoked my infested hives and the bees fan their wings with a low roar. The SHB start evacuating through every crack and opening...."Grant Jackson, MO /quote]

    Fascinating....I wonder if the sumac berry smoke is harmful to the bees in any way. I recall hearing reading how white corn cobs are harmful to use as smoke material....so I wonder about the sumac.

    In the meantime I'll look to collect some sumac....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Yes they will return. Or move into another hive. The smoke is the same for most insects...Run! Theres a fire!!!!

    As for what your smoking with, I have tried about everything that has been mentioned. Walnut leaves, tobacco, sumac, and so on. Nothing kills mites outright off the backs of bees. And if you were doing that, you would be killing bees also.

    What smoking does, is inject a foriegn smell inside the hive. This smell interfers with the natural smell of the hive and the queens pheromones. It coats everthing in the hive and leaves a residue. Some things leave a better residue. Buts its this foriegn smell and residue that the bees want gone from the hive. They groom each other, clean everything down, and in the process, remove mites as well.

    If you smoked your arm at lunch time, and smelled your arm later that night, you would still smell the smoke. Its the same inside the hive.

    Side by side studies have shown that just the opening of hives generate an increase in mite fall. So if you had three hives, (1) not opened. 2) opened and inspected with no smoke. And 3) open, inspected and heavily smoked.) you would see a difference between the three. 2 would be more than 1, and 3 would be more than 1 or 2.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    I agree with the smoke coating, but I've not observed any dead bees. Perhaps there are levels of tolerance and differences in the density of the smoke. And per my observations, there is no real consistency in the application that would lead to solid conclusions.

    but it is fun to watch those beetles scamper out of the hive faster than the bees. The bees come back after a quick refreshing breath of fresh air.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    interesting that you even considered sumac as a smoker fuel... I have read (european beekeeper) where the flowering tops of sumac and pipe tobacco was considered cultural remedies to varroa. I would suspect their effect would be small unless you pumped in enough smoke to also kill the bees.

    as to shb.. my best results has been to simply feed weak hives... when the population booms they seem to ge quite well equiped to run the moochers off themselves. another problem has been old equipment (some reversable bottom boards and some boxs where the wood has begun to decay) seems to provide hiding places for the shb which the girls find difficult to dislodge the moochers.

    I am not familar with the sandwich box trap.... could you elaborate?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Big Grin a little fun on this one

    using sumac has not been accompanied by any strange unexplained rashes on the bees or the keeper that you have observed I had to say this since I have gotten hit with the rash twice this year working my hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    The sandwich container is explained on a couple of other sites, plus there are pictures I posted for a presentation to the Eastern Missouri Beekeepers meeting. On the following link, there are other links on the sandwich trap. Also, try the June issue of Bee Culture.

    http://easternmobeekeepers.googlepages.com/sept07

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    thank ya' Grant.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    A 5-second exposure to dried sumac seed heads burning in a smoker has a positive effect on mite drops and has a greater effect than mineral oil [ABJ, 11/04, p863].

    The chemical, 1-2-3 benezenetriol, also known as pyrogallol, is the ingredient in sumac seeds that kills mites. Pyrogallol is a poisonous white crystalline phenol produced by heating gallic acid, which is used in medicine and as a photographic developer. Sumac should only be used (as any other chemical w/ possible detrimental qualities) when honey supers are NOT on the hive.

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